Holiday Closure:

All Library locations will be closed
Thursday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving

Search
Carve a great pumpkin
How to carve pumpkins for great results : 20 traditional and contemporary designs for pumpkin carving at Halloween and all year round, shown step by step in 165 photographs
Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell; with photographs by Debbie Patterson.
London : Southwater, c2007.
Previously published under the title: Pumpkin carving book ; London : Lorenz, c1996.
     
Extreme pumpkin carving
written by Vic Hood ; photography by Jack A. Williams.
East Petersburg, PA : Fox Chapel Pub., 2004.
Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays in the U.S., and carving the family pumpkin is a life-long tradition for many. In Extreme Pumpkin Carving by Vic Hood and Jack A. Williams, you'll learn how to create the most amazing, never-before-seen designs to astound your Halloween guests. Extreme pumpkin carving applies relief-carving techniques -- commonly found in woodworking and stonework -- to pumpkins. Starting with solid pumpkins (no hollowing is necessary!) extreme pumpkin carvers use simple household knives or woodcarving tools to create fantastic faces and scenes in the flesh of the pumpkins. With relief carving, you'll be able to add form to your pumpkin carving by creating actual cheeks, lips, eyebrows and more -- instead of just cutting out solid shapes. This gives you an almost endless opportunity for creativity and unique expression, resulting in a one-of-a-kind Halloween pumpkin that will be the talk of the neighborhood! Book jacket.
     
Pumpkin chic : decorating with pumpkins and gourds
principal photography by Andrew McCaul ; principal styling by Lauren Hunter ; text by Mary Caldwell.
New York : Hearst Books, c2002.
At head of title: Country living.
     
Pumpkin carving : 20 contemporary glowing lanterns and decorative designs
Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell ; with photographs by Debbie Patterson.
London : Southwater, c2002.
Create glorious glowing lanterns and illuminated decorative displays with this illustrated guide, which includes projects such as dramatic geometric globes and charming clusters of miniature squash.
     

The idea of carving faces in firm vegetables and putting a light inside them dates back to the early Celtic people of Ireland, who carved faces in turnips or other vegetables to scare away evil spirits. When the Irish emigrated to America, they discovered pumpkins were much easier to carve. The concept of scaring away evil spirits and the religious celebration of All Hallows Eve on October 31 merged in the late 1800s into the modern celebration of Halloween.

For your jack o'lantern, you will first want to wash off your pumpkin. Look it over to find the best side to begin carving your face. Remember, defects in the pumpkin, such as bumpy skin, can sometimes be used to create a really neat effect. A sharp knife with a long blade is best for cutting out either the top or the bottom of the pumpkin. Be sure to angle your knife inward, so that the lid will not fall in. Once you have cut a hole in the pumpkin, scoop out all the seeds.

Pumpkins are a fruit

Pumpkin flowers are edible

Morton, Ill., is the Pumpkin Capital of the World

Pumpkin Facts

Some choose to carve free-hand others draw an image directly on the pumpkin. Use a template for very elaborate designs. Tape the template to the pumpkin, and use a pin to press through the template and put tiny holes in the pumpkin. You can then follow the pattern and carve out each section of the design. A paring knife is a better choice for carving.

While most jack o’lanterns have a face, abstract patterns, such as bats, leaves, or polka-dots, can also be very attractive. Pumpkin carving sets come with a  variety of useful tools. After you are finished carving your pumpkin, wipe off any marks. For safety sake place a flameless candle inside your jack o’lantern, and watch it glow!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff