Seek hosting tips and afterward rehash your monster bash.
I am going to have my first ever PCP this year! It's going to be BYOP. Should I provide the carving tools or ask guests to bring their own? Does anyone have any tips or suggestions that they've learned over the years?
Last edited by vibhandaka on Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
pumpkin gutter....

Or else it could be a long night for the not-so-professionals,

maybe stipulate real kins only!?
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By vibhandaka
I plan to ask everyone to have theirs gutted already, but I will have my pumpkin gutter standing by just in case. Thanks Gus!
Personally I'd simply gut & thin everyones kins when they arrive..

ask them to cut the lid prior to arriving , so theres no faffing around as to size "want's"
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By matspud
I would ask that all the kins be gutted and thinned. It save on mess at your place, and, depending on the pattern transfer method you use, I find it is better if the kins have had a chance to dry out a little. Also don't give your guests a choice of ALL your patterns - I used to do that and they spent most of their time choosing which one to use then ran out of time for actual carving. :? Maybe point them in the ZP direction to get an idea of what they want to carve.
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By pagemaster1993
I would make it bring your own pumpkin, gutting stuff, carving tools, and self, but drinks and snacks are on me.
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By Zombie Pumpkins!
My pumpkin parties are BYOP, but I've always provided all the tools and patterns. That's easier to do when you're the Patch Master. I have a toolbox full of scoops and saws. Not to mention several hundred ZP Pro Carving Tools.

My guests did the gutting at the party, but with the Pumpkin Gutter on the drill, it went pretty quickly. I had large bowls/buckets/pots on the center of the table, which we'd periodically dump into a nearby trash can.


I have copies of all my patterns in plastic sleeve pages in a couple 3-ring binders. So I let my guests flip through those and pick what they wanted to carve. If you have a computer nearby, they could browse/search this site to pick their patterns. ;)


I supplied the transfer paper, and offered instruction to those who needed it. I had cups full of tools in the middle of the table too, so people could grab whatever they wanted. It got messy, but thats what the plastic table cloth is for. At the end of the night, just roll up all the junk into the plastic like a giant garbage bag (make sure you pick up all your carving tools first, of course!).


For you, maybe you don't have as many supplies on hand, so I guess you'd have to ask them to bring what they'll need with them. Gutting the pumpkin before they arrive is a smart idea, if you're concerned about mess and the amount of time you have. The more steps you have them do before the party, the more extra time you'll all have to mingle after you carve your masterpieces.

I've done some community carving events for the local kids, and the rule for those is to always ask the kids and parents to arrive with their pumpkins already cleaned out. But when I see what some of them show up with, I sort of wish I could have shown them how to do it properly.

It really puts all my skills to the test, when a 3-year-old demands that I somehow make the Spider-Man pattern work on a 6 inch tall pumpkin that is still filled with seeds. :lol:

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By mesmark
At my carving parties (8 years running now) we gut there. They choose from a bunch of pre-printed patterns and then do all of the work there. We are usually done in 1.5 hours. We start at 4:00pm and then light up at 5:30-5:45 for pictures. Everyone is out the door at 6:00.

I have my party outside. Here are some PCP party pics from last year.

Like everyone else, I have plenty of carving tools for everyone, several knives for cutting off the tops,tape, saral transfer paper, pens, pencils. I have stations set up. There's a place to gut, a place to transfer, and a place to carve. That keeps your guests from moving tools and stuff around to where you can't find them.

They gut into bowls and then we dump them into a wheel barrow. The photos on the link above will give you a pretty good idea of what I do.
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By Raven
You have to invite me!! :P

I have a ton of those little saws that Pumpkin Masters gives out with their pattern books. For some reason I save them all, even though I don't use them. If you need a bunch I can ship some to you. While the ZP carving tool is the best those little saws are easier than a regular knife.

I would definitely make it BYOP but also make sure they know it needs to be a medium to large pumpkin to fit a pattern unless you can easily re-size and print out patterns. I would probably have them gut at the party just to make sure everyone has a fresh pumpkin. If you know of a good place to buy pumpkins I would include that on the invite as a suggestion. I'd probably print out a certain number of patterns and have them pick from those instead of letting everyone search the site, unless you have them do it before hand to save time. Some times it's really hard to choose just one pattern.

I would also take pictures for everyone if you have a good camera. Most will probably just have their cell phone with them to take pics. Take some pics for them and e-mail it to them so they make sure to have a good picture.

I'd also make little gift baggies to give out. Spirit has some great creepy things to put in gift bags, like bags of blood. Looks like the IV bags but it's candy. I was seriously wishing I was having a party so I could buy some of that stuff.

Oh, and of course you have to post pictures here so we can all see!
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By matspud
What I forgot to ask was is it for kids or adults? previous carvers or non-carvers? How do you plan to transfer the pattern? Most of my parties have been for kids and they LOVE to choose patterns that are way beyond their skills. So far I have supplied the pumpkins and gutted and thinned them before the party. It took ages when we used to use the poker method for transfer and the glue method worked better. I haven't tried the saral method at a party yet. Have LOADS of tools on hand.

One of my "friends" has volunteered me to take her scout troop for a workshop and I am dreading it. They will all have tiny pumpkins, badly gutted and want to do the most intricate carving imaginable. What I plan to do is have 1/2 dozen reduced size patterns for them to choose from - none too difficult.
I'm doing that with beavers this season, thought oogieboogie patterns all round! ..transfer pattern gut & thin, then let them get on with it as there will only be an hour to help the little blighters..

I suppose I need to know how many will turn up with parents to "ease the pain" or else it will all go awry.
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By vibhandaka
Teri, that would awesome of you! I will reimburse your shipping! :) I would really appreciate that. You're definitely invited!!

My party will be primarily adults and 5 kids at the most. I was planning to print out a few ZP patterns and have my left over PM patterns to choose from, then I would print each persons final selection on sticker paper.

It would be mostly inexperienced carvers.
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By CorpseBride
I have yet to have a large carving party of my own, space has been limited over the years. But with the purchase of a new home in my near future I will definitely be set up for next year! Thanks for the tips guys!

However I have had smaller parties (2-4 friends) and generally my rule is to also have your kin gutted. I generally help out with the thinning as I find that they butcher their kins otherwise :lol: I like to give my friendly advice so they can achieve pumpkin perfection! Plus everyone goes home with a small tube of vaseline and a spray bottle with diluted bleach to preserve their pumpkin life! I called it the "Pumpkin Preserver Pack."

Ryan: I love the chairs...very nice touch.

matspud: That is a great tip to have patterns preselected and resized beforehand. Especially when dealing with kids!
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By sloaner
CorpseBride wrote: Plus everyone goes home with a small tube of vaseline and a spray bottle with diluted bleach to preserve their pumpkin life! I called it the "Pumpkin Preserver Pack."
It's like a little goodie bag, I love it.
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By vibhandaka
SO, what I thought would be a small party with maybe 15 people, has now doubled to 30! Now I'm worried that 30 is too MANY people, lol. Will it be too much chaos?