If you have a bumper crop of perfectly imperfect pumpkins, you're all set to create this motley crew! Download our pumpkin stencils to create gourds with silly grins, angry leers, and and other expressions.

While we provide the patterns, placement is entirely up to you! Arrange facial features in ways that emphasize imperfections: Odd stems become entertaining noses, and indentations can make charming cheekbones.

free frazzled stencil pattern (top left) free scared silly stencil pattern (top right) free goofy grin stencil pattern (bottom left) free small scared stencil pattern (bottom middle) free big happy stencil pattern (bottom middle) free scary stencil pattern (bottom right)

To carve:

1. Clean your pumpkins by carving a circle in what will be the bottom of your finished design and pulling out the fibrous innards and seeds. With a stiff metal spoon or scraping tool, pare down each pumpkin's interior wall on the side you're planning to carve by scraping away at the pulp; continue to scrape until the pumpkin wall is approximately 1" thick.

2. Smooth your printed patterns against your pumpkins, and attach them with clear tape. For each stencil, use a wooden skewer or pushpin to jab holes along the stencil lines, outlining the design. (Note: Keep holes within 1/8" for the most detailed results.)

3. Detach your printed stencil carefully, and keep it handy. Refer to the stencil to find areas within dotted lines; etch these areas with a gouge or power etching tool. To etch, whittle away at the pumpkin skin to expose the light orange rind below; wipe away bits of pumpkin skin with a paper towel.

4. Find areas on the stencil within solid lines; carve these areas with a sharp woodcutting or linoleum-cutting knife. To carve, saw gently along the pin holes, and allow carved pieces to remain in place in the pumpkin wall until you've finished carving all sections.

5. Nudge carved pieces out of position with your fingers by pressing on them from your pumpkin interior.


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