Democracy Dies in Darkness


You’ve never carved a pumpkin like this before

October 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

iStock AR project one-time use (iStock photo/Sam Island illustrations for TWP/iStock photo/Sam Island illustrations for TWP)

Want to carve a beautiful or spooky jack-o'-lantern? Whether you plan to go all out, Martha Stewart-style, or prefer to keep it simple, it all starts with the design. This year The Post has you covered. Use our augmented-reality app to pick a stencil, place it on your pumpkin and get carving.

You will need the Washington Post Classic iOS app to use this feature. You can download it here. (If you'd rather go old-school, you can download and print out the stencils at the bottom of this page.)

Instructions for carving a pumpkin using the app:

1. Start with a medium to large pumpkin that has smoother ridges, preferably one with a flat base so it's easier to display. Set it on newspapers, grocery bags or a towel.

2. Cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the flesh, seeds and pulp with an ice cream scooper or soup ladle.

3. You're now ready to select your pumpkin design. Click on the "Start" button. Choose one of the stencils at the bottom of the screen. Using your phone like a camera, point it at the pumpkin, moving the image around until you like the placement and size of the stencil. Click the "Stick stencil to pumpkin" button and continue to hold your phone in one hand. With the other hand, trace the design you see on your phone onto the pumpkin with a permanent marker.

4. Now carve along the template with the knife until you've removed the interior of the stenciled area. Light a candle inside the pumpkin, replace the stem and place your jack-o'-lantern outside to enjoy.

AR pumpkin by Sam Island wolf DIGITAL USE ONL (AR pumpkin by Sam Island for TWP/AR pumpkin by Sam Island for TWP)

Suzette Moyer is a design editor at The Washington Post, helping present stories in print and online. She has been at The Washington Post since 2015 and previously worked at the Tampa Bay Times and the Hartford Courant.

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