Choose a pumpkin that’s large and smooth with a stem of at least 2".
If you plan to put a candle inside, choose a gourd that’s at least 9"
Pumpkins with smaller stems rot quickly.
circle or hexagon
Draw a circle or hexagon on the top of the pumpkin an inch or two below
the stem. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, but make sure it’s a little
bigger than your fist.
Carve through the pattern with a pumpkin knife (if a sharp knife is
use caution must be used). Angle your cut so the top of your circle
is wider than the bottom, which will ensure that the top fits snugly
top & clean out
Remove the top and clean out the pumpkin’s seeds and stringy membranes
with the scooper. Continue scraping the inside until the walls are about
half an inch thick—otherwise it will be hard to carve.
For a delicious—and healthy—treat,
wash and sprinkle the seeds with salt, and then toast them in
the oven on a baking sheet.
Draw the eyes, nose, and mouth—or any other pattern you want, like perhaps
Van Gogh’s famous painting “The Starry Night.”
If you’re not good at drawing, find
a carving template online or at a store. Fasten it to the pumpkin
and use a thumbtack to poke holes along the lines.
Use your knife to cut through the pattern you’ve just drawn. Remember
that cuts that connect to each other will remove the entire piece in
between, so cut around anything you want to stay intact, like teeth
or a wart on the nose.
cuts & scrapes
Make disconnected cuts and scrapes to allow the light from inside the
pumpkin to shine through without removing whole pieces, a good technique
for drawing outlines or scenes, or for creating more definition in a
face—like glowing pupils.
To keep the edges from browning before the
big night, dab on a little petroleum jelly to lock in moisture.
Place a small candle and light it when you’re ready to show off your
work. If there’s a large opening level with the candle, like a mouth,
light the flame through it so you don’t burn your hand.
If your flame is weak or keeps going out,
it’s not getting enough oxygen—cut a small opening
in the top of the pumpkin, hidden from sight behind the stem.
glow stick or battery-powered light
If you’re not keen on having a real flame, use a glow stick or battery-powered