How to Carve a Jack-o-lantern

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,181
    Champion pumpkin carver Tom Nardone demonstrates how to carve a Jack-o-lantern.

    Tom Nardone: Hi! I am Tom from extremepumpkins.

    com. I am going to show you today how to carve a basic Jack-o-lantern. We are going to talk about all sorts of things and I am going to give you a million tips. First, we can talk about tools. We want to cut and gut this thing so we want to pick the right things to do it. We got your basic carving tools all the away up to your professional carving tools that I use. We can talk about decapitating the pumpkin. That's what I call when you take the top off and the seeds out. We are going to talk about how to carve a basic Jack-o-lantern. Next I am going to talk about how to make it last as long as possible. Let's first talk about tools and safety gear. This will help us on our way to carve in a great Jack-o-lantern. Here is a basic beginners pumpkin carving set. You can buy this in almost any store in America in October. It's got three things in it. This is a pumpkin saw, we use it to cut out pieces of the pumpkin. This is a goop scooper, I don't know if that's the official term but that's what I call it, because it scoops the goop, the seeds and the pulp out. This little member here you might not recognize, it's for peeling away the skin while leaving the flesh. That will leave you like a yellow glow when you light the pumpkin. So your basic kit works pretty well. Here is a tip for you, something that I use, these dry erase markers. You steal this from the office - I mean you buy these at the office supply store and they are really good for marking on the pumpkin and when you are done, they wipe right off, so they are great. Here is some things that I use, more of professional level pumpkin carving tools. You might recognize this bad boy from your late night trips to the freeze. It's an ice cream scoop. I look for one that has a metal edge because it cuts through the goop and seeds better than other ice cream scoops. Our next tool is something electricians use to cut holes in your dry wall to put in outlets. It's called the drywall saw. You buy them at the HomeCenter for about $6. So they might be worth it. They are specially useful for the hard areas like around the stem and taking the top off of a pumpkin. And if you are carving a great big pumpkin you can use this in place of the regular pumpkin saw. Now let's talk vanity tools because these are tools that I owned for no really good reason. This is just a regular pumpkin carving tool, it's just a little more durable. Next to take the skin off the pumpkin, I use a power tool. It's called the Dremel and it has a pumpkin carving bit, works really well. Finally, my favorite a jigsaw. It's just like the pumpkin carving saw but it's powered, lets you carve a pumpkin really quickly. So that's what I use for tools. Let's talk about safety.

    First I protect my eyes from all of the guts that fly around with safety glasses. They are really important because the pulp and everything from pumpkins can fly, especially when you are using some of these power tools. Third, I keep my fingers and hands away from anything sharp that's really important. You just don't want to cut yourself for over a Jack-o-lantern. And what qualifies me to give you this advice? I have written three bestselling books on Pumpkin Carving. I am probably the world's most famous pumpkin carver. I have been on Conan O'Brien, Regis & Kelly, even Good Morning America and MTV. So stick around, I am going to try to share some of my knowledge with you, I am sure you will enjoy and I will enjoy it too. So enough mercy on the pumpkin, let's decapitate this son of a gun.