Get your front doors ready by carving some super spooky jack-o-lanterns!

Step 1: Design the carving!
The first step to carving your pumpkin is picking out the right one! You can find great pumpkins at your local pumpkin patch/orchard! If you don’t know where the closest pumpkin patch is located, another common place to find the perfect orange porch ornament is at your local grocery store.

After you have your pumpkin, grad yourself a piece of paper and a permanent marker. Draw out a couple of sketches of your favorite carving on some paper. This allows you to make the perfect design without actually cutting into the pumpkin, so in case you accidentally mess up, the pumpkin is still uncarved.

Once the perfect design is picked, draw the design onto the pumpkin!

Step 2: Remove the insides of the pumpkin
Your jack-o-lantern won’t glow if the inside of the pumpkin isn’t removed! To remove the insides first cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Try cutting with your knife at an angle. This will make it easier to pull the top off. After you have dug the knife all the way through the outer later of the pumpkin, and cut the whole, you should be able to see the pumpkin guts!

The pumpkin guts will look stringy and have seeds. It will feel cold and slimey and gooey. That is what needs to be removed! Take out all the seeds and strings and try to make the inside of the pumpkin as smooth as possible. The innards of the pumpkin can be tossed into the trash.

Step 3: Carve into your design
This part is the hardest part. It is also the most dangerous part. It is extremely important to be careful with the utensils you are using to carve!!! Typically, most people will use a sharp knife to cut out their design. (At this time of you, one may usually find a pumpkin carving kit at your local grocery store. These kits usually come with several types of knives to cut out your design, and sometimes with a book full of stencils for designs.)

Take your knife and slowly and carefully cut into the pumpkin. The faster you try to cut your pumpkin, the less control you might have.

Once your design is cut out, clean up the edges and remove any excess marker lines that were drawn.

Step 4: Light your jack-o-lantern!
Finally, after some sweat and tears of carving into your pumpkin, you can take a breather. It is time to light your pumpkin up! Take a small candle and place in inside the pumpkin in the middle. Light the candle and watch it glow! Enjoy the reward of your hard work!

Here are a couple of helpful pumpkin carving links!
Extreme Pumpkin Carving Kit Book
Pumpkin Carving Stencils
Carving Ideas
Pumpkin Carving Tools

With love,
Kat VonD

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