- Always mark where you're carving first instead of freestyling, especially for the lid. Once the knife's in there's nothing you can do about it.
- Want an accurate carving? Draw or print your pattern on paper first and then stick it on the pumpkin, so that you can use a pin to punch an outline.
- Use a scalpel. Seriously, it's so much better than kitchen knives.
- Be creative: consider using a variety of carving depths instead of just cutting out holes. It's best to start off with the darkest areas so that you know where the threshold is. If it's too shallow you can always scrape the trench.
- Don't use candles -- they don't last and aren't safe for the kids and animals; many LED candles have a convincing flickering glow, so try those. Alternatively, why not convert a cheap solar garden light into a lid for your jack-o'-lantern? Or go Ben-Heck and try the Cylon mod?
- Keep the seeds for roasting -- they make a good snack.
Halloween and it's also a Saturday, so let's not hear any pathetic excuses for not carving pumpkins. While we're no experts, we've got a few tips for making your jack-o'-lanterns better looking and more unique:
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