Quick-Carve Easy Pumpkin Instructions

Need to carve a Jack o' Lantern fast? Follow these four easy steps for pumpkin perfection.

  1. class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Cut a six-sided lid from the top, angling the knife so the lid won't fall in. Use a large spoon to gut the pumpkin, then scrape the wall you plan to carve to about one inch thick.

  2. class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Tape or pin a paper tracing of your pattern onto the pumpkin. Mark the pattern with thumbtacks, then spread flour in the holes to make the design stand out.

  3. class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">To carve, use a pumpkin carving saw or a small knife, and keep the blade perpendicular to the surface. The shell gets weaker with each cut, so start at the design's center.

  4. class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Soak the pumpkin, carved part down, in a tub of cold water until the flesh is firm. Then spread a thin film of petroleum jelly on the exposed edges to keep the pumpkin plump.