How to Carve a Pumpkin Using a Template

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How to Carve a Pumpkin Using a Template. Learn the proper technique for applying a pumpkin carving template and safely carving the pumpkin with the right tools.

Video Transcript

Using a pumpkin template can help turn your a Jack-o’-lantern into a work of art. To carve a pumpkin using a template, you’ll need newspaper, masking tape or double-sided tape, a water-soluble marker, and toothpicks or thumbtacks. You’ll also need a strong, serrated knife for general sawing, like a bread knife and or dry wall saw, and for more delicate cutting, a sturdy, smaller knife, like a specialty pumpkin carving knife. An Exacto knife will be useful for more detailed work. And of course, you’ll also need a template. It can be hard to choose just one. A simple design is better for beginners. If small children will be helping, it’s best to pick a template without a lot of sharp angles. The first step in using a template is to transfer the pattern onto the pumpkin. There are two ways to do this. One method is to tape the template to the pumpkin. Smooth the template flush against the pumpkin, and make slits in the paper, to help it sit flush against the face. Be careful not to cut the pumpkin when you do this. Next, poke holes along the template outline about an eighth of an inch apart into the pumpkin’s skin. Go slowly, and don’t poke through the pumpkin wall. Pull off the template to see the pattern. If the pattern is difficult to see, brush a little flour over it. The flour will stick to the holes.Another method for using a template is to cut out the shapes... And stick them on the pumpkin with double-sided tape... Then draw around the shapes with a water-soluble pen. Once you have your pattern, it’s time to carve your pumpkin. Start at the center of the template and work outward. Carefully saw through the pumpkin wall along the outline, one shape at a time. Gently push the pieces through, then remove and discard. It’s best to cut out the small pieces first, so as not to weaken the pumpkin. You can also cut larger pieces into smaller ones, to make it easier to trim edges of the pattern. For corners, slowly cut along each side, working toward the corner for clean, sharp edges. For more intricate patterns, use an Exacto knife for fine details. After your pumpkin is carved, use a damp sponge to clean off any marker outlines and pumpkin residue from the design. Now it’s time to light it up. Battery-powered LED lights, and small flashlights create fun effects, but a traditional candle offers that unpredictable, pretty flicker. Place your jack-o’-lantern in your window, on the porch, or along the sidewalk to light up everyone’s night.

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