Keep the top of your pumpkin intact (and the German shepherd's face in the spotlight) by cleaning out your pumpkin from the bottom. Just cut a circle in the base of the pumpkin and use an ice cream scoop to clear out all the seeds and stringy bits. As a bonus, you can create a flat platform for an interior candle by leveling the cut pumpkin circle with a knife.
1. Print out the free stencil; resize the pattern with a photocopier to fit your pumpkin if needed.
2. Clean out a pumpkin from the bottom, scraping the inside wall thinnest on the side you're planning to carve.
3. Attach your printed stencil to the pumpkin with clear tape, and use a large pin to pierce holes along the stencil lines, puncturing through the paper and into the pumpkin skin. Remove the paper when all stencil lines have been outlined.
4. Etch areas within dotted lines on the stencil by using a gouge to scrape away the pumpkin's skin.
5. Carve areas within solid lines on the stencil with a skinny, serrated knife. Pop out cutouts by pressing gently from inside the pumpkin.