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The Secret to a Perfect Jack-O’-Lantern
J ack-o’-lanterns are an iconic part of the Halloween aesthetic, but they can quickly backfire. If you carve your pumpkins too early, you may end up with a moldy mess on Halloween. The first rule of jack-o’-lanterns is to wait as long as possible before you start carving. Here are some other tips to help you achieve the perfect jack-o’-lantern this year. FIND THE PERFECT PUMPKIN. A great jack-o’-lantern starts in the pumpkin patch — or in the grocery store if you’re short on time. Look for a fresh pumpkin with a sturdy, green stem, no bruises, and a flat bottom so it’s stable when you’re carving. Size and shape aren’t important, so long as the pumpkin sparks your creativity. Just make sure you don’t accidentally bring home a small sugar pie pumpkin, which will be harder to carve. WASH YOUR PUMPKIN. Before you start carving, mix 1 tsp of chlorine bleach with 4 liters of water and wash your pumpkin to help prevent mold. Be sure to wear gloves! CUT FROM THE BACK. Cutting the top of the pumpkin is traditional, but it removes the stem, which helps keep the pumpkin fresh.
It also threatens the structural integrity of the pumpkin. Cutting from the bottom is not good, either, because all the liquid inside the pumpkin will ooze out. For the best results, carefully cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin. APPLY PETROLEUM JELLY. After you’ve scooped out all the “pumpkin guts” and carved your masterpiece, apply a little petroleum jelly to the cuts. This will help seal in moisture. The Farmers’ Almanac also recommends spraying your pumpkin with anti-humidity hairspray to lock in freshness. GO ELECTRIC. Using a real candle heats up the inside of the pumpkin, causing it to decompose faster. An LED tealight with a flickering effect will create that classic spooky jack-o’-lantern look and keep the pumpkin cool. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any trick-or-treaters getting burned if they accidentally trip over your pumpkin. These tips are to help your jack-o’-lantern last longer. When it comes to designs, feel free to let your imagination run wild! The best jack- o’-lantern is one you’re proud to show off on Halloween.
5 Tips for Longer-Lasting Jack-O’-Lanterns
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