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How to pick the perfect pumpkin

 

Did you know the U.S. produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins each year? While some of them have likely been stymied by summer rains, there’s still tons of pumpkins to pluck from grocery stores, farmer’s markets and nurseries this time of year. When it comes to selecting a stellar squash, it’s time to get picky.

 

Carve it up!

A classic jack-o-lantern is a hand-carved masterpiece. For this crafty endeavor, you’ll want to first consider your ideal outcome. Do you wanna carve a face or a more complex pattern? Pick a pumpkin that suits the size of the pattern you have in mind. You’ll want one that has at least one smooth (for a squash) surface that’ll make carving a li’l bit easier.

 

If you’re getting creative, expand your search to deformed gourds and more peculiar pumpkins with bumps and bruises. Lay them on their sides and have them “vomit” pumpkin seeds, or go for an original concept.

 

Paint on parade

If you’re gonna be snagging a painter’s palette when you get this sucker home, be on the lookout for shape and texture. The more bumps and grooves your pumpkin has, the more difficult it will be to paint. For a traditional look, go for a uniformly round one that has a flat surface on the bottom so it will sit straight. If you wanna go more out of the box, take bumps into consideration and work them into your design. Also think about the color of your pumpkin: some are darker orange while others approach a ghostly white.

 

Give the pumpkin a good scrubbing before you paint, and dry the skin completely. Acrylic paints will adhere the best.

 

On itty bitties

Is there anything cuter than a teeny pumpkin? You can carve or paint them in a jiffy, illuminating them with a tiny votive candle or a gargantuan grin. Grab a few to brighten up your bedroom and leave them plain if you like, or pretty them up with a dunk in glitter or glow-in-the-dark paint. Tada!

 

How are you decorating your pumpkin this year, girlies?
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM

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