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With a nip in the air, people are busy prepping for Halloween celebrations. With ghastly ghouls, goblins and gorgeously carved pumpkins at the top of their décor list, fall revelers get to work. Creating the perfect pumpkin display is quite an art form. Many take the simplistic approach and carve the standard triangle eyes and a jagged mouth. However, many spirited souls enjoy the challenge of intricate carvings to ensure their pumpkin stands out. With carving knives and kits in hand, people slash and dice until their creation is perfected and ready for display. Carvers take this work seriously, and with skill and a bit of luck, a few are chosen to compete for prizes in competitions, with some televised.

If you are interested in trying your hand at this deed, there are kits available that include carving tools, diagrams, and instructions. There are also a hauntingly huge number of carved pumpkin pictures online for inspiration. Do not worry if you are not one for gory details; there are plenty of pumpkins carved with positive images, cartoon characters, and even gorgeous flowers.

You should purchase your pumpkin a week prior to carving and keep it stored in a cool (temps around 55°F) dry area. Experts suggest that you carve your pumpkin within three days of Halloween if you want it to be looking its best for the holiday. Gourd professionals also emphasize you should not expect your pumpkin to last much more than one week after carving. If you do not feel like taking on a carving session, you can also dress your pumpkin up with adornments including paints, and decals.

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