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Want to carve a stand out, not your typical pumpkin this year? Express your love for sharks and how terrifying they can be this Halloween with what I like to call a "Sharkin".

This can be made by anyone and does not require any special tools as long as you have a shark jaw.

what you will need:

1.) Shark Jaw

2.) Pumpkin that is a good size to correlate with the size of your shark jaw

3.) Big Spoon

4.) Skinny serrated knife

5.) Dry erase marker

Step 1: Preparing the Pumpkin and Cutting Out the Mouth

The first step is your typical pumpkin carving step which is cutting a hole in the top and cleaning out your pumpkin

Once you've thoroughly cleaned out all the pulp and then used your big spoon to really get the inside of the pumpkin clean (Important that the inside is scraped and cleaned nicely being a very open pumpkin) you are now ready to prepare for cutting out the mouth area.

find the best face of the pumpkin you want to use and sit the jaw on the floor or table top so it is as low as possible while holding it upright up against the pumpkin face.

Now with your marker draw a very loose outline of the outside of the jaw. Around the bottom of the jaw make the outline even looser than the top.

Cut the outlined area out and try to fit the jaw you will find that it does not fit and still needs a lot of trimming around the edges to do (make sure you cut the opening as a full piece and save it because this is the piece that you will use to cut the dorsal fin from). On the bottom edge of the cut out you are actually cutting back into the pumpkin giving it a more realistic slanted back look.

After trimming and scooping out the mouth area enough to where your jaw fits inside the opening snug you are ready to begin on the following step (It is important that the jaw fits nice and tight because with any other pumpkin an opening this big would only last a couple days at most till it would begin to wilt and completely disfigure; The jaw actually works as a structural component to this design and your pumpkin will outlast all others.).

Step 2: Carving the Gills, Eyes, Fins, & Gumline

Now that the jaw is in place and you know how much of the rest of the pumpkin you have to work with, grab your marker and get ready to draw in the rest of the details to be carved out.

1.) begin with deciding the best eye location and drawing a circle on each side in relevance to to a real shark with its jaws open.

2.) Now draw in the contour lines above the jaw coming down into an angry brow line above the eye as pictured.

3.) On the lower side of the pumpkin draw in the V-shape contour on both sides to resemble the sharks pectoral fins.

4.) In the space above the pectoral fins draw in the gill openings on both sides of your pumpkin. Most sharks have five.

5.) Check the symmetry of the cutout lines you drew and now cutout all the sharks features.

6.) With the big leftover piece you cut out initially for the mouth opening use as much as you can of it to draw an outline of the sharks upper dorsal fin. Cut it out and position it over the top opening where the stem used to be. Now cut a notch on the back side of the top round opening. Make the notch a little skinnier than the width of the fin you just cutout so that the fin fits in tight and is held up by itself over the opening. I was really happy that I decided to leave the top open with the fin exposed above it because when lit up at night you can clearly see the fin being lit up as well.

7.) The last step is using your spoon or Dremel tool to shave back and blend in the defined top edge of the mouth cutout. This gives the scary appearance of the sharks gums that show distinctly when a shark has its jaws open. So what I did was mark a border line about 1" offset from the opening of the upper jaw and shaved the pumpkin skin off getting deeper and deeper as you worked your way from the outside gum line to the jaw edge. This blends it round and makes it look the the jaws are actually a part of the pumpkin.

Step 3: Finished!

This design has proven to be very resilient to keeping its shape. After a week and a half it still holds the same shape and the gills after wilting a bit made them look very realistic. I would actually say the overall look so far has improved with time.

I really hope you enjoy your own Sharkin, Happy Halloween and don't forget to vote for me in the pumpkin carving contest!!!

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