I have committed myself to making at least a couple of Jack-O-Lanterns this year from real pumpkins. I am not going to do a traditional knife carving because I know wouldn't be very good at that. However, I can drill holes, and with the right stencils, even paint a little. So, I am going to do a combination drill carving and painting. I am thinking that on a white pumpkin I would like to do some kind black swirly painted pattern, combined with drilled holes. I also want to do a drilled pumpkin, with a pentacle, two half moons, and a full moon on it. I have been doing Google image searches for drilled and painted pumpkins, and am brimming with ideas!
And here are a few tips on keeping a pumpkin from growing mold, and wilting away before the big night.
A very inexpensive way to keep a pumpkin fresh is to use a bleach solution to keep mold at bay. Use a spray bottle, pour in a small amount of bleach, about 2 or 3 tablespoons, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Be sure to label the spray bottle and keep it out of reach of children. Spraying a carved pumpkins on a daily basis with a weak bleach solution will help to kill mold and keep the pumpkin fresh until Halloween. Bleach is inexpensive and is generally on hand in most households. A spray bottle can be purchased for about $1 at many dollar stores.
If you have any around, or know how and where to buy some, those little silicon packets you get in shoes, purses, and a lot of other stuff are good for keeping mold from grown on your carved masterpiece.
If your pumpkin is staring to get a little too dehydrated and wilting, fill up a large enough bucket, bin, or bath tub with cold water and throw in a couple table spoons of bleach. Soak the pumpkins in the cold water overnight to rehydrate them and make them nice and firm.