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Seven steps to the perfect pumpkin lantern

Seven steps to the perfect pumpkin lantern

My daughter’s teacher sounded embarrassed, “Tess is bullying another little girl,” she said.

I couldn’t believe it!” said Amy, “Tess wasn’t the bullying type!

1. Choose a decent sized, rounded pumpkin. Fresh unblemished ones are best. Work on newspaper as pumpkin carving is messy!

2. Use a serrated blade to cut a lid. Make sure the hole is big enough so that you can scoop out the flesh inside.

3. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the pulp and seeds. Thin the walls a little too by scraping away some of the flesh. This makes carving easier and allows more light through.

4. It’s best to draw your design in marker first. Bold shapes are easiest. For a professional finish use a paper template. You can draw your own or download one; tape it to the pumpkin.

Creating pumpkin lanterns

5. A sharp, serrated knife will work best to cut out your design. Start at the centre and work outwards using short saw-like strokes for better control.

6. Rub some petroleum jelly on to the exposed parts of the pumpkin. This stops those areas turning brown.7. If you’re using a real candle, put it in a small glass. Cut holes in the lid to allow heat and smoke to escape. Fairy lights and battery-operated candles are the safest and best options for lighting.

Visit for some great stencils and ideas.


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