Sorry I'm posting this so late in the game but carved pumpkins don't really last that long in the warm Californian weather(it was 90 degrees the other day).
This is the first time in... 9 years since I've carved a pumpkin.
Man, that's a long time.
So I can say that I'm a beginner to pumpkin carving(considering my pumpkin back in 5th grade was a pile of crap).
This year you've probably all seen the creepy realistic zombie pumpkin and the human faces one but let's be honest: We aren't all gifted with extreme pumpkin carving skills. Plus we probably don't have their fancy tools.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Nice Pumpkin - Any shape or size of your liking.
Exacto Knife or Small knife or Blade
Your choice of color Pen
Paper Towel(s) or Dry Cloth
This pumpkin carving of Zero took me about an hour or so. The Sally(which I made earlier today but sadly don't have an instructables for) took me about an hour to carve and maybe 15 minutes to gut the pumpkin. My S.O made the Jack and he finished around the same time too.
Step 1: GUT YOUR PUMPKIN.
Okay, so I didn't take pictures of gutting a pumpkin but I'm assuming you all know how to do that.
Make sure there is no "stringy" stuff left.
PREP YOUR TOOLS FOOLS
Okay so for my younger viewers: Don't use an exacto knife without your parents permission and supervision.
It is sharp and dangerous.
There is no need for you to go to the ER on Halloween day.
FIND A PICTURE(or stencil OR you could free hand it like I did and become a BAMF) OF ZERO THAT YOU LIKE.
Step 2: Trace or Draw Zero Onto Your Pumpkin
The title is pretty self explanatory but draw on the(preferably) simple sketch of Zero onto your pumpkin!
When picking out a stencil or drawing of Zero: Keep in mind to make sure you have enough space on your pumpkin to do so.
My pumpkin was short and wide so I picked a more wide drawing rather than tall drawing of Zero.
Don't worry if you mess up, a little water on a napkin should wipe it right off.
Step 3: Exacto Knife Time: You Can Skip This Step, It's Not Really Needed.
If you are worried about losing a finger, skip this step.
It really didn't make a difference to carving besides the fact that I carved out Zero's pumpkin nose's eyes out.
But if you want use an Exacto knife and trace the entire sketch and BE SAFE!
Step 4: Potato Peeler Time!
So most people who make fancy pumpkins have all these special tools which I am way too lazy to go out and buy.
So instead let's use the second best option: POTATO PEELER.
You will not be using the peeler part(the sharp "knife" part) but instead the small spooned area to remove potato eyes!
YOU MUST USE A NAPKIN AND WRAP THE SHARP PEELER PART.
^ Did you read that part? Don't forget it or else you will get a cut on your finger like I did.
Stick the spooned part of the peeler into/onto one of the lines for Zero.
You want to shave off all of the orange skin where Zero is white colored.
It is kind of hard the first couple of minutes because it's really awkward to steady your hands.
Remember to leave his collar as is and to shave as smooth as possible.
DO NOT CARVE TOO DEEP(Once you cut you can't grow it back, better to scrap off the rind slowly).
Step 5: Not Needed But Would Be Nice
Scrape off the skin of the pumpkin around Zero entirely.
I wanted his nose to pop out so I scraped off around his nose.
If you do this step remember to keep a couple millimeters "trace" around Zero so he is defined and doesn't become a "blah" of a pumpkin.
Step 6: Do This Step ONLY IF YOU ARE CAREFUL.
I am not responsible for any injury that occurs.
You have been warned.
Turn off the lights all the lights(work in darkness) and stick a battery operated LED lantern or LED light inside the pumpkin.
You will probably see uneven areas to your Zero where he doesn't look as "bright" as other areas.
Use your peeler spoon and scrape carefully until everything is evenly lighted.
Step 7: Turn Those Lights Back On!
Wipe off any and all rind shaving and throw it out into the garden or yard or trash(I like to think of it as fertilizer and bird food).
Clean off your pumpkin with a DRY CLOTH.
Admire your hard work.
Find some lights to put in it.
If you find out that your Zero looks a little too dim even though you have bright lights inside the pumpkin I highly recommend you use a big spoon and scrape the insides to make the rinds "thinner" so light passes through easier.
Step 8: FINISHED PRODUCT PEOPLES.
Ahhhhh you made it to the last page.
Wasn't too bad was it?
Nothing too difficult.
Just a lot of patience and wrist strength.
Sorry for not having a "Jack and Sally" Instructables.
Didn't take photos of my S.O and my step by step pumpkin carving fiesta.