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Step 5: Transfer the Pattern

For this step you'll need the masking tape and the push pin/poking tool. Set your pumpkin on a flat surface, and hold the pattern up to it so that it is aligned how you want it (usually perfectly vertical). Take two pieces of tape and stick either the top and bottom or both sides of the pattern onto the pumpkin. Now, take the pumpkin and hold it in your lap, because this part is fiddly.

On the sides that aren't taped, grab the pattern sheet where the pattern lines come closest to the edge of the paper. Tape the paper down in those spots. The paper should now be taped down in four places, one on each side.

The pattern sheet will probably be folded like crazy now. To get the rest of the pattern flush with the pumpkin surface, tear or cut the pattern using lines radiating from the center of the pattern, in locations where there are no pattern lines. Fold the pattern sheet over itself, and tape it down. It's kinda like Origami.

Work your way all the way around the pattern sheet, cutting small lines and folding the sheet, so that every part of the pattern is flush with the pumpkin's surface. When you're folding, make sure no pattern lines overlap. In places where this is impossible to avoid, try making the pattern overlap in such a way that you can find an "average" line. A good example of this is a full moon background on a pattern - once everything is stuck down the moon might not be perfectly round - just use a marker to re-draw that line so that it is round again.

Taping down the pattern can be tricky at first, but be patient and think ahead. Remember that the pattern is disposable (you did make photocopies, right?) and that you can fold it however you like. After one or two pumpkins it'll be easy.


With the pattern taped down, you can transfer it to the pumpkin using the poking tool. If you bought a kit, there will be a small poking tool that you can use. I prefer to use a straight dentist's pick, or a push pin in a pinch. The metal tips stay sharp forever, compared to the plastic ones found in kits.  Simply poke holes along the pattern lines, deep enough to pierce the skin of the pumpkin, but no deeper. Space the holes about 1/8" of an inch apart, and closer (1/16") in small, detailed parts. Make sure a hole gets placed on ever sharp corner.

Once the pattern is transferred, remove the pattern sheet and set it beside you - you'll need it for reference. Depending on the pumpkin, the pattern may or may not be easily visible on the surface of the pumpkin. If it is, then you can go ahead to the carving step. If not, you may want to use a ballpoint pen to connect the dots on some or all of your pattern. I recommend doing this for kids or for inexperienced carvers, or if you have bad eyesight.
You can get a peice of clear acetate abd cover it with painters tape. Put it inti yiur printer an print your template right onto the tape.remove tape carefully from the acetate and apply to your pumpkin.
<p>Sounds like a neat trick. Write an intractable about it!</p>
Great instructable! I wish I would've found it before Halloween :(
Excellent instructable, thanks a ton.<br>PIKACHU!!!!<br>
hehe pickachu is my hubby &lt;3
Super cute!
Thanks for making it look easy. I cant wait for next year!
Very nice! Our favorite alien looks great. :)
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 :)
Oh, I knew what you meant, but I thought you may have made one yourself, too!<br><br>Well, next year I guess! ;)
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)
Nice work! Especially with the eye; very hard to do right.
thanks!
&nbsp;Thanks for all these great tips!! &nbsp;Here's what I did in about 5 hours. &nbsp;This is the first pumpkin that I've actually been serious about. &nbsp;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. &nbsp;I think that if I put vaseline on it, it will lock the moisture in and allow the pumpkin to rot.
do you have a stencil for that?<br>
Sorry for the late reply, but here:<br><br>http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/pumpkins/
thanks, but i found it on google right after i posted the comment :P
hey thats as good as mine lol
Very Cool.
Nice!
No
Sweet!&nbsp; <br /> <br /> There is a product - pumpkin dunkin - that you can buy that preserves your Jacks.&nbsp; I did the vaseline trick and put mine in the fridge and they kept pretty well.&nbsp;
Yep, the vaseline does lock in the moisture, which prevents the pumpkin from wilting.&nbsp; It's very difficult to use on complex patterns, though!<br /> <br /> The bleach treatment is only necessary if you intend to keep the pumpkin fresh for more than 4-5 days.<br />
I had my last pumpkin out until February. It was still happy.
Seriously?? A real, live pumpkin? That's amazing!
here, have a picture.
Thats what mine look after a day...
this is really what very scary is :D
Well, that's more frightening than anything you could carve... How's the smell? :P
i'd guess pretty damn awful
Hahahahahahahahahaha!
Tiger, tiger, burning bright<br /> In the forests of the night<br /> What immortal hand or eye<br /> Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
god, i cant think what that poem is <br>I definetly should know...
&quot;Tiger, Tiger&quot; by William Blake.
I thought it was spelled &quot;tyger&quot; with a &quot;Y&quot; not an &quot;I&quot;<br><br>lol anyways coolios jack-o-lantern
That is really intricate! It's really impressive!
AWESOME!!!!<br />
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.<br /><br />But 20 days...!<br />
I don't plan on it lasting till Halloween.&nbsp; My sister was home this weekend, that's why I did it so early.&nbsp; I live in the boondocks anyway, so nobody will see it lol.<br />
&nbsp;Oh! &nbsp;Nevermind then. &nbsp;Excellent work, BTW! &nbsp;My first pumpkin wasn't anywhere near that complicated so I'd say you've got some serious talent there!
I'm not too sure on the talent.&nbsp; Maybe patience might be a better word, but thanks anyway!<br />
Yes, a great deal of patience is definitely a requirement.&nbsp; ;)<br />
That is amazing! Simply breath-taking!<br />
Thank you!<br />
To make it easier to see the holes you can sprinkle some baby powder or flour over them and rub it in a bit.&nbsp; It will fill the holes and make them easier to pick out.<br />
That's a great tip, thanks mate! I always had a problem seeing all the holes after I had made them.
I used graphite with mine, then sharpie'd in the inbetween lines that I was going to remove.<br><br>You can see the results below:<br><br>
Nice work!

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Bio: By day, Jeff is the Jack of All Robots at Clearpath Robotics. By night, a mad scientist / hacker / artist / industrial designer wannabe!
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