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5 top pumpkin-improving ideas

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Looking forward to Halloween? These tips will help you get the best out of your pumpkin-carving skills this year.

Yes, we know Halloween can be a particularly stressful time for parents. Who wants to watch their children eat too many sweets and deal with the consequences? But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fun aspects.

Making a good-looking pumpkin can be a particularly enjoyable activity for you and your kids. Why not spice things up a little by following some of these top five tips to get even more creative this year than usual?

Carve exciting new shapes

Who said pumpkin carving is just limited to the typical Jack-o’-lantern? Why not keep things fresh by carving a different Halloween-themed face – try a vampire, a ghost or a werewolf. You can even carve a pattern, rather than a face, which works just as well. Have a quick search on Google and let others inspire you or come up with your own creative ideas.

Paint, rather than carve

If you dread the manual labour involved in carving out a pumpkin, why not considering painting instead? While it does mean you won’t be able to light it up, it gives you more flexibility in coming up with exciting ideas and lets you add a touch of colour otherwise unavailable. It also makes it look more interesting during day-time when kids are more likely to see it – and it avoids the fire hazard. You could also combine carving with painting if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic.

Use utensils

Why not treat your pumpkin like you’d treat a snowman? Add buttons, sticks, pieces of paper to bring the best out of your regular Jack-o’-lantern and make it look truly unique. Kids also love gluing things together and adding more colour, making this an exciting addition to the usual act of carving out the pumpkin’s flesh.

Stack them

Speaking of snowmen: you could even stack several pumpkins together to make them tower over other pumpkins. Glue them together to make them fit perfectly. This will allow you to add bits of homemade fabric to make it look as though they’re wearing clothes – and you could even make a small Jack-o’-lantern family with parents and children.

Make them last longer

Nothing is a greater pity than having created the perfect carved pumpkin only for it to start decomposing after just a few days. But you can take countermeasures. Use a little bleach to clean the inside or apply a little Vaseline on the carved edges, keeping them moisturised. Storing it in the fridge at intervals also helps to keep it nice, fresh and good-looking.

If you follow these tips, you should have an outstanding pumpkin prepared for Halloween in no time. As always, creativity trumps all – if you have your own juicy ideas, why not implement them and turn that pumpkin into your very own work of art?