#BEHALLOWEENREADY with a NAF Jack-o’-lantern!

Zach Bokuniewicz
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October 15, 2021

With spooky season approaching, nothing puts you in the spirit more than pumpkin carving! NAF is here to help, with some tips and tricks on how to carve the perfect Jack-o’-lantern for your Halloween festivities.

Follow the steps below to create your masterpiece:

Start with a template.
There are hundreds of pumpkin carving templates online, but we’ve created our own which you can download here. If you want to freehand a design, you can use a dry-erase marker to draw your image. If you make a mistake or want to make changes, it comes off quickly and easily with a damp cloth! Make sure to cut around the template first, so that it forms to the curves of the pumpkin, taping them down once the design rests perfectly against the surface.

Poke, poke, poke!
Using a thumbtack or a toothpick, poke holes around the areas you wish to cut. This will not only transfer the pattern from your paper to the pumpkin, but also make it easier to cut through. Once the holes are poked, you can remove your template. If you’re having trouble seeing the holes, dust some flour from the kitchen onto the pumpkin, then wipe it off. The flour will stay in the holes and make them easier to see!

Time to carve.
Any sharp knife will work, but the best carving tools are serrated knives that you can saw back and forth into the pumpkin with. Going slowly, use your knife to connect the dots you made earlier, making your way through the pumpkin completely to ensure a clean cut. For smaller detailed areas, use a smaller knife. Make sure to have an adult present if you are doing this with children!

Light it up.
For a safe glow to your pumpkin, use an electric light that can be used indoors or outdoors. Different colors and lighting effects can turn your pumpkin from an ordinary fall gourd to a spooky work of art!


NAF is getting in the spirit this year with our own Jack-o’-lantern template! Download it here and add your own bats, ghosts, or other Halloween icons around our logo to make it your own monster creation. Make sure to share your pumpkin on social and tag @NAFCareerAcads to have your pumpkin featured on our pages!

View Bio

Zach Bokuniewicz is the Assistant Director, Creative Services for NAF, supporting the visual brand and media for our academies, alumni, and constituents. His experience spans a 14-year creative career, 11 of those years in higher education, and likes to spend his free time teaching marketing and graphic design to college students who want to expand their creative visions. He believes education is our greatest asset and that students have the ability to change the world for the better.

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