Instructables

Precision Pumpkin Carving

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Every year I carve at least a half dozen pumpkins. My wife usually does a few as well. Recently, we've been getting other friends and family on board, teaching them how to carve their own fantastic-looking pumpkins, using stencils and basic tools.

Now, it's time for YOU to learn, too!
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
You will only need a few basic tools and materials to carve pumpkins this cool:

Pumpkin Carving Saws
A push pin, needle, small nail, dentist pick
a metal spoon or pumpkin scoop
tape (any kind)

If you don't have the resources or time to make your own saws, you can purchase them at just about any store around Halloween. Typically these kits come with one or more saws, a poking tool, a scoop and some patterns. The best quality kits are made by Pumpkin Masters, so get those if you can.

You will also need some patterns! My favourite place to go is Zombie Pumpkins, in my opinion the very best place on the 'net to get pumpkin carving patterns. Pumpkin Masters also has a huge selection of patterns, but they are only available in book form. If you're new to this, you don't have to start with the most basic patterns (leave those for your kids). All you need is patience!
LvNo10005 months ago
Great instructable! I wish I would've found it before Halloween :(
Another great place to get precision pumpkin carving stencils is at http://ultimate-pumpkin-stencils.com
lime3D1 year ago
The best way to preserve your jack-o-lanterns is to use Dr. Frybrain's Pumpkin Embalmer.
ericba3 years ago
Excellent instructable, thanks a ton.
PIKACHU!!!!
100_1623.JPG
hehe pickachu is my hubby <3
jeff-o (author)  ericba3 years ago
Super cute!
tjesse3 years ago
Thanks for making it look easy. I cant wait for next year!
IMAG0216-1.jpgIMAG0183.jpgIMAG0187.jpg
Very nice! Our favorite alien looks great. :)
jeff-o (author)  WingsandFences3 years ago
Nice! So you made one of your own?
This is the first year we haven't carved a pumpkin. I was referring to E.T. as our favorite alien. You did a great job. Love the finger. lol :)
jeff-o (author)  WingsandFences3 years ago
Oh, I knew what you meant, but I thought you may have made one yourself, too!

Well, next year I guess! ;)
pmac933 years ago
I made a saw out of a scroll saw blade and a dowel, great tips. the right eye is completely suspended by pins (photoshopped out of course)
SDC10040.JPG
jeff-o (author)  pmac933 years ago
Nice work! Especially with the eye; very hard to do right.
pmac93 jeff-o3 years ago
thanks!
Wehrdo4 years ago
 Thanks for all these great tips!!  Here's what I did in about 5 hours.  This is the first pumpkin that I've actually been serious about.  I made some saws to cut precise cuts with, and got the pattern from some World Wildlife Fund/HP partnership thing. I'm going to try to preserve it with bleach, and no vaseline.  I think that if I put vaseline on it, it will lock the moisture in and allow the pumpkin to rot.
100_0670.JPG
do you have a stencil for that?
Sorry for the late reply, but here:

http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/pumpkins/
thanks, but i found it on google right after i posted the comment :P
tomo1234 Wehrdo4 years ago
hey thats as good as mine lol
carls pumpkin.jpg
CrLz tomo12343 years ago
Very Cool.
CrLz Wehrdo3 years ago
Nice!
No
Luny Wehrdo4 years ago
Sweet! 

There is a product - pumpkin dunkin - that you can buy that preserves your Jacks.  I did the vaseline trick and put mine in the fridge and they kept pretty well. 
jeff-o (author)  Luny4 years ago
Yep, the vaseline does lock in the moisture, which prevents the pumpkin from wilting.  It's very difficult to use on complex patterns, though!

The bleach treatment is only necessary if you intend to keep the pumpkin fresh for more than 4-5 days.
I had my last pumpkin out until February. It was still happy.
jeff-o (author)  Typogoddess3 years ago
Seriously?? A real, live pumpkin? That's amazing!
here, have a picture.
100_0011.jpg
Thats what mine look after a day...
this is really what very scary is :D
jeff-o (author)  Typogoddess3 years ago
Well, that's more frightening than anything you could carve... How's the smell? :P
tjdtjd1 jeff-o3 years ago
i'd guess pretty damn awful
Hahahahahahahahahaha!
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
god, i cant think what that poem is
I definetly should know...
"Tiger, Tiger" by William Blake.
I thought it was spelled "tyger" with a "Y" not an "I"

lol anyways coolios jack-o-lantern
That is really intricate! It's really impressive!
AWESOME!!!!
jeff-o (author)  Wehrdo4 years ago
Whoa, I'm not sure if you can keep it fresh that long! 20 days is a very long time. Keep it cool, and if it starts to wilt then dunk it in a bucket of water for a few hours.

But 20 days...!
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