When you're selecting a pumpkin for Carly's background, look for one with even, solid color. Dappled colors or pumpkins with rough spots will detract from intricate designs. Try to find a pumpkin with a flat, smooth side for carving; a flat underside is helpful, too. You don't want your carved masterpiece rolling off the porch steps!
1. Log in to BHG.com to download and print our free Carly Rae Jepsen stencil. (Don't worry if you haven't registered with us yet; registration is free!)
2. Cut open and clean your pumpkin from the bottom (not the top), and scrape the pumpkin's inner wall to no more than 1" thickness on the side you're intending to carve.
3. Tape your printed stencil to the pumpkin's surface, smoothing the paper as you tape. Use a pin tool to pierce holes through the paper and into the pumpkin's skin, making closely spaced pin holes along all stencil lines. Remove the stencil after transferring all lines to the pumpkin.
4. Etch areas of the stencil within the dotted lines. To etch, use an electric etching tool or a gouging tool to remove the pumpkin's top skin layer. Etch gently to avoid puncturing the pumpkin wall; you should just reveal the light-colored rind underneath.
5. Carve areas of the stencil within solid lines. To carve, use a thin, serrated crafts knife or wood-cutting knife to cut completely through the pumpkin wall, sawing gently along the pin hole guidelines. (Tip: We recommend leaving cutout pumpkin pieces in place until the entire design has been carved; this reduces the risk of accidental breakage.)
6. Pop out cutout pumpkin pieces by pressing gently on them from inside the pumpkin. If they don't dislodge easily, run the knife along their cut edges to ensure they've been cut completely free.
7. Add a battery-operated candle to your pumpkin's interior to light up Carly's smile.