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Perfect pumpkin dates

LoveYouPumpkins

If you and your date are planning a cosy night in this Halloween, why not get all creative and carve up some pumpkin lovin’? Or better still, have a pumpkin carving competition? Have a bottle of something to hand and decide on a suitably spooky forfeit for the loser. Here is our six-step guide to carving pumpkin perfection – pumpkin selfies to the ready..!

Make the best choice
Most supermarkets are selling pumpkins very cheaply. Choose a pumpkin that is evenly round rather than tall and thin so you can be more flexible with the design. Aim to pick one with a smooth skin, rather than one with blemishes because it will make cutting it easier.

RetroCut the lid off
Start by cutting off your lid and make sure you cut into the pumpkin about an inch and a half from the stalk itself. This will ensure your lid sits on top of the pumpkin, rather than sinking into it. If you want too, draw the line in pen first, so the lid is even. And always keep you hands away from the blades! (To avoid your very own Halloween DIY disaster!) After cutting all the way round, loosen and pull the lid away. You might need to use the knife to pull away attached skin or seeds.

Hollow out the middle
Hollow out your pumpkin with an ice-cream scoop or spoon until the inside is evenly hollow. Make sure the base is flat and aim to keep about an inch of thickness around the pumpkin so it keeps its shape. You can always keep some of the seeds to cook as a snack!

Make a template
Take an A4 sheet of paper and draw your face onto it. There are plenty of designs on the Internet if you need some inspiration. Then cut out the edges of the eyes and mouth and stick them to the pumpkin. The mouth should be at least 5cm from the base so the light is hidden.

Start cutting
Take a small knife and make incisions into the pumpkin. Take it slowly and just pull in and out as accurately as possible to carve the shapes. Little movements will work best. It might also help to take the lid off so you can control your movements by holding the top.

PumpkinHeartsPut a light in
Use a couple of tealights and pop them inside your pumpkin, then use long-stick matches to light them. Voila! They should last at least a week if you keep them out of the rain.

But if all else fails, you can’t go wrong carving out your names or a few pumpkin hearts…awww.

Will you be pumpkin carving with your date this Halloween? Send us your pics @lovestruck

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