Have you started carving pumpkins yet? (Don’t worry, I haven’t either.)
It’s getting scarily closer to Halloween, and we’ve got five Orlando-themed jack-o’-lantern patterns waiting for you down below.
If you make one of these creations (or your own Orlando-themed pumpkin), we want to see it! Tag us on Instagram or Twitter at @pulptown or email us, so we can share your creations as Halloween approaches.
Before you start carving, here are a few tips and tricks courtesy of our pals at our sister publication in Pittsburgh, The Incline:
Pick the best in the patch. To be clear, though, this isn’t necessarily a super-sized specimen. Look for a flat side to facilitate ease of carving. Here’s a list of pumpkin patches in and around Central Florida.
Scoop the goop. While you’re cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin, give an extra scrape to the wall you’ll be carving. “Especially if you’re going for the more complicated designs below, you don’t want to mess with more than an inch of pumpkin depth,” The Incline advised. “Just be careful not to scrape too far; otherwise, the design won’t hold up.”
Make a design plan. As the old adage states, “measure twice, cut once,” and it applies to jack-o’-lantern design, too. For the easier patterns, print them out, tape them onto the pumpkin and then use something sharp to poke holes through the paper. When you’re done, you’ll have a good roadmap for slicing your design. For the harder ones, after cutting the design out with an X-Acto knife, tape the white sections to the pumpkin, then trace onto the pumpkin with a marker.
Find the right tools. The carving kits you can find at the grocery store actually work pretty well. A paring knife will get some broader patterns done, while the thin little saws maneuver around tight corners. And be careful, obviously.
Do the hard part first. It’s good life advice and great jack-o’-lantern advice. Begin with the smallest, most intricate areas while you still have a lot of pumpkin to work with. It’s tough to cut out a detailed section if your canvas is already flimsy.
And here’s the biggest pro-tip: If carving a pumpkin sounds exhausting (it always infuriates me), then try just drawing and painting on the pumpkin. It still makes for a fun activity at home with friends or family.
Alright, now get out your carving tools, scoop the guts and goop, and make your jack-o’-lantern glow.
To use these patterns, simply right-click on the image, select “save as,” and file it on your computer. Resize the image if you need to, print it out, and you’re good to go.