The first step in creating the perfect Jack O’Lantern is selecting and preparing the pumpkin. When selecting pumpkins for carving, choose a lighter colored one with a nice stem and a carvable face. Lighter colored pumpkins are softer and carve easier, but unfortunately they don’t last as long.
Clean the outside of the pumpkin with plain water and a sponge. Allow to dry. Store the pumpkin outside, or in a cool place, until you’re ready to carve it. To start carving, cut open the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside seeds and guts, being careful not to pull too hard on the stem as it breaks easily. Clean the inside of your Jack O'Lantern by scraping the inside wall to an inch thick. This will make carving a lot easier.