Usually we employ one of those carving kits that come with several patterns, pointy sticks for making the pattern perforations on the pumpkins and little saws for cutting out the design. Actually, it's pretty amazing what a good job you can do with those easy-to-use kits. Last year, however, I designed my own "diabolical vampire cat" pumpkin --
My Rare One used a pattern to spell out this seasonal greeting --
Here they are together --
Not quite so compelling in full light though! Darkness and candlelight work wonders. My Rare One and I find that to be true in other contexts as well.