AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki


Have you ever wanted to step your jack-o-lantern designs up a notch? I know that scary faces and witches over moons get old for me. Even though jack-o-lanterns can sound like a boring and ultra-traditional way to decorate for Halloween, they're still a much more eco-friendly decoration than all of that plastic Halloween junk we're expected to buy and hang from our porches (you know, plastic skeletons, etc.) Luckily, Instructables has taught me a lot about crafts—including how to make a jack-o-lantern design with an uncanny resemblance to any photo of your choosing. This makes an eco-friendly Halloween decoration that much more fun...and impressive!

So if you're in the market to make a jack-o-lantern this year that looks more like a photo than a Halloween cut out, try this:

1. Find your photo.

2. Adjust the brightness/contrast on your computer so make the edges very solid and clear.

3. Print out the picture. (Try to use recycled paper or scrap paper)

4. Start carving! Tape your pattern to the pumpkin. (And please, try to find organically grown pumpkins!)

5. Cut out all that is white.

6. Shave down all that is gray.

7. Leave all that is black.

8. Empty the inside.

9. Light it up by placing a candle inside!

Note: I tried this out myself and it worked like a charm. Using an exact-o knife for the shading really helped out especially. If you use an exact-o knife, you can dig out your shape as deep as you wish and then use the edge of the blade for the shading. It's perfect!

Have fun!

Also be sure to check out more hair-raising Halloween how-to's on How Stuff Works.