You know what makes us happy? A long-lasting carved pumpkin. To ensure a long porch-life for our carved creations, we look for green-stemmed pumpkins that sound hollow when tapped; these are indicators of freshness. We also smear petroleum jelly along all the pumpkin's carved edges to seal water inward. A fresh, well-hydrated pumpkin is a long-lasting one!
1. Open up your pumpkin by flipping it on its side and slicing a circle in its bottom. (Tip: Be sure the circle is large enough to comfortably reach your arm through.) Pull out the seeds and goop with your hands and scrape out the pumpkin's interior with a stiff metal spoon.
2. Print the free happy-face emoticon and secure it to your pumpkin with clear tape. Trace the pattern onto your pumpkin by piercing along the stencil lines with a large nail. Keep nail holes tightly spaced for best results.
3. Use a sharp serrated crafts knife to saw along the nail holes. (Tip: For less risk of breakage, carve sections from the center outward.) After carving the design, press on cutout pieces to nudge them outward, revealing the design.
4. Smear petroleum jelly along the pumpkin's carved edges to preserve your gourd.