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Step One:

Gather your materials. You will need: pumpkins, assorted knives, paper, marker, pencil, hammer, nail, candles, bowl, spoon, baking dish, sea salt, olive oil and cleanup supplies.

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Step Two:

Trace the design. To create a fancifully carved pumpkin, you can use any design as inspiration. We based this geometric carved design on the traditional hex designs painted on old barns. Sketch out your design on a piece of paper, then transfer it to the surface of the pumpkin by tracing the lines with a pencil, pressing hard to make an imprint on the skin.

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If needed, you can follow the imprint with a marker to provide a clear guide for carving.

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Step Three:

Cut out the lid and remove the insides. For both designs, start by cutting out the lid of the pumpkin. After cutting in a circle a few inches away from the stem, gently remove the lid and scrape the seeds and pumpkin flesh into a bowl.

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Using a spoon, continue to scrape the remaining seeds and flesh out of the pumpkin and into a bowl.

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Step Four:

Carve the pumpkin. Carefully follow your marked design, and using a small paring knife, cut along the lines, removing the pieces of pumpkin as you go.

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To create the starry night pumpkin, use a large nail and the hammer to gently tap small holes all over the pumpkin. To finish, use an X-Acto knife to carve a small crescent moon.

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Step Five:

Light it up. When you are done carving your pumpkins, place a votive candle inside, top with the lid, and enjoy the beautiful glow! If you would like to use the pumpkins indoors, eco-friendly rechargeable LED votives are a great substitute for candles.

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Step 6:

Don’t throw away the seeds! Rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander under cold running water and remove any remaining pumpkin flesh. Pour the seeds into a baking dish and generously drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. In a 350 degree oven, roast the seeds, checking every 10-15 minutes and giving them a stir. The seeds are done when they have turned crisp and light brown and are no longer soft. Let them cool and then enjoy this savory homemade fall snack.

Lead image via Shutterstock