Birman Cat Pumpkin Stencil

We're not sure why this Birman cat stencil looks so downcast; maybe it's jealous of the trick-or-treaters? (To be fair, everyone else is getting treats!) But true to a Birman's loving nature, this sweet-faced stencil manages to be doleful and adorable simultaneously. Carve this companionable kitty, with its classic two-tone coloration and outlined ears, as a festive feline addition to your Halloween decor.

BHG watermark - Birman

Don't tear your fur (er, hair) out by carving this pattern with a kitchen knife. For professional-looking results, the right tools are key. Specialty pumpkin-carving knives are commonly sold in Halloween supply stores; they're small, serrated, and designed to carve tight designs. You can also achieve goods results with a thin linoleum-cutting or woodcutting knife. For etching, we recommend a power etching tool for its speed and ease; for a low-cost option, take the old-fashioned route by etching with a sturdy gouge.

To carve:

1. Sign in to BHG.com to download and print out our free Birman cat pumpkin stencil. Smooth the pattern against the side of your cleaned-out pumpkin and tape it down.

2. Copy the pattern onto the pumpkin's surface by using a pin tool to pierce holes along the stencil lines. Make sure pin marks are closely spaced for more detailed carving results; we recommend keeping pin marks within 1/8".

3. Pull off the pattern and refer to it to find areas surrounded by dotted lines. With one of the etching tools discussed above, shave off the pumpkin skin within those areas until the light-orange pumpkin rind beneath is visible.

4. Find pattern areas surrounded by solid lines. With one of the carving tools discussed above, saw along the pin-hole guides to cut out these areas. Pop out and discard excess pumpkin pieces after carving the entire pattern.

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