On Halloween almost every house has pretty or scary jackolantern designs sitting on the front porch or sidewalk, but after a while many of the shapes and faces and patterns can start to blend together. How are you supposed to make unique jackolantern designs when it looks like everything has already been done? Pumpkin carving doesn't have to be the traditional triangle eyes and nose or even those more creative designs from the pumpkin carving kits. Use the amazing pumpkin carving technique below to make an awesome pumpkin that will have all your neighbors wondering 'how did he do that?'.
Things You Will Need
Choose a jackolantern design that has multiple layers, such as the one to the right. Faces are ideal for this amazing pumpkin carving technique. For the jackolantern design to the right: The black blocks need cut away completely, the gray will be thinned, but remain intact and the maroon lines need to be cut along to remove the jaw.
Cut the top off the pumpkin and gut it. This is optional. With this amazing pumpkin carving technique you may not need to gut your pumpkin depending on the jackolantern designs you chose.
Use a potato peeler to peel the orange skin off the pumpkin. This will leave the pumpkin looking orangish-yellow rather than the traditional bright orange. Some parts may be hard to peel due to the shape of the peeler; these can be shaved off with a good paring knife.
Allow the pumpkin to dry out a bit. This should take about an hour for a medium pumpkin.
Draw your jackolantern designs onto the pumpkin using a sharpie. It will transfer easily because the pumpkin is more dry.
Dip the pumpkin in cold water. This will add moisture back to the pumpkin without washing away your stencil. The moisture is required for the amazing pumpkin carving to work effectively.
To make teeth, cut right through the pumpkin - only if you gutted it - and form the jagged edges of the teeth. Go back over the edges with a potato peeler and paring knife to make them stand out from the gums and to give them a rounded tooth feel.
Choose the point on the jackolantern designs that will need to be the most elevated. If you are doing a face, the nose would be this point. For the photo examples I'm using, the teeth were the most prominent.
Use the potato peeler to shave away the layers beside the nose and all the way across the face. The area closest to the nose will need to go the deepest and the part of the potato peeler that gouges out the eye will help you in this part of the amazing pumpkin carving technique. It will get in close without destroying the jackolantern design.
When the nose is forming a small bump that sticks out from the rest of the pumpkin, go to work on the next highest place. Again, assuming you are using a face, the lips would be next.
Shave layers away from the area around the lips just as you did the nose.
Once the lips have begun to take shape, move on to the next area, which may be the eyes or the cheeks. Shape these areas in the same way you did the nose and lips.
Begin adding shape to the places you have shaved. This portion of the amazing pumpkin carving can be done by dragging a paring knife across the exposed skin and scraping away small areas to form hollows and curves.
If you cut the jaw off, put it back together using a sewing pin on each side.
Tips & Warnings
Wet the pumpkin whenever it feels as if it is drying out. Cold water only as hot water will cause the pumpkin and your jackolantern designs to wilt and warp.
The jackolantern design you drew on the pumpkin with a marker should all be carved away by the time you are finished. If not, rub some soap over it and rinse it off with cold water. The soap will not harm the pumpkin or the amazing pumpkin carving you did.