Introduction: Boogie Man
Its fairly straight forward for the most part and requires very few tools. I have tried using other tools over the years like a dermal but I find a small knife works better for the detailed work.
picture of the moon
bowl or bag for all the mess to go into
Step 1: Cut Off the Top and Empty It Out
With a big knife cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin big enough to get your hand into (around where the red lines are). You want to angle the knife in towards the center of the pumpkin so that the lid will sit on top and not fall inside. Lift this piece off and start scooping the insides out with the big spoon.
Step 2: Get Your Design on the Pumpkin
Depending on the complexity of your design you can either drawn freehand onto the pumpkin or use a stencil that you have printed off. If I'm using a stencil I normally print it out in a couple of different sizes and once chosen I tape it to the surface of the pumpkin and trace the design with the paring knife.
Step 3: Carving Time
Depending on the size of the pumpkin I either put it in a bowl with a tea towel between it and the bowl or roll the tea towel up and wrap it around the base of the pumpkin ( a towel also works really well). This allows you to angle the face you are caring towards yourself and it won't have a tendency to roll away.
Don't rush this part, its better to talk a little and decide that you want to take more than to take too much. I don't try and take out large areas in one big piece, I cut them up into smaller sections. I have found that this is best done with a paring knife. I will often prep the pumpkin the day before Halloween so I'm not rushing on the day. I wrap the pumpkin in glad wrap and put it in the fridge overnight so that it doesn't start aging. Pay attention to the angle of the knife, angling the knife in can create a great effect and almost frame the carving when there are large area's of nothing.
Step 4: Time to Wrap It Up
When your happy with your carving print out a picture of the moon (try different sizes) and tape it to a toothpick. You can then try it in different spots to get just the effect you want. I use led tea candles as they last for days (normally longer than the pumpkin).
Step 5: But Wait There's More
Depending on the size of the pumpkin and the tea lights you might need a couple of lights.
I try not to put the pumpkin on the ground as you will more than likely no see it very well. If you have a tall pot plant you can put it in that or on an over turned office bin. You can always angle the pumpkin up a little if its down low.
If you have big eye sockets you can use an apple corer to make some perfectly round eyes. I use half a tooth pick to hold them in place.
Symmetry is great but doesn't work that well with scary. Different shaped and size eyes are a good effect. Sharp teeth that are different sizes are also good. Slightly off set or rotated can make something look more real and give it attitude.
And one last thing, its cool having a carved pumpkin out the front of your house but don't let them overstay there welcome.
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