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Carve the perfect pumpkin

You don't have to be an artist to have the best jack o'lantern in town - be the envy of all your neighbors with these tips from the Halloween experts.

The first step in creative pumpkin carving is choosing the right one, expert pumpkin-carver Mike Valladao told Boy's Life magazine. Oval shaped pumpkins work well for creating a laughing face, and squat pumpkins work well for carving a toothy-grin. "Carving great pumpkins is a craft, not an art," Vallado told the magazine."A craft means you know how to use the tools."

Vallado suggests using a marker to determine where you'll make your cuts fist, and drawing a line down the center of the pumpkin's "face" to make sure that you keep proportions balanced. Vallado then uses a knife to chip away at the skin of the pumpkin, creating depth like on a real face.

If you have especially young kids at home and worry about them cutting their hands instead of the gourd, try the silhouette pumpkin method recommend by Martha Stewart. Simply scoop out the pulp from inside the pumpkin, make two triangular holes for the jack o'lantern's eyes, and a small round hole for the nose.Then have your child put a carrot into the nose hole. This style of pumpkin creates a creepy silhouette with little mess and very little time.

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