Carve the Perfect Pumpkin

Follow these tips to sculpt your best jack-o'-lantern.

Carving a pumpkin can be fun, say the experts at Pumpkin Masters ( www.pumpkinmasters.com), a company that sells pumpkin-carving stencils. Here are some tips to a sculpting a masterpiece.

1. First, peruse a pumpkin patch and look for one that's flat on the bottom (they're sturdier), unbruised, and smooth.

2. Next, buy a small double-edged or multipurpose carving saw from a craft store. When carving, hold it like a pencil in your hand.

3. For a clean look, pierce the bottom of the pumpkin and cut a circle. Scrape away the pulp until the area that you'll be carving is an inch thick.

4. When carving, place the pumpkin in your lap for better control. Using gentle pressure, steadily move your tool up and down.

5. Set the pumpkin over a light source, such as a candle or tea light, once you're finished carving.

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