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Here are some ways to get inspiration for your pumpkin carving contest entry: So that you can be sure to pick out the pumpkin that suits your design.

Once your pumpkin has been cleaned, you can use your smaller knives or keyhole saw to cut out the pattern you've traced onto your pumpkin.

Remember to cut on the outside of your lines, and be very careful with small pieces.

It's also a good idea to cut a notch into the opening so that you can easily see which way the lid should be replaced.

After you've cut out the lid, scoop out the pulp and seeds with your ice cream scoop or spoon.

Start by washing and drying it to remove dirt and debris.

Then look for the perfect side of the pumpkin to carve.

Many pumpkin carving contests will ask you to send in a picture of your carving, and it's important to get just the right picture to wow the judges.

Here are some tips to capture ​your jack-o-lantern on film: Before you jump right into planning your pumpkin contest entry, here are a couple more important things to think about: Pumpkin seeds are delicious ​when they are toasted, and good for you as well, so don't throw them away while you're carving.

Your design might be better served by a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, or in the back.

Wherever you make your opening, be sure to angle your knife slightly inwards toward the stem so that the lid won't fall through the pumpkin when you replace it.

Here are some tips for making your pumpkin last longer.