Simple designs, like an asterisk's straightforward star shape, look gorgeous on pumpkins with interesting colors and patterns. Check out farmers markets for unusual varieties; we love white Luminas and gray Jarrahdales for carving.
1. Scrape out the interior of your pumpkin by carving a circle in its bottom and using a stiff metal spoon to remove the fibrous guts and seeds. Cut off the top of the pumpkin circle cutout to create a flat surface for a candle.
2. Affix the pattern to the pumpkin's side with tape. Using a wooden skewer or needle tool, outline the design by piercing along the stencil lines. (Hint: Keep holes about 1/8" apart.)
3. Remove the pattern and cut out the asterisk design by sawing gently along the holes with a skinny crafts knife. Push out the asterisk piece after carving. (Hint: If the piece won't budge, try cutting it into smaller sections and pushing those sections out individually.)
4. Set a battery-operated candle on the leveled circle and place your carved pumpkin over the top.