Halloween 2019: Carve your pumpkin like a professional

Hanover Park, IL -- Halloween is only a couple of days away, and if you haven't put out your jack-o'-lantern just yet, you still have some time.

But if you're looking to do something more than the typical triangle face, Dennis Franzen's your guy.

He's an artist in Hanover Park that focuses on sculpting, wood burning, and illustration. But 12 years ago, he found his passion for pumpkin carving.

"You know I'll have other things out there and people will be like 'wow look at the pumpkins those are really cool!', Franzen said. "I'll think something else is cooler... they don't think so. Pumpkins are the coolest thing out there."

Franzen said it normally takes him 4-6 hours to finish a pumpkin, depending on its size. He's recreated a variety of spooky characters, people and even a turkey.



Franzen said pumpkins of this caliber usually cost in the hundreds, but he's seen some professionals charge as much as $2,000 for their custom work.

But you don't need an artistic touch to carve your own pumpkin. You can keep things simple and go the traditional route.

When you're picking a pumpkin, find one with a lot of "meat." Those are typically the heavier ones.

You can carve with the help of a carving set you can buy at the store, or by using the knives already in your kitchen.

If it's easier, you can even make a pattern or design and put it on top of your pumpkin to trace.

When you're done, put a combination of lemon juice and Vaseline on the pumpkin to help preserve the face. It should last up to a week.

"I think there are people who try it and go to classes and people don't realize they can do it and end up doing a great job. They end up having fun," Franzen said.

To see more of Franzen's work, you can visit his website.
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