ORANGE ALERT

Imagine for a moment a Martha Stewart obsessed not by potpourri and macrame, but by the burning issues of the day: the presidential election, war, reality television. Then ask yourself: What spooky DIY project would a with-it Martha whip up for Halloween? The answer: a Spencer Pratt jack-o’-lantern. Or maybe a pumpkin carved to resemble universal nightmares Dick Cheney, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or Dina Lohan. Here’s how she would do it:

1) Buy a set of carving tools and a pumpkin or a “Funkin,” a fake pumpkin made of styrofoam. The latter is easier to work with and lasts forever, which may or may not be a good thing: If you think Dina will look nasty carved in effigy on an orange gourd, imagine what she will look like when that gourd starts to rot. If you use a real pumpkin, gut it, and scrape as much flesh from the inside walls as you can to make them thinner.

2) Print out one of the stencils provided below, and tape or thumbtack it to the pumpkin so the face is where you would like to carve. The white areas will be cut out completely, the black areas will remain untouched, and the gray areas will have the outer layer shaved off.

3) Take the punching tool provided in the carving set (or a thumbtack) and punch holes along the outline of the white sections of the stencil.

4) Lift the stencil from the pumpkin and, using the tiny pumpkin saw from the carving set, cut out the areas you have outlined. Begin with the smaller sections and work your way up to the bigger ones so the shell doesn’t become too weak and break while you’re sawing away.

5) Place the stencil back on the pumpkin and outline the black areas.

6) Remove the stencil (but keep it handy as a visual guide). With an exacto knife or a pen knife, scrape away the pumpkin skin around the areas you have just outlined, leaving flesh underneath. You should be shaving the skin where the stencil is gray and leaving the black areas, which are outlined, intact.

7) If you’re using a Funkin, cut a hole in the bottom to allow for a light source.

8) Light up your jack-o’-lantern. Commence frightening.

DOWNLOAD STENCILS:
• Dina Lohan
• Spencer Pratt
• Hillary Clinton
• Dick Cheney
• Britney Spears
• Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
• Kim Jong II

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