Basic Shapes Pumpkin Stencil

Need an easy pumpkin stencil for beginner carvers? You've found it! Large, geometrical shapes and straight lines make this stencil a carving novice's best friend.

Whether you're looking for a simple pumpkin-carving project for yourself or your kids, this stencil will fit the bill with adorable results. Large X eyes and a railroad track mouth give this grinning gourd classic charm. Quick tip: Enlarge or reduce the stencil size with a photocopier to better fit your pumpkin.

To carve:

1. Cut a large circle in the bottom of your pumpkin. Hollow out the pumpkin with an ice cream scoop, removing seeds and pulp.

2. Scrape the pumpkin flesh thinnest on the side you're planning to carve.

3. Tape the stencil to the pumpkin, and use a pin to prick through the paper to surface of the pumpkin. Prick along pattern outlines, keeping pin pricks closely spaced.

4. Remove the paper stencil and cut completely through the pattern lines, using pin pricks as a guide.

5. To make your carved pumpkin last longer, smear a thin coat of petroleum jelly along cut surfaces.

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