There's a funny joke going around, and we're waiting for this pumpkin stencil to quit laughing and share it! (It might be a while, though; he hasn't stopped snickering since we first designed him.) Carve this laughing prankster's face into your Halloween pumpkin to add a little hilarity to your porch.
We etched this jokester stencil's tongue for interest and, well, just for laughs! Don't worry if you've never etched before; the technique is simple. To etch, use a gouge or power etching tool to shave the skin off the pumpkin's top layer, revealing the light-orange rind underneath. You could remove all the pumpkin's skin from the tongue section, or for a fun effect, leave a thin strip of pumpkin skin down the middle as a tongue crease.
1. Log in to BHG.com to access the free stencil pattern; if you haven't registered yet, registration is free, too! Print out the stencil and tape it to the surface of your cleaned and scraped pumpkin.
2. To trace the pattern onto your pumpkin, hold the gourd steady and poke holes along the stencil lines with a needle tool. For best results, keep pin holes within 1/8" of each other. Remove the stencil.
3. Etch the tongue area by using a gouge to scrape off the pumpkin's surface skin, following our tips in the stencil caption above.
4. Carve the rest of the pattern by using a skinny, serrated linoleum-cutting knife to cut completely through the side of the pumpkin, following along the pin-hole guidelines.
5. Press on carved sections from inside the pumpkin to push them outward, revealing the laughing-face design. Light the pumpkin with a votive candle or a battery-operated candle.