Start by cutting the lid. Cut a little triangular notch in the back so you know which way to place the lid.
Proceed to hollow out the pumpkin. Try to make sure the bottom is flat for candle placement. Concentrate on getting the inside face of the pumpkin where you will be carving as level as possible.
carve intricate parts of the pattern 1st while there is good support. The more u cut the face of the pumpkin the weaker it will get. Use dry erase marker to mark support areas where u shouldn't cut
Wash off the dry erase marker with a sponge. Go over areas with an X-Acto knife to get sharp lines and to make sure sufficient light comes through.