I received a question from reader Paige (Thanks! ;-)) asking me how long 3D carved pumpkins last before they start to rot out. I started to respond but then quickly realized there was too much information to insert into the comments section. 🙂 Also, there were probably many of you who had the same question, so I figured I would make a quick post to answer.
There are a couple factors that can affect the longevity of your 3D pumpkin carving. One being the obvious – don’t store it in warm weather – It will rot much faster. Also, if you punch through to the center of your pumpkin it tends to rot out much faster from the inside out (To avoid this, I don’t usually gut my pumpkins when doing 3D carving).
On average they last about 5-7 days, but keep in mind that although it will not rot after the first or second day they can really start to dry out and look withered. There are multiple ways to postpone this, but even the best, most extensive method, only extends its life to about a week – not really worth all the trouble. So what I do that I find works best is every night spraying down the face with water in spray bottle, then taking a cool damp cloth and putting it over the carved area – then I cover it with a plastic grocery bag (if it will fit) or small garbage bag, and tuck the bag under the pumpkin to seal out air. It maintains its moisture that way and keeps it looking fresh a bit longer. You can also put it in the refrigerator every night if you can make room. 😉
One thing I haven’t tried yet, but have been wondering is whether or not those “Green Bags” (you know – “As Seen On TV 😉 ) will extend the life even more if I stuffed a couple inside grocery bag with the pumpkin since they are supposed to keep your fruits and vegetables fresher longer – Funny, but it’s worth a shot! I don’t have any green bags at the moment, but if any of you do have them and want to try this method, come back and leave a comment to let us know how it all works out! Artists helping artists! 🙂
I have also tried spraying a fixative over the carved area as well as “painting” various glues/sealants over it – but to be honest, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Like I’ve said before, it’s all about experimentation,
What kind of methods do you recommend to prolong your 3D pumpkin carving this season? Feel free to post in the comment section below! And as always, if you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to let me know! Thanks!