Need to carve a Jack o' Lantern fast? Follow these four easy steps for pumpkin perfection.
- Cut a six-sided lid from the top, angling the knife so the lid won't fall in. Use a large spoon to gut the pumpkin, then scrape the wall you plan to carve to about one inch thick.
- Tape or pin a paper tracing of your pattern onto the pumpkin. Mark the pattern with thumbtacks, then spread flour in the holes to make the design stand out.
- To carve, use a pumpkin carving saw or a small knife, and keep the blade perpendicular to the surface. The shell gets weaker with each cut, so start at the design's center.
- Soak the pumpkin, carved part down, in a tub of cold water until the flesh is firm. Then spread a thin film of petroleum jelly on the exposed edges to keep the pumpkin plump.