Use a large carving or serrated knife to cut the lid of a pumpkin and smaller knives, such as boning knives, for carving the actual features. Children should be provided with something safer to carve their pumpkins, such as a pumpkin carving set specially made for younger hands, notes Organic Authority.
Before carving, it is important to choose the right kind of pumpkin. The ideal pumpkins for carving are large and relatively light in color and weight. This lightness indicates a softer, more hollow interior. Pumpkins with signs of decay, including bruises and soft patches, should also be avoided, particularly if the pumpkin is intended for prolonged display.
When scooping out the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin, scrape deep enough to reach the lighter flesh in order to reflect the optimal amount of light. For more attractive or stylized pumpkin designs, draw the outlines directly onto the pumpkin before carving, ensuring that only erasable or water-based materials are used. Alternatively, the pumpkin's features can be designed or found on a computer and printed for use as a template. This can then be placed against the surface of the pumpkin and traced through with a sharp knife or pin before carving the pumpkin.