Choose a pumpkin that's heavy for its size to make this fun-loving cat-o'-lantern. Look for hefty gourds with firmly attached green stems -- a sign of freshness, which corresponds with a long porch-life for your carved creation. Just don't lift the pumpkin by the stem! It might loosen the stem's attachment and cause the gourd to spoil quicker, or worse, the stem might detach completely and cause the pumpkin to drop on your feet.
1. Download and print our free cat-o'-lantern stencil pattern, and secure it with tape to the side of your cleaned and scraped pumpkin. Copy the pattern onto the outside of the pumpkin by using a large nail or wooden skewer to perforate the stencil lines, creating closely spaced holes in both the paper and the pumpkin's surface. Pull off the pattern after transferring all stencil lines onto the pumpkin.
2. With a small, thin woodcutting knife, gently saw along the pattern outline to cut the openings that form your design. Leave all cutouts in place in the pumpkin wall until you've finished carving your design; to dislodge them, simply press on the cutouts gently from inside the pumpkin.
3. Set your cat-o'-lantern design aglow by adding a flameless candle to the pumpkin cavity.