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How To Carve A Traditional Pumpkin Lantern Face

How To Carve A Traditional Pumpkin Lantern Face

Spook yourself out with this Halloween classic. Take a look at this short video on how to carve a traditional pumpkin lantern face.

Step 1: You will Need

  • A pumpkin
  • A pencil
  • Some adhesive tape
  • A bowl
  • Scissors
  • A little flour
  • A scoop or a spoon
  • A small drill tool
  • A pointer or sharp tool to make holes in the pumpkin
  • And a small saw or a thin serrated knife
  • A tea light - to bring the finished pumpkin lantern to life
  • You will also need a template

Step 2: The lid

Draw a keyhole shape around the top of the pumpkin. This will create the lid so needs to be large enough to fit your hand through. The keyhole shape makes replacing the lid easy, ensuring you always get a good fit. Draw the shape using straight lines, this will be easier to cut around than a curved ones.

Use a saw tool, or a serrated knife to cut around the line. Angle the knife in towards the centre of the pumpkin rather than straight down, this will prevent the lid from collapsing into the finished pumpkin. When you have cut all around the line, lift the lid. Slice off any stringy pieces from it's underside into a bowl.

Step 3: Get scooping

Remove any seeds and pulp from the inside with the scoop or a spoon. Have a bowl ready to put the mush in or it can get messy! Keep scooping, scraping away the inside flesh until the wall of the pumpkin is about 3 centimetres thick all around.

Step 4: The template

Cut from the point of each corner in towards the centre, just a couple of centimetres. This will help it bend to fit to the rounded pumpkin shape. Use adhesive tape to place it in position. Then carefully smooth the template over the pumpkins, tucking and folding the outer edges until the template fits. Use more tape to hold it in place

Step 5: Mark the design

Use a pointer or a similar sharp tool to prick holes around the black areas. These can be a couple of centimetres apart in straight lines but must be closer together on the more intricate parts of the design. When you have outlined the entire pattern with holes remove the face template. Keep it nearby to check the pattern as you carve

If the holes are difficult to see rub a little flour in to highlight them.

Step 6: The drill tool

Always remove the smaller areas first. Use the drill tool to eke out the eyes.

Step 7: Join the dots

With a back and forth motion, use a small saw or a serrated knife to join the dots. Against remove the smaller areas first.

When you are happy with the details carve around the larger pieces. Be gentle and take your time, removing the unwanted pumpkin as you go. Don't try and slice your way through the flesh, stick to the sawing motion. Keep following the dotted outline until you have carved the entire design. Once all the pieces have been removed the spooky face will be easy to see

Step 8: Light up

Light the tea light, place it at the bottom of the pumpkin and put the lid on. Always use a tea light in a pumpkin, a regular candle will burn too quickly and won't stay upright.

The lit pumpkin face will look the most effective when placed in the dark. Have a look a Video Jug's 'How to trick or treat' to make sure you are thoroughly prepared for Halloween

Step 9: Done

Happy Halloween!!