My natural cynicism makes me unreasonably grumpy about most holidays, but I do quite like Halloween. In particular, I like to dress up and have a reason to eat and drink to excess.

I also relish any excuse to try out a new craft, so I was very excited to try out a friend’s rather snazzy pumpkin carving tools. I started out by looking for inspiration on Google images and settled on Boo from Mario as my design. I started out by sketching it onto the pumpkin using dry wipe marker.

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This gave me an outline to trace using a Stanley knife. Next was the fun part, using a tool I called ‘the gouger’ to dig out the sections where I wanted light to come through. You have to be careful if you have a complex design because it’s very easy to accidentally remove bits you’re not intending. Technical language: you have to be aware of the positive and negative space (this is also important in papercraft).

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It helps to stick a tea light in periodically to check the design is showing up like you want. You need to scrape away a fair bit of pumpkin flesh to achieve a good effect.

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