It’s that time of year again when up and down the country pumpkins are being hollowed out, carved and lit to create glowing lantern decorations for Halloween. Traditional pumpkin carving is a fun activity and in keeping with that spirit we usually go for a cheery character to welcome night-time visitors. However the creative opportunities are endless for making all sorts of fantastical characters from the sublime to the ridiculous and the friendly to the fiendish.
The only problem I find with pumpkin carving is that it can be a slow process especially if you have younger children itching to get the lantern lit. Last year, much to Master M’s delight, we successfully added more than a little excitement to proceedings with the introduction of a trusty household drill and a selection of variously sized drill bits and hole saws.
The basic method for pumpkin drilling and carving is the same and you will need to begin by slicing the top off the pumpkin and scooping out the seeds and flesh. At this point if we were using the carving method I would ask Master M to draw a design onto the pumpkin skin before I cut out the shapes with a sharp knife. If you choose to use the drilling method (and we would strongly encourage you to give it a try) you will just need to mark crosses to indicate the centre point of the hole to be drilled.
Last year we chose to go for a pretty pattern effect for this gorgeous giant pumpkin that my Dad had grown especially for Master M. A LOT of fun was had as we drilled and spirals of pumpkin were sent flying around the kitchen so you might want to think about doing this activity outdoors!
Although I would urge caution with any pumpkin carving/drilling, I felt it was safe to allow Master M (who was 7 at the time) to be involved in the process by helping to guide the drill whilst I kept it safely held it in a secure grip. Even with much younger children who you would rather keep at a safe distance you will find that pumpkin drilling will prove to be an entertaining spectator sport.
We were delighted with our very first effort at pumpkin drilling. I think we did the beautiful giant pumpkin justice and had a lot of fun in the process. We are planning to get the tools out for a second attempt this weekend so keep a look out for an update on what we came up with next week.
I hope you find time to get creative for Halloween, whether you choose to carve or drill your pumpkin I’d love to see pictures of your lanterns - why not pop over to the facebook page to share some of your photos?