Cat and Mouse Pumpkin Stencils

We're bringing the classic game of cat and mouse to your porch steps with these playful, pumpkin-carved adversaries. This eager cat's cartoonish smile is glowing with the prospect of catching its fuzzy foe, but we're guessing not one adorable mousy whisker will be harmed. Just log into BHG.com to download these fun, free stencil patterns.

This cat's toothy smile is his best feature, and it's surprisingly easy to carve! For less risk of breakage, we recommend leaving pumpkin cutouts in place until you've finished carving the entire design. Then just apply gentle pressure from inside the pumpkin to pop pieces outward.

To carve:

1. Hollow out two pumpkins from the bottom, one large and one small. Tape the printed mouse pattern to the smaller pumpkin and the cat pattern to the larger pumpkin.

2. Transfer the stencil patterns to the pumpkins by using a pin tool to tap pin pricks through the paper into the pumpkin's surface, following along the stencil lines. Keep pin pricks closely spaced.

3. Remove the paper stencils and use the pin pricks as a cutting guide to carve the cat and mouse features. (Note: Don't carve the whisker lines! You'll etch those in Step 4.) After completely carving the patterns, press on the cutouts from inside the pumpkin to pop the sections out.

4. Use a gouging tool to etch the cat and mouse whiskers. To etch, gently scrape the surface of the pumpkins to remove just the top layer of pumpkin skin, revealing the light-colored rind underneath.

5. Cut two cat ears from black felt using the stencil pattern, and use crafts glue or pins to attach them above the cat's eyes. Finish by lighting both pumpkin interiors with electric candles.

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