How-To Carve a Pumpkin

Choose:
Select a variety of pumpkin shapes, sizes, and colors. For added personality, select ones with unique stems.

Plan:
Before carving, group pumpkins in desired location and map out each one’s design.

Design:
Trace real leaves onto paper, or use patterns from botanical "clip art" books. Experiment with different leaf size and arrangement.

Hollow:
With a saber saw or pumpkin-carving tool, cut out the top of each pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and strings with a sturdy metal spoon. Then use a pottery tool called a loup, a small metal ladle, or a melon balers to scrape out as much of the interior as possible, especially where you plan to carve (this will make carving easier and allow for better illumination).

Transfer:
Before copying a design onto a pumpkin, clean the entire surface with a damp towel, then wipe with another towel until exterior is completely dry. Secure paper to pumpkin with masking tape or pushpins. Use a pushpin, embroidery needle, or metal skewer to prick your design onto the pumpkin.

Carve:
Cut along transferred design lines using a saber saw, pumpkin-carving tool, small paring knife, or linoleum-cutting tool (similar to a box cutter). Shorter bladed allow more control.

Preserve:
To keep your designs looking fresh, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or vegetable oil to the pumpkin's carved cervices.

Light:
To get the right amount of glow in a pumpkin lit by candles, use multiple tea lights.

By

Jess Chamberlain



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