Carving can be a fun family project. You can save time by using our patterns, or come up with your own.
1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)
2. Prepare pumpkin. Use a marker to draw a 4- to 6-inch circle at the stem end of the pumpkin. Cut along the line with a sharp serrated knife. Remove the top and set aside. (For easiest carving, use a sawing motion.) Scoop out the soft pulp inside the pumpkin with a spoon or jar lid.
3. Trace patterns. Draw your design on the pumpkin using a marker. Or, tape a paper pattern to the pumpkin and use a ballpoint pen to poke small dots into pumpkin along the lines, then remove the pattern.
4. Carve pumpkin. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut out the eyes, mouth, and other features.
5. Light it up. To illuminate, set a votive candle inside a small ceramic or foil cup, place inside the pumpkin, and light with a long wooden match or long-necked lighter.