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UNT Insider | October 2006 Issue | UNT Pumpkin Carving

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Carve a little green pride into your Halloween pumpkin
UNT pumpkin carvering contest winner

MaryAnn Morgan-Cox, TAMS '98 and '03, submitted photos of her UNT pumpkin. She proudly displayed it on her porch and used it as a centerpiece at a Mean Green Watch Party hosted by the Central Texas Chapter of the NTExes.

To create your very own spooky school spirit, just follow the following directions for carving your favorite branded image on to your Halloween pumpkin this season.

Choose your pumpkin
Be sure to choose a pumpkin with a carving surface that best matches the UNT design you choose. Some pumpkins are wider, while others are longer. For example, if you are planning to carve the eagle head (right) or the UNT mark, you probably want a shorter, rounder pumpkin. But if you are planning to carve the Mean Green mark, you'll want a longer (taller) pumpkin.

Cutting the top and emptying the innards
As you would when carving any pumpkin design, the first thing you should do is cut a circle at the top of your pumpkin (generally around the stem). Be sure your opening is large enough to reach your hand through so you can thoroughly scoop out all of the pumpkin pulp and seeds.

Prepare your template
Pick one of the three templates below and print it out on standard 8.5x11 paper. To ready your template, trim your template, but be sure to leave at least a 1-inch border around the image so that you can securely tape it to the front of your pumpkin. If there seems to be gaps or bubbles between your paper template and your pumpkin, gently crease the paper so that it can be taped more securely to the pumpkin.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Difficulty Level: Medium

Carving Tips: There are two ways to carve this pumpkin. The first is the traditional method in which the carver actually cuts a hole in the pumpkin (as described below). A second way to carve this image is to cut only half way or a third of the way through the front of the pumpkin, scooping out the tissue mass from the pumpkin front. You will have a quarter-inch (or so) layer of pumpkin flesh that your inside lighting will shine through.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Carving Tips: The difficulty in carving this branded mark comes from the closeness of the letters and fragility of the pumpkin. As you carve each letter, be sure that you do not cut beyond each letter. You also will need to take extra care when pushing out the letters once the pumpkin is carved.

Carving your pumpkin
The best way to carve the UNT images is to gently poke holes along the dotted line of the template. This can be done using the tip of a small knife. Once you have completed this, make sure you have not missed any areas. Then, you can remove your template and begin cutting the marks into your pumpkin. UNT Pumpkin Carving

Once completely carved but before you push out the excess pumpkin pieces, it is recommended that you cut up the larger pieces into smaller chunks. For example, when removing an "N," cut each stick of the "N" into its own bar (taking care not to cut beyond the outer border), so that it can be pushed through gently. This will help keep the integrity of the slender, fragile remaining pieces of pumpkin.

Proudly display your pumpkin
Once you are satisfied with the look of your pumpkin, place it on display and put a candle inside to make all that UNT pride glow each evening. And don't forget to share pictures of your finished pumpkins with me at I'll post a few of them on the Insider site.

Read other stories in this issue:
October 2006

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

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