Bulldog Pumpkin Stencil

The iconic, blunt-nosed bulldog face may look a little imposing, but behind the heavy brows and upturned teeth is a mellow little sweetheart. Set this jowly fellow out to guard your front porch -- or to nap on your porch, as the case may be!

bulldog with carved pumpkin

When it comes to pumpkin carving, more tools are better! Try a variety of carving and etching instruments to create this masterpiece. A drill fitted with a tiny bit creates fabulous whisker dots.

1. Flip your pumpkin over, and cut a circle in the bottom with a thin, serrated knife. Carefully remove the cutout circle, prying it out with a knife if necessary. Scoop away the messy interior bits and discard them. Use a knife to level the bottom cutout; you'll use it as a candle platform later.

2. Print out the free stencil pattern, and tape it in place on your pumpkin, smoothing it out as best you can. Use a large pin to prick holes through the paper into the pumpkin skin, spacing holes about 1/8" apart. Remove the printed pattern, but keep it nearby for reference. 

3. Using a gouge, peel away the pumpkin skin within dotted areas on the stencil pattern, being careful not to cut through to the pumpkin's interior.

4. With a skinny, serrated knife (linoleum or woodcutting knives work well), carve stencil areas within the solid lines on the stencil pattern.

5. Finish by lighting the pumpkin's interior with a candle.

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