When it comes to pumpkin carving, cut sections from the center outward for less risk of breakage. In this clown's case, start with his big, goofy nose. Leave all the cutout sections in place until you've completely finished carving, then press from inside the pumpkin to pop pieces out and reveal your design.
1. Hollow out your pumpkin from the bottom (not the top!) by cutting a circle in its base and reaching in to scoop out the pulp and stringy parts. Level the circle with a knife; you'll use it as a platform for a candle later.
2. Tape your printed stencil pattern to the pumpkin's outer wall, and prick along the stencil lines with a pushpin. Keep pin pricks closely spaced; we recommend no further than 1/8 inch apart.
3. Remove the paper stencil and etch the small circle at the top of the clown's hat. To etch, use a scraping tool to gently remove the pumpkin's top layer, revealing the light-colored rind beneath.
4. Carve stencil areas within solid lines, cutting completely through the pumpkin wall.
5. Set a lit candle on the leveled pumpkin circle, and place your carved pumpkin over the top.