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Pick, Carve, Decorate & Light the Pumpkin

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin products are popping up on shelves and the pumpkin spice latte is back on drink menus nationwide.

But maybe you want the real deal — an actual pumpkin — in your home this season. Whether you’re planning to bake a pie, carve a jack-o’-lantern or just add some festive flair to your stoop, there are plenty of places to pick up a pumpkin near Manasquan-Belmar.

Once you've picked the perfect pumpkin; NEXT STEP, GET READY TO CARVE

If you're looking for the items individually around the house, here's what you could use:

  • pick out one you like from your local pumpkin patch or a store. Make sure it looks sturdy and clean.

Curved boning knife, or serrated knife from the kitchen.

  • Ice cream scooper or scraper

  • Paper

  • Pencil or pen

  • Candle or battery-operated light

  • Lighter


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Light it: Light the pumpkin with a battery-operated light or candle in a holder, place it in the pumpkin then admire your work.


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