October Craft: Jack-O-Lanterns

We tried to be like Martha this year and set out to make ourselves into Jack-O-Lanterns!

- at least one adult and one kid (you can use more of both, if you want)
- pumpkins
- newspaper (for covering surfaces and easier clean-up)
- scissors
- tape
- cheap, disposable automatic pencil
- patterns (download from the blog)
- cutting device (we used a combo
- something to scrape the innards out
- candles

IMPORTANT: Kids, you really should let the adults handle the knives. We don't want to lose any fingers right before trick-or-treat, do we?

We carved pumpkins 4 different ways and we liked them all: traditionally (like YvetteWitch); silhouette (Red Fred); traditional + a cut-out (Black Jack Bat); and relief-carving (PennySkeleton). You should do all of them!

Lay out your newspaper on a flat surface. Pick out the perfect pumpkins and match them with one of the patterns you printed from the Jolly Blog.

Carve the BOTTOM out of the pumpkin instead of the top - that way you have a handle to lift it around. This will also allow you to place the pumpkin OVER the candles.

Clean out the pumpkin by scraping out the sides. This is the MOST ENJOYABLE part! (Whatever you do, don't hide the innards in your papa's slippers!)

Cut the following patterns: Red Fred and Black Jack Bat. Then, tape the patterns to the appropriate pumpkin. Using the pencil (you won't need to click the lead out), trace the areas where you will want to cut. This will an easy-to-see line on the pumpkin and its a lot easier than poking holes in the skin.

Then carefully being to cut the image out.

Penny-Skeleton was a bit more complicated. We didn't carve her out, but we did trace her. We did her as a relief-pumpkin (that means you cut down into the outer part without going all the way through) so you won't need a light for her. You need patience.

Have fun, good luck, and let us know how you did!