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Mr Monkey carves a pumpkin

Because it's coming up to Halloween, Mr Monkey thought it'd be interesting to carve a terrifyingly ghostly pumpkin. Follow the simple instructions to make your own Halloween lantern

Mr Monkey wielding a knife over the top of a small pumpkin 1
Get the largest, scariest, pumpkin you can find.

Clear a space somewhere you're allowed to make a mess, such as the dining table (best pick a time when there isn't a meal on the table).

Get a sharp knife.

Depending on your age, either plunge the knife into the top of the pumpkin yourself, or have a responsible adult do it.

Mr Monkey plugging the top plug out of the pumpkin 2
Cut a circle in top of the pumpkin.

Make sure you cut at an angle, to make a plug sort of thing, so you can put top back on.

When you've cut the circle, pull the top off the pumpkin.

The seeds come out attached to a rather horrid damp stringy stuff, which is rather stinky.

Mr Monkey with a hollowed out pumpkin and piles of pumpkin flesh and seeds 3
Slice the straggly bits off the top plug.

Scrape out all the stinky straggly bits.

Scrape out the flesh of the pumpkin to make the sides a bit thinner, especially in the area you're going to carve the face.

Mr Monkey cutting out the first eye 4
Have someone else remove all the bits you've removed from the inside of the pumpkin, making sure they don't take the top bit as well as the rubbish.

Carve out a triangular eye, high on the side of the pumpkin.

Angle the cut so that the hole is a little bigger on the inside than on the outside.

Mr Monkey standing beside a one-eyed pumpkin 5
Admire the eye you've cut out.

Mark out where you're going to put the other eye.

Mr Monkey standing beside a two-eyed pumpkin 6
Cut out the the second eye.

You should have a pretty good idea of where you're going to put the mouth.

Mr Monkey cutting out the mouth 7
Cut out the mouth.

Mr Monkey did this by cutting out a series of small rectangles at at angle which, together, made a reasonable toothy grin.

Mr Monkey standing beside the pumpkin, which has two eyes and a mouth 8
Check that the eyes and the mouth look right together.

Find a bit of space between the eyes and just above the mouth, that looks like you could put a nose there.

Mr Monkey next to the completed pumpkin 9
Cut another triangular hole, representing the nose.

Turn the pumpkin the right way up, and put its top back on.

Mr Monkey standing in the dark, beside the pumpkin illuminated from inside 10
Take the top off, and put some form of illumination inside.

Traditionally this should be a candle, obviously, but in the interests of not burning your house down, you might want to try using a torch instead. This might involve cutting a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin.

Switch all the lights out, and let your jack o'lantern strike terror into the hearts of the unusually nervous.


On the front cover - Charity wrapping

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Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey. This page last modified 15 December 2006