1. The Bigger the Better...or easier to carve. Pumpkins with a light colored skin are softer and easier to cut. Shy away from bruises and or moldy stems
2. Don't create your lid by cutting straight down or it will fall in. Place the knife at a 42 degree angle.
3. Be sure to save your seeds for a healthy snack!
4. Ice cream scoops work great for scooping out the seeds. Be sure to scrape the walls well. About 1 inch thickness is ideal.
5. Inexperienced carvers should select a simple pattern, moving on to more difficult ones as time goes on.
6. Templates are good! Make sure your cutting tools are sharp. Tape template to pumpkin or use push pins to hold in place while tracing. This way you can cut along your lines. You can also use a push pin to make holes along the template and then play connect the dots with your cutting tool.
7. One option for a more stable pumpkin when carving is to cut off the bottom. You can either place the body of the pumpkin back on its base, or place the body on a plate when you are ready to illuminate it with a candle.
8. If you are using a candle with a lid, you may want to carve an unseen hole in the back to act as a chimney. Never leave a candle-lit jack-o-lantern unattended.
9. Many stores sell flame less candles for a safer option to the traditional candle.
10. Cinnamon and or nutmeg on the bottom side of your lid will give off a fabulous scent!