With trick-or-treating and big Halloween bashes off the agenda for most people this year, many people are entertaining small groups at home. One of our favorite ideas is to have a pumpkin carving party. People tend to associate them with kids, but in reality they are often a lot more fun with adults. Here are our top 13 tips for throwing a fabulous pumpkin carving party for adults.
1– Make a plan!
Even though Halloween is only a week away, you have plenty of time to throw your party, even if you haven’t even sent out the invitations yet. The key is to make a plan- this is even more important if you are on a tight schedule. So get started today! Figure out when you want the party to be, who you want to invite, how you want to decorate and the kind of food/drinks you want to serve.
2– Invest in pumpkin carving utensils
Most people use regular knives to carve pumpkins. However, they can be awkward to use- especially if you are making more detailed designs. Williams Sonoma (we are not paid to say this) comes to the rescue! They sell a kit of pumpkin carving tools we love. The kit contains a pumpkin scraper to clean the seeds and pulp from the walls of the pumpkin, a sawtooth carver to cut out patterns and an etching tool for fine details. Investing in a couple of these kits will take your pumpkin carving to a whole new level.
3– Get creative
Traditionally, pumpkin carving involved a pumpkin, some knives and a candle. Nowadays you can be much more creative. You can use glitter, permanent markers, stickers and even paint to enhance your pumpkin carving skills.
Want to take it to another level? You can carve things other than pumpkins. The latest trend? Carving pineapples! This post from Hawaii Magazine tells you how to do it: How to carve a pineapple for Halloween
4–If possible, have the party outside
Pumpkin carving can be a messy business- especially when glitter is involved. Having the party outside makes for a much easier clean-up. You can always hose down the table and ground if things get really out of hand.
It’s also safer to keep your jack-o-lanterns outside, once you light them up. If it’s getting chilly where you live, we suggest you do the pumpkin carving outside, light the jack-o-lanterns and then move inside for cocktails and snacks. Bonus tip: Make sure you position the jack-o-lanterns outside a large window or sliding glass door so you can admire your handiwork while you celebrate.
5–Medium sized pumpkins are the easiest to carve
Carving a small pumpkin can be really tricky. And it takes a long time to scoop out the insides of a large pumpkin. Medium sized ones are the way to go.
6– Save the seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds are easy to make, healthy and delicious. Make sure you scatter bowls around the pumpkin carving space and tell people to put the seeds in them. If you have a helper, have them take the seeds into the kitchen, clean and roast them during the party. Then, you can put them in decorative bags and give them to guests to take home when they leave. The perfect party favor!
7– Provide an assortment of pumpkin carving stencils
Some people are creative and like to make their own designs, but many people have trouble expressing their creativity and even find it stressful. To make sure all of the guests at your pumpkin carving party are at ease, provide a wide array of stencils they can use. They will walk away feeling fantastic about the creation they made. If you do an online search, you can find thousands of free pumpkin carving stencils, ranging from Star Wars characters to even Covid themes.
8– Buy your decorations a few days in advance
This is especially true if you plan on going to a place like Party City. Most people leave everything to the last minute, so you can spend hours waiting in line if you shop for your party supplies on Halloween or the day before. Plus, they can be sold out of in-demand items like pumpkin carving kits and stencils.
9– Create your pumpkin carving party meal in an Instapot
There is a reason everyone is raving about Instapots. You can create easy, elegant meals overnight. Alternatively, you can wake up early and get everything cooking. When your guests walk inside your house, the smell will be mouth watering! Here are links to some of our favorite Instapot recipes to serve after you have all worked up an appetite carving your pumpkins. They will be especially welcome if it’s a little cold outside.
- Easy Instapot Chile
- Instapot Mac & Cheese
- Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- Vegan Instapot Recipes
10– Don’t waste time making dessert
Halloween is all about candy. So instead of wasting your time slaving away in the kitchen, or buying expensive cakes, we think it is more fun to put a variety of candy in little dishes and scatter them around your home. Don’t forget to leave some on the pumpkin carving table so people can have something to snack on while they work.
11– Decide upon one signature cocktail
If you are having a party, it’s too much effort to offer a full bar. Better to have a selection of wine, beer and sparkling water on hand. Or you can offer ginger kombucha for a warming, alcohol free choice. Then, choose one show stopping cocktail and make that for your guests. We love this Black Magic Shimmering Cocktail from Elle Talk. It’s the perfect way to give you Halloween party a glamorous, Sex in the City vibe.
12– Whip up a batch of punch in advance
Punch is easier than cocktails because you can make it in advance and let guests serve themselves. We are loving this Hard Apple Cider Punch With Kombucha from Sugar and Charm. It tastes like autumn and is not too strong. You can serve it while you are carving the pumpkins and save the cocktails for later.
13– Resist the smoke bomb urge
Smoke bombs are all the rage right now, but they can be very messy. Not to mention the fact that they can be tricky to work with. The last thing you need to do is burn your house down. Resist the urge! One Instagram post is not worth the risk.