Mouse Pumpkin Stencil

Any guesses on who stole the cheese platter? (Psst... He's on the pumpkin!) But it's hard to be angry with such an adorable carved pumpkin mouse, with his pointy, etched whiskers and tiny, carved feet. We'll just carve a cat pumpkin to keep this spunky rodent in line!

A pumpkin stencil this cute requires a few small-handed helpers, don't you think? Get little kids involved by recruiting them to clean out the pumpkin's interior. With adults nearby to supervise and provide pointers, older kids can help with carving and etching.

To carve:

1. Cut a circle in the underside of a pumpkin, and use your hands or a scoop to pull out the messy seeds and stringy bits.

2. Print out the mouse stencil, and if necessary, resize it with a photocopier to fit your pumpkin. Tape the stencil to the exterior of your pumpkin.

3. Go over stencil lines with a pin tool, poking closely spaced holes through the paper into the pumpkin's skin. Remove the stencil after pricking all the lines.

4. Use a gouge to peel off the pumpkin's skin (a technique known as etching) within stencil sections surrounded by dotted lines. Use a thin, serrated crafts knife to carve stencil sections surrounded by solid lines, following the pin prick guidelines and sawing gently from point to point.

5. Remove excess pumpkin pieces and light the pumpkin's interior with a flameless candle.


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