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How to carve a pumpkin Jack-o'-lantern for Halloween

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Halloween just wouldn't be Halloween without a good old Jack o lantern to light the night, with some time and patience you can make all kinds of designs and use the leftover pumpkin to make a great dish for around the bonfire too!
What you'll need: 
a large pumpkin
a damp towel
a dry erase marker
a sharp paring knife or a keyhole saw (available in hardware stores)
large heavy knife
ice cream scoop
a bowl
First choose your pumpkin, you want a pumpkin with a smooth surface which makes it easier to draw your design on and carve, it also needs a stem of at least 2 inches long and a flat bottom which will sit on a surface quite stably and not roll around too much. First give the stem on your pumpkin a good tug and press the area around it, if the flesh feels soft, or the stem comes away in your hand, it's not a good pumpkin and may have started to rot, choose another.
Next, place your pumpkin on the damp towel on a steady surface, the towel helps stop the pumpkin moving around and being dangerous when you are using sharp knives.
Now it's time to draw your design on the pumpkin. First, cut a shape for the lid by drawing a circle, or star around the top of the pumpkin, make the shape around two thirds the size of the pumpkins diameter.
Now draw the face or pattern you would like to carve on the front of the pumpkin. Don't try to make too elaborate designs, with the lines very short or close together, as this will be hard to carve, big bold shapes look the best when lit by candle light too.
Now cut the lid, using your paring knife cut around the line on the top that your drew, push the knife about 2-3 inches into the flesh and angle the blade in towards the centre at about 45 degrees, this stops your lid falling into the pumpkin. Now remove the lid and scrape away any flesh hanging from it.
Now using the spoon, or your hands, remove the pulpy seeds from your pumpkin and throw away, (or save to clean and roast the seeds later for a snack), using the ice cream scoop start removing the flesh from the inside of the pumpkin, you want to make sure that you leave an even border for you to carve the face through, and make the bottom flat, so your candle will be stable. The thinner the border you make, the easier it will be to carve through and the more spooky light will shine through when you put in your candle.
Using the paring knife make a hole at the corner of your first shape on the face of the pumpkin. If you are using one then push the keyhole saw through this hole and using a gentle sawing motion, go around the design your drew and pop out the shape, peel the skin away and add the flesh to the rest that you scooped out earlier in your bowl. If you are not using the keyhole saw, just gently go around the shape with your paring knife. Do this for all your design. You can go around afterwards and tidy up any jagged bits with a small knife.
Now your scary face pumpkin is ready for the candle! Place it inside and light whilst inside the pumpkin so it doesn't get blown out. You could make two holes in the top of the pumpkin and push string through and tie tightly to make a handle, it's up to you, just be careful when carrying a lit flame.
To make your lantern last longer put it in the fridge and rub all the cut surfaces with vaseline to seal in moisture
This is really an adults job because of the sharp knives so be careful, let the kids help draw the designs but do the carving yourself


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