It’s that time of year again, when old dress-up clothes resurface, cobwebs are strewn over house facades, and sales for pumpkins perfect for carving into jack-o-lanterns skyrocket. Making a jack-o-lantern is a tradition that dates back to 19th century Ireland, where hollowed out root vegetables such as turnips and pumpkins were transformed into lanterns to ward off evil spirits. As Halloween becomes more and more popular in, people carve different kinds of pumpkins every year on October 31.
Learn how to make a pumpkin jack-o’-lantern with our step-by-step guide.
What You’ll Need for a Halloween Party Jack-o-Lantern
Sharp, serrated knife and paring knife.
Melon-baller or spoon
Battery-operated tea-light candles
One large carving pumpkin
How to Carve a Pumpkin
Start by cutting around the stalk, inserting the knife at an oblique angle to create a removable cap. Ensure the hole is big enough to allow you to reach inside the pumpkin.
Using a melon-baller or spoon, remove the seeds and flesh from the walls of the pumpkin.
Decide what sort of face you want to create. The classic jack-o’-lantern has a big, gape-toothed grin and triangular eyes and nose.
Turn the pumpkin around until you find its’ face ‘-the surface that looks most like a head.
Use the chalk to draw the features straight onto the pumpkin skin.
To prevent the jack-o’-lanterns from drying out and rotting, spray the interior and cut surfaces with vegetable oil.
The Best Pumpkin Variety to use for a Jack-O-Lantern
Carving pumpkins are different to your average butternut or Kent variety. The ideal pumpkin for making a Jack-o’-lantern will have a bright orange exterior and a thin layer of skin. This makes it easier to cut into.
The interior of the pumpkin will contain fewer seeds than other varieties, and the flesh itself will be stringy rather than dense. A Japanese pumpkin has been transformed into a Halloween table centrepiece. Learn how to make the Halloween pumpkin monster here. Use the paring knife to cut out small details and the serrated knife to cut out the mouth. Be careful not to cut off any floating parts, like teeth or the middle of an eye.
Once you’ve finished carving, wipe any visible chalk or flesh from the outside.
Set the lantern in its designated spot and place some battery-operated tealight candles inside.
The Jack o lantern has been a part of every Halloween celebration since ages. It is an indispensable part of Halloween so its best to learn how to make one so that you can have your own homemade lantern.