To keep your Nicki Minaj pumpkin looking fresh and lovely for a long time, rub petroleum jelly on cut pumpkin surfaces immediately after carving to lock in moisture. Refrigeration also helps preserve the life of your carved pumpkin, so pop your gourd in the fridge when it's not in use. If your pumpkin starts to shrivel, you can always soak it in a cold water bath for up to 8 hours to make its skin firm again. (Don't celebrities wish it were that easy!)
1. Using a thin, sharp, serrated knife, cut a circle in the pumpkin's underside. Remove the circle (using your knife to pry it out, if necessary), and cut the pumpkin circle level with a knife. This will become a platform for a candle.
2. Use your hands or a scoop to remove the pumpkin's innards. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin wall on the side you're planning to carve, trimming away the pulp until it is no thicker than 1".
3. Print out your Nicki Minaj stencil, and tape it to the side of your pumpkin, smoothing the paper as best you can. Poke holes along the stencil lines with a pin tool, keeping pin holes closely spaced. Remove the stencil after transferring all lines to the pumpkin.
4. Etch areas of the stencil that are surrounded by dotted lines by using an electric etching tool to remove the pumpkin's surface skin.
5. Carve areas of the stencil that are surrounded by solid lines by sawing along the pin hole guidelines. Leave all carved sections in place until you've completely finished carving the design, then simply press on these sections from inside the pumpkin -- popping them outward and revealing the design.
6. Light your Nicki Minaj pumpkin with a battery-operated candle.