Medusa Pumpkin Stencil

We don't deny that this Medusa pumpkin stencil, with her seething nest of snakes for hair, is eerily beautiful. But since we've heard her intense gaze can turn onlookers into stone, we're just snatching quick looks here and there. It's better to be on the safe side.

Helpful hint: Carve your pumpkins from the bottom (not the top) for a seamless presentation. You'll have more room to admire Medusa's unique hairstyle, and you'll also be able to form a candle platform by leveling the inside of pumpkin's bottom cutout with a knife.

To carve:

1. Hollow out your pumpkin by following the tips above.

2. Print out the free, downloadable stencil by logging in to BHG.com (registration is free, too). Tape the printed stencil to the pumpkin, smoothing the paper as you tape.

3. Poke along the stencil lines with a large pin, puncturing the pumpkin's skin. Keep pin pricks closely spaced and remove the printed stencil when all lines have been transferred.

4. Etch stencil sections within dotted lines by using a gouge to peel off the pumpkin's top layer, revealing the rind underneath.

5. Carve stencil sections within solid lines with a sharp, serrated knife.

6. Add a lit candle to the inside of your pumpkin to illuminate.

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