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Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!

In this how-to, you will learn the basics of how to carve a pumpkin fit for a pirate.

Step 1: Buy Materials

In order to carve your perfect pumpkin, you first need to go to the store and purchase the needed materials.

For this project you will need:

  • a pumpkin
  • pumpkin carving kit
  • tape
  • sharpie
  • newspaper or other table covering
  • printed out stencil
  • bowl
  • candle with lighter/electronic tea light

For more advanced pumpkin carving:

  • cooking spray
  • Vaseline

The pumpkin carving kit can be found at stores such as Target, Walmart, or other Halloween stores.

We used the Pumpkin Masters: Pumpkin Carving Kit, found at Target.

You will also need to print off the .jpg of the Pirate design.

Step 2: Select a Pumpkin

Select a pumpkin from your local grocery store. Any size will work, but a medium size pumpkin is ideal. Pick a pumpkin that has no soft spots and has a thick, sturdy stem.

Step 3: Cut Off the Top of the Pumpkin

Use the starter saw provided in the kit or a knife to cut around the stem of the pumpkin. Remove the top and set it aside, it will be used later. Cut around the pumpkin at an angle to keep the lid from falling through.

Step 4: Gut the Pumpkin

Use the scraper scoop to remove the slimy insides, seeds and all, and put them in a bowl. Set aside seeds for pumpkin seeds if you so desire, compost the guts if you compost, or just throw them out. The more guts you get out the longer it will take to rot. After your pumpkin is nice and hollowed out, clean off the outside of the pumpkin with a wet paper towel.

Step 5: Tape Stencil Onto the Front of the Pumpkin

Lie the stencil provided flat on the surface on the pumpkin. Next, tape all four corners of the stencil to the pumpkin to prevent it from moving when you apply the pattern to the pumpkin.

Step 6: Poke Dots on the Pumpkin, Outlining the Stencil

Use the poker tool provided in the kit to poke holes along the lines of the stencil about 1/4 inch apart. For more intricate designs, place the dots closer together. After poking the dots, connect them with a sharpie, outlining the design.

Step 7: Carve the Pumpkin Following the Dots

Use the carving saws to carve along the dotted lines. There are three saws in the pack, all with different uses (use at your discretion).

  • The Starter Saw: carving simple designs
  • The Detail Saw: for precision carving
  • The Ergo Saw: for both general and precision carving

Pro Tip: After carving, spray cooking oil on the outside of the pumpkin to create more shine. Also, you can put Vaseline on the pumpkin to stop it from drying out.

Step 8: Place a Small Candle Inside the Pumpkin

Once your design has been carved into your pumpkin, open the top of the pumpkin and place a small candle in the middle of it. Light the candle and then place the top back on the pumpkin. The light will shine through your design that was carved in the previous step.

Step 9: Turn Off the Lights and Enjoy Your Pirate Jack-o-lantern!

<p>This looks great. You should enter it in the Pumpkin Carving contest.</p>

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