Carving can be a fun family project. You can save time by using our patterns, or come up with your own.
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.