Crow-Topped Jack-O'-Lantern Pumpkin Stencil

This classic jack-o'-lantern is all triangles, from his zigzag lid edge to his pointed teeth, and he's pretty enough on his own. But the real eye-catcher, in our opinion, is the murder of crows we posed overhead for creepy Halloween fun. Assemble this display for your porch or pop it on your garden bird feeder; just log in to BHG.com first to grab the free pattern!

Bird Brain

Simple triangles and an easy-to-carve smile make this classic pattern a perfect first-time pumpkin-carving project. Although the lid is carved off to make a perch for the crows, you could leave out the feathered friends and clean your pumpkin from the bottom instead. By cutting a circle at the bottom of the pumpkin, you can easily level the circle with a knife to form a flat platform for a candle.

To carve:

1. Cut a lid with a zigzag edge around the top of the pumpkin, and use an ice cream scoop to remove the messy bits from inside the pumpkin. Scrape the pumpkin wall thinnest on the side you're intending to carve.

2. Tape your printed pattern to the pumpkin, and use a push pin to make closely spaced pin pricks along the stencil lines. Remove the paper stencil after all lines have been transferred.

3. Carve along the pin pricks with a woodcutting knife, and pop out the pumpkin sections by pressing from inside the pumpkin.

4. Wind wire around the feet of artificial birds, and pose them around the jack-o'-lantern as desired. Poke wire ends into the pumpkin to secure the birds in position.

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