I plan on carving a couple pumpkins this Friday with my husband so I thought I’d do a fun post on DIY carving ideas, how to get the most use out of your pumpkin and what to do with the leftovers.

DIY stencils…
You can make your own stencils or choose from thousands online that you simply print out, cut and use! Try these free stencils or these.  If you use photo paper to print your stencils they become easy to clean and re-use the following year.  If you don’t want to be using up printer ink, make your own stencils!  Many patters are very simple to draw out yourself on paper or better yet, right onto your pumpkin with washable marker.

Using what you have…You don’t need to go out and buy a package of carving knives which generally come in cardboard and plastic. Steak knives work really well for carving larger pieces like the lid.  For small circles, any pointed object will work like a metal skewer. Use leftover newspaper or grocery ads as your table cloth while carving. Use LED flameless battery operated tea lights to light up your pumpkins.

What to do with your pumpkin…
Seeds:  Sprinkle them with pepper, salt and any other seasoning you like (cumin is good) and bake in  the oven for 10-20min at 275.  You could also try using butter and lemon pepper or butter with cinnamon!  You can also plant the seeds to grow your own pumpkins.
Leftover pumpkin:  Cook with it! Roasted Pumpkin SoupPumpkin Hummus, Pumpkin Waffles  Make a pumpkin face mask using cooked pureed pumpkin, with a dab of honey and milk; apply to your face for 15min then wash off!  You can also make pumpkin body butter with just 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 tsp cinnamon!
Carved pumpkin:  Donate it to a farmer, they use it to feed livestock or lure in wild animals.  If the pumpkin is still holding up, you can use it in November as a planter or fill it with water and float flowers in it.  Many cities will accept pumpkins in the yard waste can, just check with your city.  Do not throw pulp down your garbage disposal (it will clog in) instead throw it in your garden!  All pumpkin bits can be composted.

Black pumpkins…
A fun change from the usual orange, try spray painting your pumkins black!

I love these black pumpkins from Martha Steward! You can find the directions here. You will need pumpkins, carving tools, masking tape, black floral spray, battery powered light, needle tool or awl, waxed paper and a needle.

This project takes a bit of work but how clever! Any trick or treater would be impressed by these cat pumpkins. You will need a knife or carving kit, pumpkins, pen, scissors, still felt or paper, newspaper, skinny gourd, mini pumpkins, black floral spray, tea light or battery operated light and clay polymer or poster putty.

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