Adding etched details to a pumpkin is a fun way to give your carved masterpiece a translucent glow and a cool 3D effect. The only drawback? It's a tad messy. To keep the mess in check, we line our pumpkin-carving workspace with newspapers or a tarp to catch bits of pumpkin as they fall away. A paper towel can be handy for wiping off clinging scraps of pumpkin skin.
1. Line your workspace with newspapers or a tarp and set your pumpkin on top. Cut a circle in your pumpkin's underside and open the pumpkin by carefully prying off the carved circle with your knife. Use a metal scoop to dig out the pumpkin guts and scrape the pumpkin walls, thinning the side of the pumpkin that you're planning to carve to approximately 1".
2. Fasten the printed American shorthair pattern to your pumpkin's surface with clear tape. Use a large nail or wooden skewer to jab closely spaced holes along the pattern lines, reproducing the pattern on the pumpkin's surface. Detach your pattern after tracing all lines.
3. To enhance features, etch areas surrounded by dotted lines by using a gouge or linoleum cutter to shave off the pumpkin's skin, revealing the light-orange rind below. (Hint: Keep a paper towel handy to wipe away bits of pumpkin skin.) Carve areas surrounded by solid lines by cutting completely through the pumpkin wall with a thin crafts knife.