Carving pumpkins is a seasonal tradition in many families. Learn how to carve shapes into a pumpkin freehand or using a stencil. f you can, it's fun to pick your own pumpkin at a pumpkin patch. You can also get a fresh pumpkin at a market or farm stand. Choose a pumpkin with a bright orange color that has no bruises, soft spots, scars or mold. The stem should be attached and be dried or slightly brittle. You will need a long thin knife, an ice cream scoop, a poking tool and a saw knife. A beginner pumpkin carving kit will work fine, or you can get more professional tools at a hardware or craft store. If you are drawing freehand, you will need a crayon. If you want to use a template, have your drawing and tape ready. Place your candle inside and display your pumpkin in a safe place. A cut pumpkin may last anywhere from 1 day to a week. Use a sealant such as petroleum jelly or a cooking oil to help lock in the moisture and prevent wrinkling.