How to choose and carve mini Jack-O-Lantern gourds, and a few tricks on how not to cut yourself while doing it.
Step 1: Choose a Gourd
The first step is pretty obvious; you need to choose a gourd. For this step it is up to you discretion but you will want to choose a gourd that is not too small or too flat. If it is too small you probably won't be able to fit the spoon in to gut the gourd. If it is too flat you wont have enough room to work with inside, and it will look odd.
Step 2: Gut the gourd
This step is a lot like carving a pumpkin. For this step first cut a circle with a key for easy placement later (see picture). Next you need to cut out the top, this will require a steak knife to cut it completely out. As you cut it be sure you cut on an angle, so the lid won't fall through when put back on. To help yourself cut through the dense gourd try putting your thumb behind the knife so the knife acts as a lever. This allows you to slowly and safely work your way around the top, without a chance of the knife slipping.
Next you need to take a small spoon, or whatever you may have, and scrape out the insides. One trick to make the carving easy later is to thin the wall of the gourd where you will be carving.
Step 3: Find an image to carve
To find an image that will work you will need to either scale an existing image down or draw your own. To scale down an image first scan it into your computer. Once it is scanned in you can directly scale it, or trace it using a program like AutoCAD then scale it, this will preserve its quality. Once you have a size you like you need to print it out.
Once printed roughly cut it out and make some cuts between the various parts to be cut so it can form to the gourd. Next tape it to the gourd where you will be cutting.