We've all been there. The stress, the mountains of seeds, the bemused looks on the kids' faces. The massacred pumpkin. Fear not: we're here to save the day
When it comes to pumpkin artistry, the whole process can seem like a mammoth task: one wrong move and it's back to the chopping board, because who remembers to buy back-up pumpkins?
So before you disappoint the kids, or worse, land yourself a date with an A&E department, why not try these lifesaving tips?
Before you lop his head off ...
Remove all the seedy gubbins through the underside of your pumpkin. Not only will your pumpkin retain his adorable stalky hat, he'll keep fresher for longer too. And sit sqaurely. How? Simply Slice a circle from the underside (keep the piece to fit back in later). So very neat and tidy.
Do not adopt a 'make it up as you go along' approach to the pattern
Before you start hacking away like a frantic Michelangelo, just pause for a second. Ask yourself 'am I artistically talented enough to make this look good?'. If the answer is 'no', make life easy for yourself and use a template.
Luckily for you we have a whole load of downloadable templates for your carving pleasure RIGHT HERE.
Don't use any old knife you find lying around
This is not a good plan. Firstly because nobody wants to spend the most magical night of the kiddy calendar having a finger re-attached, and also because you won't get the best shapes. Ideally you want to get your hands on a pumpkin carving kit, but failing that use a small kitchen knife with a slightly serrated edge. Step away from the chef's knife! When it comes to pumpkins, sharper is not better.
Don't leave your freshly carved pumpkin to fester
Give cut surfaces a good ol' greasy coating of Vaseline from the inside. That way your carved edges will stay fresh and not curl up.
Go the hole hog
Hey, why not ditch the carving altogether and make some artisan holes with a power drill?
But if all that still shivers your timbers, why not try freestyling with one of these no-carve jobbies?
The colourblock pumpkin
If the whole idea of carved pumpkins doesn't fit in with your high-fashion values, why not style up your front porch with one of these? All you need is a bit of masking tape and some vibrant paint of your choice. We would highly recommend neon.
The chalkboard pumpkin
For a pumpkin that doubles up as a sign, nothing does the job quite like blackboard paint.
The Cinderella glitter bomb
All you need for a glittery fairy tale is a pot of PVA glue and a tonne of glitter to roll your pumpkin in. Just prepare to continue discovering remnants of said glitter in your life for at least a year.
And TA–DA! Just like that, you've nailed Halloween. We'd love to see your pretty pumpkins: upload photos of your creepy creations on our Halloween challenge.