Fall is here and that means a multitude of great things; the changing of the leaves, pumpkin desserts, cozy knitwear, Pumpkin Pecan Waffle scented candles, fresh Fall mornings, pumpkin Spice Lattes, Apple Cider, and if you hadn't guessed it already, more pumpkins! They are the golden thread of the season and provide lots of tasty fun for the whole family.
Pumpkin carving is a yearly tradition within many households across America, for both children and adults, meaning everyone can get creative no matter how big or small. Jack o lanterns are not only fun to make but a great way to decorate your home for the halloween season.
Top Tips For Pumpkin Carving
This is arguably one of the most exciting stages of pumpkin carving - purchasing the perfect pumpkin, so head over to your nearest pumpkin patch or local supermarket where you’ll be able to find one for your budget. Many pumpkin patches also offer a variety of other attractions, which can be a great day out for the family - get brave and head into the corn maze or maybe you’re up for some Zombie paintballing.
Be sure to have all the right pumpkin carving tools, along with some small battery powered candles to put inside your pumpkin, once your masterpiece is complete. Below is your essential checklist of items you’ll need before the carving stage.
- Plastic sheeting / Art covers / Newspaper - something to cover your surface area
- Pumpkin carving tool kit - you can get these from most supermarkets at this time of year and of course Amazon (the trusty go-to)
- A Pot / Bowl / Bucket / Bag - to put the insides of your pumpkin in whilst carving
- Pen / Marker - incase you want to draw the design on first
- Tape - to attach your stencil to the pumpkin
This is possibly one of the most important stages if you’re 25 years old plus, as this could save you from having back and neck pain for the next week or so. Choose your carving station wisely! A few great places around the home are the breakfast bar, kitchen counter tops or kitchen/dining table - these places allow you to stand or sit whilst carving, therefore saving you from putting added pressure on your lower back. If possible pick a surface area that is above hip height.
Some top tips of how to save yourself from back pain whilst bending over your pumpkin when carving:
- Use your hips to bend forward with rather than your back - this means your hips do the work so your back doesn't have to take the pressure
- Don’t over stretch when carving as this can cause back strain. This is where the muscles and ligaments that support the spine become stretched and weekend so they can’t provide the right level of support.
- Bend at the knees and keep your back straight when lifting and moving big heavy pumpkins. This will keep the pressure off of your back and where you have more support through your legs.
- Take breaks so that your muscles and joints can loosen from the stiff position they were in. Breaks will allow you to avoid muscle soreness and overstraining that causes back pain.
- Use proper posture and do not hunch over your pumpkin as this will cause a lot of strain on your back, which can be avoided by keeping your shoulders back.
- If standing, stand close to your surface area and bring your pumpkin closer to you. This will save you from having to bend or hunch forward, bringing it back to a good posture.
If you do happen to end up with aches and pains in your back and neck from carving your pumpkin, then get yourself a Vibrating Roller to iron out the kinks, as to say! Try the Hex Pro vibrating roller from www.viberollers.com this season - it's bound to come in useful with all the up and coming festivities this winter.
This can sometimes be the hardest part of pumpkin carving - choosing you pumpkin design. How daring are you feeling? To make life a little easier for you and the family, we’ve put together some of our all time favourite pumpkin stencils here for you to download for FREE!
A helpful trick if you’re using a stencil on your pumpkin, or your kiddos pumpkin - stick the stencil onto the chosen area of the pumpkin with tape (after cutting off the lid and scooping out the inside) and use one of the small carving tools that looks a little like a screwdriver to punch holes around your stencil, so that it goes through the paper and surface of the pumpkin. This is so that when you remove the paper stencil you will be able to use the holes punched in to guide your carving pattern.
And carve away! But remember safety first and be sure to watch those fingers.
If you’re looking for more information around back pain and how to prevent/treat it at home, then check out our other blog articles here.
What to do with your leftover pumpkin parts after carving your Jack O Lantern
SAVE THE GUTS! That’s right, don't waste those tasty insides. Why not get even more creative and use your leftovers to fill your own belly? Here are a few ideas for you to get inspiration from, along with some linked recipes to help you along with your seasonal kitchen.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is a great snack option and they’re also super healthy - bonus! Check out this simple and easy recipe on how to toast those seeds to perfection.
If you’re having a halloween get together this year then this is the perfect snack for you. Here’s a helpful recipe to try at home that's bound to impress all your friends and family.
Feel like Harry Potter and his friends by drinking the most popular wizarding beverage of all time. Try this recipe out to make this magical creation.
If you really want to treat the family, then this is the dish for you - it’s certain to put a smile on every member of the family's face. Here’s a great recipe for this show stopper.
Pumpkin Pie Muffins
If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful treat, then look no further, these muffins will satisfy any hungry little devil. Check out this super recipe with minimal ingredients needed.
Pumpkin Dog Treats
Share the love this Fall and bake some tasty treats for your fluffy four legged family member. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for the pooch.
I hope this gives you plenty of fun things to do with the family this Fall and fills your home with many happy little pumpkins! Don’t forget your posture and creative work surfaces are very important to save you from aches and pains in the back and neck. If you’d like more information on different techniques you can use at home and work to prevent back pain, then head over to our other blog posts for more - don’t turn into a zombie if you don’t have too!