Pumpkins are one of the essential accessories for Halloween. We always have at least one pumpkin in our house. Usually more as we take at least one over to Aunty’s house for her annual Halloween Party. I’m usually the one who empties the insides, while Chris carves out the design. I think between us we are becoming Pro’s. So I thought why not share our expertise and tips for Carving Halloween Pumpkins with you all!
- Get your timing right! If you buy and carve your Halloween too early, It will go rotten and smelly before Halloween even comes around. They are usually at their best until they are a week and half to two weeks old. So the best time to buy your them is a week to ten days before Halloween.
- Pick the best Pumpkin! Try and select a healthy looking pumpkin, free from nicks or bruises. The colour should be consistent all round. The pumpkin should sound hallow if tapped and indicates it’s ripe. The stalk should be firm,not soft, as should the bottom, if not it may be showing signs of rotting.
- Selecting a design! Novice pumpkin carvers should select a simple bold design. As you master the basics you can then start moving on to more intricate designs.
- Cutting the Pumpkin! Having the right equipment is a must have. A long, sharp serrated knife will do best. However, there are some great Pumpkin carving kits on the market, which come with cutters, stencils and scoops! To cut out the lid, cut into the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle. cutting straight down will cause the lid will fall through! Cut with a sawing motion, to ensure you make it through the flesh. The best way to cut out your design is to draw it on the pumpkin with a water based marker. Then cut on the outside of your markers.
- Scooping out the Inside! Either use a pumpkin scoop, ice cream scoop or heavy metal serving spoon. Scrape down the inside of the pumpkin, in a circular motion until all the strings and seeds are free from the wall. They should then come out in one scoop. Scrape it as smooth as possible as this is where the light will be reflected and enhance the spooky effect.
- Clean your Pumpkin! Soak the Pumpkin in a light bleach water for a few hours, this will pro long the life of it. Dry it thoroughly to prevent any mould growing. Once dried, rub it inside and out (including the cut edges) with vegetable oil. This will help prevent shrivelling, if you do notice shrivelling, repeat the process. When not in use, the pumpkin can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.
- Scenting the Pumpkin! Sprinkle and dust the inside with cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves, doubling it as an air freshener!
- Lighting! LED candles make a perfect safer alternative to real candles, especially if you have lots of little ones running about. If you prefer the real thing or you want to use the spices, then place your candles in a tea light holder or a votive Candle in a glass. To keep the lid on then cut a small hole in the back to act as a chimney. Lastly, never leave a Pumpkin with a live flame burning unattended for any amount.
Halloween Goodies 2016
With Halloween just around the corner, I have been looking at all the ghoulish Halloween goodies on offer this year. I have probably left it a bit late again, like I do every year. I promise myself I will be more organised next year, but it always seems far too early, and then far too late!! Anyway, in my search of Finlay’s very specific Halloween Costume Request. He wants to be a spooky super-hero, he has accepted Batman’ The Dark Night’ which I think just fits the Halloween theme.
However, in all my searching I came across some great little Halloween costumes and some bargain accessories, so I thought why not share them with you, in case like me, you too are doing a last minute spooky shop!
- Halloween spider two piece Fancy Dress Costume, 1 – 4yrs, £9.00
- Kids Grey Inflatable Bat Wings, £5.00
- Teen Neon Fairy Fancy Dress Costume, 9 – 16yrs, from £13.00
- Halloween Black Vampire with Sounds and Lights, 3 – 12yrs, from £12.00
- Kids Black Halloween Ballgown Witches Set,3 – 12yrs, from £11.00
- Kids Green Monster Costume, 9 months – 5 yrs, From £11.00
- Children’s Pumpkin Dressing Up Set, 3 – 5yrs, £3.99
- Frankenstein Trick or Treat Tin, £1.79 (Also available in Purple Bats, Spider and Bats and Skeleton)
- Spider Halloween Treat Bag, £2.49 (Also available in Witch, Pumpkin and Frankenstein)
- Glow in the Dark Skeleton Onesie, 3 – 14yrs, from £20.00 (limited sizes available)
- Monster Claw Slippers, size 9 jnr – 6, from £15.00
- Frankenstein Character Loot Bag, £1.00
- Purple Ghost Loot bag, £1.00
- Many other loot bag characters and designs available
- Halloween Witch Top Hat Hairband, £2.00
- Kids Werewolf Halloween Costume, 4 – 11yrs, £12.00
- Halloween Devil Dress up Costume, 1 – 14yrs, from £10.00
You can check out My other Halloween posts here, if you are looking for some not so spooky Halloween books!
I can’t tell you how excited I am that is almost Halloween. There’s something about when you have kids that makes the holidays that extra bit special and magical. Halloween especially. Finlay being a little boy loves anything monster related as it is. However, he is extra excited about upcoming Halloween. We are going over to Aunties house for a party again this year. Finlay had so much fun last year dressed up as a little vampire playing with all his friends and eating way too much junk (he still remembers waking up and being sick, Oops bad mummy moment!)
I love to find books and crafts that relate to all the different seasons and events associated with it and so does Finlay. I think a great way to build up the anticipation is to read and collect Halloween books. What better way to get everyone into the spooky spirit than a huge collection of witches, monsters, skeletons and ghosts!! However be careful, you don’t want to frighten the younger children. I have put together a list of 12 firm favourite Spooky Halloween reads from our house, which will get you and your children into the spooky spirit. I have been extra careful to try and pick out the not so scary reads for our smaller or more nervous readers. However, I would still recommend that you have a quick glance through any Halloween book before reading them to your little ones just to double check it is suitable. If your little ones are anything like Finlay, Once you start something, they wont let you finish and you may end up with a little person sharing your bed in the night!
Our Top 12 Halloween Reads for Toddlers
Ten Spooky Skeletons
Where’s My Mummy
Meg & Mog
Worrisome Wilfs Beastly Bedtime
Boo To You!
Ten Little Monsters
Peppa’s Pumpkin Party
The Fearsome Beastie
Room on the Broom
Scaredy Cat, Splat!
What are your favourite Halloween reads? Please share them in the comments!