Use a sturdy knife to slowly and carefully carve out and remove the lid of the pumpkin, going in at an angle rather than straight down in. Alternatively, you can cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, which will mean you can sit your pumpkin on top of a light rather than placing a light inside the pumpkin.
Use a scoop to completely empty the inside of the pumpkin of flesh and seeds. Keep scraping away at the inner walls of the pumpkin until you only have about a 1” (2.5cm) thick pumpkin wall that is nice and smooth.
Transfer the pattern using your desired method. Check out Easy Pumpkin Carving for tons of patterns to choose from.
- Actually carving your pumpkin is simple enough. Here are some tips to make carving easy and effective:
- Saw steadily with a continuous up and down motion, and don’t press too hard or try to go too fast.
- When you’re finished cutting out a standalone piece (like an eye), pop it out of the pumpkin wall with your finger, not your carving tool.
- To cut clean, sharp corners, remove and reinsert the carving tool.
- Carve starting from the inside of the design and working your way outward.
- Resist the urge to put your free hand inside the pumpkin while carving. Only do so if you can clearly see where all of your hand is.
- If you accidentally break off a part of your carving as you work, such as a protruding tooth, stick it back on with a toothpick!