When night falls and the little demons descend on your dwelling demanding Butterfingers, greet them with a jaw-dropping jack-o-lantern. You can carve your own creepy classic with traditional triangle eyes and a toothy grin. Or go wild with eerie eyebrows, wicked warts, or even a maniacal moustache. Your neighbors will think you’re out of your gourd!
You will need:
serrated steak knife
large metal spoon
awl or skewer
tea light candle
Cut all the way around the top of the pumpkin two inches from the stem using the serrated knife. Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle to keep the lid from falling inside the pumpkin. For the Frankenstein look, cut in a jaggy zigzag pattern.
Remove the lid and scoop out the gooey guts with a large metal spoon. Be sure to save the seeds for a midnight snack!
Draw your jack-o-lantern design on a piece of paper and tape it to the front of the pumpkin. Then use an awl or shish kabob skewer to poke holes along the lines of your drawing and into the pumpkin to create a connect-the-dots pattern. (Of course, you could just draw right on the pumpkin—just use a washable marker!)
Remove the paper pattern and carefully cut along the dotted lines with the serrated knife. Use a sawing motion in and out of the pumpkin as you go. For finer detail or for carving mini pumpkins, use a special pumpkin-carving saw with a very thin blade.
To make your jack-o-lantern glow, light a tea light and place it inside the pumpkin. To keep it in place, crumple tin foil around the base of the candle.
Place your jack-o-lantern by the front door where he can serve as scary sentinel for visiting vampires. Then why not head back to the laboratory to carve up a few more fiendish friends? A gang of ghoulish jack-o-lanterns may not protect you from fruit flies, but it can certainly light up your night!