1•Thump a pumpkin--a ripe, hollow-sounding one will be easier to scoop out.
•Make sure it has no soft spots anywhere and has at least one smooth, unblemished face for carving. Put it back if there is major discoloration on any side.
•Having a strong, well-attached stem is a sign of healthiness.
•A medium-sized pumpkin is easier to work with than a huge or tiny one. But be flexible about the shape--a tall, skinny pumpkin may be just the thing for your design.
•Balance is important too; a solid bottom that supports the pumpkin means less chance of rolling or being knocked over.