Knight's Fleur-de-Lis Pumpkin Stencil

It's no accident that the main petal of this fleur-de-lis design resembles a spearhead. Adapted as wartime insignia by knights of old, these fleur-de-lis emblems were a little sharper, a little showier, but every bit as elegant. Etch this eye-catching pumpkin stencil for your Halloween porch, and don't be surprised if little knights and princesses are drawn to it.

Since this design is etched rather than carved, there's no need to clean out the pumpkin's interior beforehand -- unless you plan to light it from within. Etched pumpkins give off a soft, translucent glow when lit. If you do plan to light your pumpkin, we recommend checking your progress as you etch by holding a small flashlight inside your pumpkin and shining a light at your design. Etch just deeply enough for a visible glow.

To carve:

1. Secure the printed pattern to the side of your pumpkin with tape. (Hint: Smooth the paper to the pumpkin's surface as you tape for best results.) Pierce along the stencil lines with a pin tool or wooden skewer, creating tightly spaced pin holes in the pumpkin's skin.

2. Remove the stencil, and keep it nearby for reference. Etch areas of the fleur-de-lis that are within dotted lines. To etch, use a gouge or sharp crafts knife to shave off slivers of pumpkin skin, removing just enough pumpkin skin to reveal the light-orange rind underneath.

3. Wipe etched surfaces with petroleum jelly to seal in moisture.

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