|Don't try to cut a perfectly round top. Instead, draw a six-sided lid (hexagon) on top of your pumpkin. It's easier and will hold up better.
Another method which works for pumpkins that won't stand up straight, is to cut off the bottom instead of the top. Place the pumpkin in a small pot or bowl, and adjust it so it stands upright. Mark the pumpkin with a pencil or pen, all the way around the top of the pot.
Angle the All Purpose Saw towards the center of the pumpkin, making a ledge to support the lid.
If you're are cutting a bottom, cut straight into the pumpkin, and discard it. Set the pumpkin or watermelon over a candle or electric light.
Use the scoop to clean out the seeds and strings. It is important to scape the inner wall of the pumpkin, so that it is no more than 1 inch thick. You can check the thickness with a pin or poker. This process usually take 15-20 minutes.
Trim away the excess paper from the pattern with scissors. Attach the pattern to the pumpkin with tape or straight pins
Using the Poker, poke holes about 1/16" to 1/8" apart along design lines. Do not push poker all the way into the pumpkin. Use just the tip to poke through the paper and outer pumpkin skin. Check to see that all the lines have been transferred, then remove the pattern. The more detailed the design, the closer together the dots should be. This process can take up to 30 minutes.
Drill holes before carving (if needed). Push the very tip of the Drill through the pumpkin skin. Then hold the drill near the end and, with gentle pressure, begin twisting the drill into the pumpkin. Keeping the drill at a 90 degree angle, grasp the handle and continue turning until the hole is complete. The poker can be used as a drill by pushing it all the way into the pumpkin.
Cut the design with the All Purpose Saw or Detail Saw. Remember to "saw" the design, connecting the dots. Don't "cut" or slice it like a knive. Hold the tool like a pencil. Holding the pumpkin in your lap, push th blade into pumpkin or, if necessary, rock it gently forward and back to insert it. Saw steadily with a continuous up-and-down motion. Only gentle forward pressure is needed. Depending on the complexity of the design, this step may take 30-45 minutes.
Work from the center of the design outward to avoid putting pressure on areas already carved.
Start with inner-most or smallest features (1) before moving outward (2). Carve "inside" lines (3) of each feature before "outside" lines (4). The outer edges (5) are always cut last.
Don't bend or twist the tool, try to make the cuts straight into the pumpkin. To make sharp corners, always remove the tool and re-insert it at another angle. Push cut pieces out from the inside, with your finger. To remove large pieces more easily, cut them into smaller pieces first.
Before placing a candle inside, first cut a hole in the bottom, the same diameter (size) of the candle. This allows you to tip the pumpkin on its side to light. You won't burn your fingers, and your candle will be less likely to tip over after its lit. If you have cut the bottom off, then all you need to do is place a candle on a plate, and set your lantern over it.
One last step before you are done. How many times has your pumpkin turned to mush, or the lid has fallen inside? That's because you've actually cooked your pumpkin from the inside out! Make a smoke vent by putting a small hole in the lid of your pumpkin. This will allow most of the heat to escape and make your Jack-O-Lantern last much longer. You can also put some vaseline on the cut edges to help preserve your creation.
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