Purchase a pumpkin from a local store or make it more exciting and take the kids to a pumpkin farm. Select the pumpkin of your choice making certain that it is a good size and has very little visible damage marks.

On the top of the pumpkin draw a circle around the stem. Make sure that it is large enough to allow for your arm and a scraping tool to go through. A 6” minimal diameter is suggested.

Cut out the lid. Make sure you do it at an angle (tip of the knife facing the center of the pumpkin) so that the lid doesn’t fall into the pumpkin. You may want to cut a small notch into the lid as well, so it doesn’t fall. A cerrated knife is recommended.

Use a large serving spoon to clean out the inside of the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and fiber and then scrape away the walls until they’re about an inch thick. There should be no seeds or pumpkin strings left when you complete this step.

Wipe down the inside of the pumpkin with a paper kitchen towel. It is recommended that the pumpkin be left to dry overnight.

With a washable marker pen (so that you can easily make design changes) draw a simple outline of a face on the pumpkin. Should you choose to use premade patterns start by making sure the pattern is the correct size for the pumpkin. Cut along the edges inwards so it folds round across the curve of the pumpkin. Tape it down using masking tape.

Start carving the pumpkin by getting a thin poking device like a screwdriver. Make small dots in the pumpkin all around the edges of the shape you’re going to cut out. Keep them close together. If you are using a premade pattern, carefully remove the paper. A pumpkin carving knife is suggested but most normal knives will work, especially a serrated one, and poke it all the way through the edge of one of the shapes. Remove the top layer of skin (do not poke all the way through). Slowly move the knife round the shape following the dots. Once you’ve gone all the way around the shape, push the shape out and carefully run your knife around the edge again to neaten the cut. Repeat the same procedure for each shape.

Bring your pumpkin to “light” and pop a tea light inside the pumpkin, light it and replace the crown and have a …


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