Cheerful Face Pumpkin Stencil

This goofy pumpkin might have macaroni-shaped eyes, a unibrow, and one heck of a sharp nose, but you couldn't ask for a happier grin. If you're looking for a smile to light up the whole room (er, porch), just add this chipper pumpkin to your Halloween decor.

The whole family will be smiling over this super-simple carving project. This basic stencil (with no etching required) makes a great pattern for introducing kids to pumpkin carving.

To carve:

1. Cut a circle in the bottom of the pumpkin, and level the inside of the cutout with a knife. You'll use this later as a platform for supporting a candle.

2. Clean out the pumpkin's interior, removing the seeds and stringy bits.

3. Scrape the inside pumpkin flesh thinnest on the side you're planning to carve.

4. Use a photocopier to enlarge or reduce the pattern to fit the pumpkin. Attach the printed pattern to the pumpkin with tape.

5. Using a push pin, prick through the stencil lines into the surface of the pumpkin. Keep pin pricks closely spaced; you'll use them as a cutting guide.

6. Remove the printed stencil, and use a thin wood-cutting knife to carve the pattern. Cut completely through the side of the pumpkin, and discard excess pumpkin pieces.

7. Place a candle (or electric tea light) on the leveled circle prepared earlier from the bottom of the pumpkin, and set the carved pumpkin over it.


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