No, you're not seeing double. That really is an entire carved jack-o'-lantern (stem and all!) cut neatly into the side of a larger pumpkin. Create this head-turner for your doorstep this Halloween by downloading our free stencil and following our detailed instructions. It's two-in-one Halloween fun!

By Jessica Tull

Carving a pumpkin takes less muscle than you might think! A little advance prep work is all you need. We recommend thinning the pumpkin's inside wall on the side you're planning to carve to approximately 1 inch thick, as thicker walls are more difficult to cut through and thinner walls are more prone to breakage. To scrape pumpkins quickly and easily, we use a clay-modeling tool known as a "trimming loop" to skim the interior walls; you can find this tool in art stores or online.

free jack-in-a-jack stencil pattern

To carve:

1. Clean your pumpkin by carving a circle in its underside and clearing out the interior goop and seeds with a metal ice cream scoop. Scrape your pumpkin, following our tips above, until the side you're planning to carve is approximately 1 inch thick.

2. Place your printed Jack-in-a-Jack stencil pattern on the side of your pumpkin, and affix it with tape. Poke along the stencil lines with a needle tool or push pin, keeping pin holes closely spaced. Tear off the pattern when you've duplicated all the pattern lines onto the surface of the pumpkin.

3. Cut along the pin hole guidelines with a skinny, serrated crafts knife. Leave cutout sections in place until you've carved the entire design; to dislodge them, simply push on them gently from inside the pumpkin.

4. Light up your Jack-in-a-Jack design by setting a flameless candle inside the pumpkin.


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