Create Amazing Jack-o-Lanterns
Create captivating jack-o-lanterns in record time with your trusty power tools. Once you look around your garage or workshop, you’ll find all kinds of creative ways to expedite pumpkin carving and be the envy of every house on the block.
Start with a Pattern or Draw Your Own
The first step is to draw your pattern (or trace someone else’s) on your pumpkin. We taped down our pattern and used carbon tracing paper to easily transfer our mask design.
Tracing Paper Makes It Easy
Carbon tracing paper is available at most office supply stores or online. To use carbon tracing paper, simply trace your pattern on top of a sheet with a pencil. Anywhere pressure is applied, the backing rubs off on the pumpkin. (Tracing paper is also useful for transferring patterns onto wood.)
Trace and Remove the Pattern
Gently remove your pattern and tracing paper. The result is clear lines you can follow for cutting out the form of your drawing. Full cuts through the pumpkin allow out bright light, where just scraping the pumpkin’s skin will emit a softer glow.
Use Your Jigsaw to Cut the Top of the Pumpkin
Get at the guts of the pumpkin. Cut out the top opening with your jigsaw. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this goes if you’ve ever fumbled with an inferior pumpkin carving knife. We didn’t test using different kinds of blades – apparently a pumpkin is easier to cut through than both wood AND metal.
Drywall Saw is Better than a Knife
Use your trusty drywall saw to remove pumpkin guts and seeds. The aggressive teeth make quick work of this sloppy task – just make sure your knife is clean if you plan on saving the pumpkin seeds to roast for a snack later.
Use a Hole Saw
The perfect tool for making large, circular holes for the eyes is, you guessed it, a hole saw. Let the weight of the drill and teeth of the hole saw make the cut for you. Don’t press too hard, or you may end up with a smashed pumpkin.
Drill Out the Rest of the Pattern
Using a large-diameter drill bit, cut out the facemask holes. Again, don’t put too much pressure on the drill. You’ll be surprised how crisp and clean these holes come out – much faster than trying to cut them by hand with a knife.
Embellish with a Rotary Tool
We further embellished the face mask pattern with a rotary tool. The small grinding attachment works well for removing just the first layer of the pumpkin skin. This allows light to shine through, but not nearly as much as a full on hole through the pumpkin. Then we carefully cut through the outlines of the mask, leaving enough solid pumpkin to hold it in place.
Light Up Your Pumpkin
Finally, put a candle or flameless tea light in the pumpkin and set it on your front stoop. Need pumpkin carving patterns or inspiration? Check out these great jack-o-lantern patterns from Taste of Home.