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.
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.