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Doggone Pumpkins

Scratch the cats and put DOGS on a pedestal this Halloween. Choose your favorite breed, then carve yourself a low maintenance pet!

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Whether you're batty for beagles or you love a lab, I've got a great way for you to make your pet a part of your Halloween celebration. Pets usually have all the fun on Halloween, but there is a downloadable series of stencils from bhg.com. They get the dogs in on the fun, too. They've got lots of different breeds, so you're sure to find your favorite. Like here is my little beagle pal, Abby, here. So you're gonna print out your stencil and you can always trim it down to the size you need. I kind of cut this one down a little bit so it's a little bit easier to work with, and if you're dealing with a really round pumpkin, you may want to make some cuts along the sides so it kind of conforms to the pumpkin a little bit more. And I just taped it down using whatever tape you seem to have. And then to actually transfer your stencils from the paper to your pumpkin, you're gonna use a little poker like this. If you don't have a poker, you can always use a big safety pin. Works just great. And then you're just gonna kind of trace around like this. So as you're poking your stencil, you're gonna notice that there are solid lines and there are dash lines. So when you print out this guide, you can see that the white areas are the ones that you want to carve and then the gray areas are the ones that you want to etch, and for your etching, you need some wood carving tools like this. So once you've got your shape basically punched out, you're gonna take off your stencil and start cutting and carving. So you just peel it off, and you see I've got this eyebrows here that needs to be cut out. These little tools just come in little pumpkin carving kits. These are great for getting into all the little nooks and crannies. So there we go. We can pull that out. And so the solid lines know what you want to cut, and then for the dash lines that are on your stencil, you're actually gonna carve those or etch those. And here I've got my little wood carving tools. There are some that have kind of a flat blade. You can pick this up at any craft store for about 5 bucks for the set of them. And then there are some that are like little scoops like this. These are perfect for etching. So let's see. Like for instance, right in here, all of this would need to be etched. So you're just gonna take of your little tools that has the scoop and just sort of run it along the edge, and it will just peel off the first layer of the pumpkin and leave the lighter yellow shade underneath. It's kind of like paint by numbers. All you need to do is follow the instructions and with a little bit of work and a little bit of patience, you are sure to have a pumpkin that's best in show.