Detailed carving and etching, like the ones forming this fabulous Border collie face, look best on a smooth pumpkin surface. To keep from fighting lumps and bumps, look for a smooth-sided pumpkin at the store or farm. Be sure to check the pumpkin stem, too -- a firmly attached stem indicates freshness and a long porch life.
1. Clean out your pumpkin from the bottom, using a scoop to remove all the seeds and guts. Scrape the pumpkin wall thinnest on the side you'll carve.
2. Tape the printed pattern to your pumpkin, smoothing the paper out as you tape. Use a pin tool to poke along the stencil lines, keeping pin pricks about 1/8" apart. Remove the printed pattern after transferring all stencil lines, but keep it close for reference.
4. With a gouge, etch stencil sections within dotted lines by scraping away just the surface skin of the pumpkin. Be careful not to cut into the pumpkin's interior.
5. Use a thin, serrated knife to carve the stencil sections within solid lines. Keep cutout sections in place until you've finished carving the entire design; pop these sections out by pressing from inside the pumpkin.
6. Place an electric candle inside your carved pumpkin to set your masterpiece aglow.