There are many different methods of preserving a carved pumpkin for a longer porch life. Which one do we swear by? We recommend rubbing petroleum jelly over the pumpkin's cut surfaces and keeping your pumpkin covered in the refrigerator when not in use. If your bunny pumpkin starts losing its hippity-hop, dunk the entire pumpkin in a cold-water bath and allow it to soak for up to 8 hours, which will firm up the pumpkin again.
1. Cut a circle in the bottom of your pumpkin and remove the inner guts with your hands or a scoop. Select the pumpkin side you're intending to carve and scrape the pumpkin's interior wall thinnest on that side (about 1" thickness is optimum.)
2. Print out your stencil pattern and tape it to the pumpkin's exterior. Use a push pin to poke holes along the pattern lines, piercing into the pumpkin's skin. Keep pin pricks tightly spaced. Remove the paper pattern after pricking all stencil lines.
3. Etch areas on the stencil that are outlined with dotted lines. To etch, just use a gouge or electric etching tool to peel off the pumpkin's skin.
4. Carve areas on the stencil that are outlined with solid lines. Use a thin, serrated knife to saw slowly along the pin pricks.
5. Remove cutout pumpkin pieces by pressing lightly from inside the pumpkin. Illuminate your design by placing a flameless candle inside the pumpkin.