One of the traditions that I have always enjoyed at this time of the year is to carve or otherwise decorate pumpkins, but I had never thought about preserving a carved pumpkin. There are so many different ways that you can decorate your pumpkin that people of any age can participate in. Last year, when my daughter was just over a year old, we decorated pumpkins with some of her friends by painting them (she did that again this year with her nanny and loves painting!).
This year my husband and daughter carved a pumpkin, on one side they carved a standard jack-o-lantern face (we gave my daughter choices of shapes to use, this was good practice for learning shapes). On the other side, I wanted to try out one of the big trends this year, creating designs with a drill. I used my husband’s electric drill to carve flowers on the other side of the pumpkin. Unfortunately, this was much harder than I anticipated but I still think it turned out cute. (For anyone that wants to try this, I would recommend a little more planning before actually carving.)
Once we had our beautiful pumpkin I was interested in finding out how to preserve our creation. I came across a process for preserving the pumpkins that claimed to make your pumpkin last for weeks:
1. Dip a carved pumpkin in a bleach and water mixture (1 tsp bleach per gallon of water)
2. Let the pumpkin dry completely, upside down
3. Mix a solution of vinegar, lemon juice and water (2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per quart of water). Use a brush to paint the solution on any exposed parts to preserve pumpkin.
We carved our pumpkin on a Sunday afternoon. And I immediately did the bleach dip. Then, I let it dry upside down overnight in our utility tub. The next morning when it was dry, I painted on the solution from step 3. Then, I let it dry before placing it on our front step (this was a Monday).
On Thursday morning (4 days later), I went outside to take a picture of our pumpkin to document the progress and found this…
Needless to say, I don’t think that the solution worked :(. I guess that means that this weekend we just get to create memories all over again. That means carving another pumpkin. This time I think we will forego any special preservation techniques or maybe I should attempt some Pinterest solutions.
What traditions does your family have for Halloween? Do you have any suggestions for preserving a carved pumpkin?