1. There are two ways to transfer your design onto the pumpkin. One is to copy it freehand onto a clean, dry pumpkin with a water-based marker (mistakes can be easily corrected with a paper towel). The other is to tape your template to the pumpkin, then score the design into the skin by poking holes through the template with a nail or plastic poking tool (available in some pumpkin-carving kits).
2. Carve by starting at the center of your design and working outward (this avoids putting pressure on areas already carved). Begin with the innermost and smallest details. As each shape loosens up, gently push it out of the pumpkin with a finger or a dull pencil point (a good job for young kids).
3. Optional: use 2 more pumpkins (1 slightly smaller than his head and 1 slightly larger) to create Olaf’s body. Cut 1 circle in the middle pumpkin and 2 circles in the bottom pumpkin (these are his buttons). Cut the tops off of the 2 pumpkins that make up his body so the pumpkins sit carefully inside one another.
Use 3 small tree sticks and put them on top of his head. Use 2 small tree sticks to create arms (put 1 on each side of the middle pumpkin).
Carefully stack all of the pumpkins in order and make sure he’s in a safe place where he can’t topple over!
4. Lastly, put your jack-o’-lantern in a place of honor (away from flammables), and remember to blow out all candles before you go to sleep.
Cutting should be done by an adult.