The monarchs might be migrating southward, but this butterfly is staying right on your porch. This elegant butterfly stencil, with its segmented wings fluttering on the breeze, was designed as a reminder of languid summer days -- and we're pretty sure it does the trick! Grab a glass of cold lemonade for the memories, and grab our free stencil below.
To ensure a long porch life for this carved butterfly, select a pumpkin as pretty as the stencil. Look for a blemish-free pumpkin with a firmly attached green stem; these are indicators of freshness. For intricate designs, such as this butterfly, it's also important to find a pumpkin with at least one smooth, flat side for carving. Save round pumpkins for simple jack-o'-lantern patterns, like the traditional triangular face.
1. Hollow your pumpkin by cutting into its underside (not its top) and removing all the seeds and messy bits. Scrape the inside walls clean with a stiff metal spoon, and shake out the trimmed bits into the garbage.
2. Secure your printed butterfly pattern to the side of your pumpkin using clear tape, smoothing the paper as flat as you can against the pumpkin side. Duplicate the pattern onto the pumpkin by using a large nail to puncture the stencil lines; keep nail holes closely spaced, ideally within 1/8 inch of each other.
3. Pull off the pattern and set it close by. Refer to the pattern to locate areas requiring etching; use a gouge or sharp crafts knife to remove the pumpkin skin from those areas, taking care not to puncture through the pumpkin wall.
4. Refer to the pattern to locate areas requiring carving; use a skinny, serrated crafts knife to slice along the nail holes outlining these areas. To pop out carved sections, press gently on them from within the pumpkin. Discard excess pumpkin pieces.