Perhaps the only thing you cannot buy with a We Are Coupon Home Depot Coupon is your pumpkin. As we all know, Halloween is very fast approaching and one of the most popular do it yourself Halloween decorations is Jack-o-lanterns, however, there is a trick or two as to making them last for a week or so. The key really is knowing when to carve your pumpkin or gourds so that they are "prime" for Halloween night.
Pumpkins that are carved usually last about a week if kept in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. If left out in the sun, most will likely mold and rot quite quickly, particularly if the days are warm. Usually if you are buying a pumpkin for the purpose to carve, try to choose a pumpkin that still appears to be "fresh and firm". Avoid any that have blemishes where decay could already be present. Some even claim that it is best if your pumpkin still has a stem and that probably is great if you want to lift the lid by the stem or the stem becomes part of the carved pattern.
It is best to carve your prize pumpkins a day or two before Halloween and to take out as much of the "flesh" from the inside of the pumpkin as possible. You can toast the seeds and use the pumpkin flesh in pies, muffins etc., so nothing becomes wasted. By waiting to cut your pumpkins later, your carved design should still be fresh and crisp when you most need it to be. Now here are some ways to further increase the longevity of your prized Jack-o-lantern just in case you like to decorate your home and yard a week or so earlier to really enjoy the Halloween season.
You will need to delay mold growth and dehydration of the pumpkin in order to make it last longer. One way is to submerge your carved pumpkin into a bucket of cold water for several minutes to moisten the flesh. You may even want to repeat this every several days to keep it from dehydration.
Another trick used by experienced carvers is to spread petroleum jelly on the inside of your carved pumpkin to keep it moist. To reduce mold, try using a bleach and water solution. Just spray this solution around the inside of the pumpkin every other day or so. There is commercial chemical products that you can buy which also will provide moisture and it is usually found in the plant section of department stores. Of course, keeping your Jack-O-Lantern out of the sun during the day and placing into a cool dark place will help to inhibit mold and dehydration, however, you will need to bring out each nite and light it up to really get the ghoulish effects.
Carving pumpkins for Halloween is a great family project, just be careful using sharp knives.