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Jack O' Lanterns - How Long Do They Last?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'd kinda like to do a couple of Jack O' Lanterns this year, but I havent done any for YEARS (like 20!) How long do they last once you open up the pumpkin? I saw one website reference that said like 2 days?!? Is that true? Means I'd have to carve them the Saturday or Sunday Morning before Hallowe'en. Can anyone give me some practical limits on how long I can expect them to last?
post #2 of 13
We usually do ours about 4-5 days before Halloween so that they still look decent ON Halloween. Part of the trick is to keep them outdoors (unless you live in a warm climate)....OOPS! Just noticed you're in AL. I'm in WI so they last quite a bit longer because it's very cool here now (50's during the day and 30's at night). So, they may actually only last a couple of days if it's quite warm there.
post #3 of 13
Mine's been sitting outside my door for a couple of days and it's still fresh and pretty. Of course it's been getting down in the 40s at night around here.
I've had pumpkins last for 2 weeks.
post #4 of 13
I would say carve it no more than a week before halloween!
post #5 of 13
I'd say 4 or 5 days before halloween. I read someplace if you coat the cut areas faces with vaseline that they will last longer. I haven't tried this myself.
post #6 of 13
I'm in Ar and ours usually last three or four days, although it has been kinda warmer this year than normal. One way I've found to make them last longer is not to burn a candle in them untill halloween night. The heat from the candle makes them get squishy faster!
post #7 of 13
I am huge into carving pumpkins. Because you are in the South, I would not suggest carving them much before a couple of days ahead. Here are some things to "save" it for as long as possible.

If you are just carving a simple face and not a design with a lot of cuts, you might be able to carve it more than 2 days before. Some places suggest putting vaseline around areas that have been cut, but I have never found this to be a huge help. Something that I have found that works, is soaking your pumpkins in large tub (I used those big storage tubs). It plumps your pumpkin back up and makes it look new again. If water could only do that for my skin

Have fun!!!
post #8 of 13
My best friend and her kids carved some pumpkins and they put them outside and now the animals are having a feast! SO if you live near woods like they do, I don't think they will last very long! LOL! But she's not mad, they will just carve more!!!
post #9 of 13
Our pumpkin carvings can last a long time if they are outside because it can get cold enough to snow by Halloween. I heard plastic pumpkins last the longest though. I wonder why?
post #10 of 13
Length of pumpkin-lastyness is inversely proportional to humidity--the more humid it is, the shorter mr. pumpkinface will last--learned this first hand growing up in FL--we always used to carve our pumpkins the night before and then would have to pitch em by the end of the night. I've heard of something you can spray on pumpkinface that will make him last longer...you can probably find it at craft stores w/ the pumkin carving kits, but I dont know how well it really works.

I'm going to carve mine next weekend and see how it goes. Good luck!
post #11 of 13
it depends on the weather really - we had one year that our Jack-o-lantern froze because it was so cold and actually survived for 2 weeks at sub-zero temperatures! MOstly it's only a few days. They do start to stink after a while, mind.....
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the verification guys! While it's been unseasonably warm here (highs in the 80's, lows in the 60's) we're supposed to have a change to more normal temps next week. Still, I think probably carving them the Sunday before Hallowe'en will be the best course. Gives me a week to go pick out a couple and design the "perfect" Jack o' Lantern!
post #13 of 13
I haven't carved in a few years cuz they ROT and get all funky black & stinky and then COLLAPSE!!! like right after Halloween! Grodie!

However this year we're going to carve. Like this weekend I think since Halloween Weekend is coming up pretty quick! After the pumpkins get wet on the inside or something all that rotting stuff happens pretty quick.
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