More than as a pie filling or a fall season latte flavoring, pumpkins are known for the jagged-toothed smiles and triangle eyes carved into their ridged faces come October.
While the jack-o’-lantern visage is fine and good, why not give your pumpkin carving a coastal twist this season?
Here’s what you need
Tape, for attaching the template
Battery operated candle
Rubbing alcohol to remove pen lines, optional
Orange paint pen to correct mistakes, optional
Orange or yellow tissue paper, optional
Picking a pumpkin
To make carving easier, choose pumpkins with smooth faces. For the anchor and the ship, choose a tall pumpkin; and, for the bony fish, choose a short, round pumpkin. Try to ensure the base of the pumpkin is somewhat flat, so it will be stable.
Carve a hole to insert the candle in either the top or the bottom of your pumpkin.
Print two templates — one to trace onto the pumpkin and one to reference as you carve. Clean your pumpkin with soap and water, dry, and tape the pattern to the flattest side.
Outline the design
Use the straight pin to push holes along the pattern. Remove the pattern and connect the pin pricks with a fine-tipped pen or dry erase marker. Carefully cut along the lines with a small knife, working in sections for more complex designs. If you see any pen lines, use rubbing alcohol on a cloth towel and gently scrub to remove.
Once you have finished carving out your design, place one piece of orange or yellow tissue paper flat against the design inside the pumpkin to soften the glow. (Note: only if you are using a synthetic candle. Don’t use tissue paper if you’re planning to use a real candle.)