Fleur-de-Lis Pumpkin Stencil
If sophistication, classic style, and easy elegance are the traits you're seeking in a pumpkin stencil, then look no further. This fleur-de-lis stencil meets all your requirements, and it does so beautifully. (The free downloadable stencil is the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie.)
If the curved lines of your fleur-de-lis look a little jagged after carving, we have just the tip for you. We use a small clay modeling tool called a "trimming loop" to smooth out rough edges. Just skim the tool along carved edges, and wipe off trimmed bits with a paper towel. (If you're not a potter and a trip to the art supply store isn't happening, a sharp razor blade can work in a pinch; just trim carefully!)
1. Line your workspace with old newspapers, and set your carved pumpkin on top. Carve a circle in your pumpkin's underside (not its top), and remove the circle by prying it out with a knife. Level the pulpy side of the circle with your knife, creating a flat platform for a candle to rest. Dig out the mushy mass of seeds and strings from your pumpkin with a large metal spoon.
2. Secure your printed fleur-de-lis pattern to the side of your prepped pumpkin, smoothing the paper down and affixing it with tape. With a large nail, pierce along the stencil lines to transfer the pattern to the pumpkin. (Hint: Keep nail holes about 1/8 inch apart for best results.)
3. Take off the fleur-de-lis pattern, and cut along the nail marks with a skinny, serrated knife. After carving the entire design, press gently on the carved section to nudge it outward. (Hint: If the piece won't budge, run your knife around the carved edges to ensure it's been cut completely free. If necessary, cut the section into smaller pieces and remove them individually.)
4. Keep your pumpkin hydrated by wiping petroleum jelly along the carved edges. Place a battery-operated LED candle on the leveled circle, and set your carved pumpkin over it.