Besides trick-or-treating and dressing up in a festive costume, carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition that never gets old — though we could do without the mess. Thankfully, we found a hack that uses Halloween cookie cutters to create impressive jack-o’-lanterns without leaving the kitchen in disarray
We all know carving a pumpkin involves jamming a small yet sharp knife into the flesh to get the perfect spooky design. This requires some patience and elbow grease, and can can get very messy in a flash. Plus, getting the perfect spooky design can be tricky with just a knife unless you’re a carving wiz.
Using cookie cutters makes this so much easier because your desired shapes are already molded, allowing you to cut sections of the pumpkin more cleanly and accurately than if you did it by hand. Plus, it’ll make for a picture perfect jack-o’-lantern worth showing off to your friends, family, and the whole neighborhood.
The experts at Better Homes and Gardens shared a simple method for using cookie cutters to carve a pumpkin on their YouTube channel. It makes it super simple to brainstorm a jack-o’-lantern design, all you have to do is plan where to cut out shapes in the form of bats, ghosts, or spider webs on the pumpkin. For Halloween-themed cooke cutter inspo, check out your local craft store or browse online (Buy on Amazon, $16.99).
Next, lay the clean pumpkin on two or three pieces of newspaper to catch any excess flesh or seeds that might come out as you’re carving. Then, place your cookie cutter over the area of the pumpkin where you would like the shape to be carved. Take a mallet (Buy at Walmart, $2.88) or a rolling pin and gently but firmly tap the cookie cutter into the skin until it’s about 3/4 of the way inside of the pumpkin. (Tip: Consider wearing gloves while doing this step to protect your fingers while tapping with the mallet or rolling pin.)
Pull the cookie cutter out and the cut-out of the pumpkin should come out as well. Repeat this step with the remaining cookie cutters and areas of the pumpkin until the design is complete. Watch the video below by Better Homes and Gardens to see how to do this at home:
From there your jack-o’-lantern is ready to go alongside your other Halloween decorations. This way you can fully get into the festive spirit! Save any leftover bits of carved pumpkin by covering them in a bowl with plastic wrap and keeping in the fridge. You can use them to make into a puree for a yummy pumpkin pie or a homemade pumpkin-flavored drink that’s cheaper than buying one at a coffee shop!
This hack should make pumpkin carving a breeze going forward. Now if you’d rather your cookie cutters only be used for holiday baking, take a look at our list for no-carve jack-o’-lantern design ideas to avoid any messy cleanup afterwards.
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