ASHBURN, VA — Carving pumpkins has long been one of the most popular fall traditions in Ashburn and everywhere in America. Varying styles have been used, and jack-o’-lantern designs have seemingly become more creative every year.
A number of approaches to the post-pumpkin patch visit activity in Ashburn are shown on YouTube, including one from Warren Nash that shows a step-by-step process to make the perfect carve.
Here’s a guide to your pumpkin carving project in 2020.
Pumpkin carving kits will go a long way in getting what you need. They typically include saws, a scooper, a drill and multiple patterns.
If you’re looking for the items individually around the house, here’s what you could use:
- Pumpkin. Unless you have a pumpkin growing operation in the backyard, you’ll need to pick out one you like from your local pumpkin patch or a store. Make sure it looks sturdy and clean. Remember, this is the pumpkin that will be front and center on the porch for the Halloween season.
- Curved boning knife, or serrated knife from the kitchen.
- Ice cream scooper or scraper
- Pencil or pen
- Candle or battery-operated light
- Cut it: If cutting from the top of the pumpkin, make sure to do it on an inward angle so the top won’t drop inside the pumpkin when you put it back on. Michael Natiello, creative director for The Great Jack-o’-Lantern Blaze, said it’s better to cut the pumpkin from the bottom, in a series of pumpkin carving tips from Good Housekeeping. That helps prevent the sides from caving in later.
- Gut it: Use the ice cream scoop, or your hands, to remove all the seeds and other debris from inside the pumpkin. Do a thorough cleaning and make sure nothing is left sticking to the sides.
- Trace it: Draw your design on a piece of paper before putting it on the pumpkin itself. That way, it is easier to trace the design onto the pumpkin.
- Make the cuts: Cut out the design. Natiello said to use a fork or pencil to poke holes around the lines. When cutting, get the big pieces of pumpkin out first and clean up the edges later.
- Light it: Light the pumpkin with a battery-operated light or candle in a holder, place it in the pumpkin then admire your work.
Here are some pumpkin patches in the Ashburn area:
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