You could carve your Oriental cat's face into a pumpkin every year, of course. But if you're looking for a one-and-done approach, try carving this stencil into a carvable synthetic pumpkin. Made from low-density foam, these pumpkins can be carved with the same methods and tools as ordinary pumpkins, allowing you to enjoy your Oriental cat's furry, glowing face for years to come without the hassle of re-carving.
1. Open up your pumpkin by sawing a circle in its underside and using your knife to carefully pry the circle out. Slice off the pulpy top of the circle to create a flat surface; this will become a platform for your candle.
2. Use a metal ice cream scoop to spoon out the mushy mass of seeds and goop inside the pumpkin. Pare down the inside wall of the side you're planning to carve; we recommend scraping this wall to no more than 1" thickness.
3. Sign in to BHG.com to download and print out our free Oriental cat stencil. Secure it to the side of your pumpkin with tape, flattening the paper down as you attach it.
4. Add the pattern to the pumpkin's surface by jabbing holes along the stencil lines with a large nail or needle tool. Keep holes within 1/8" of each other for best results. Take off the pattern after transferring all lines to the pumpkin.
5. Review the pattern to find sections within dotted lines. With a gouge, chip away at the pumpkin skin within those sections until the light-orange layer of pumpkin underneath is showing. (Note: Be careful not to pierce completely through the wall of the pumpkin.)
6. Find pattern sections within solid lines and carve those sections with a thin crafts knife. To carve, saw gently along the needle marks, leaving cutout sections in place until you've finished carving the entire design.
7. Pop out carved sections by pressing on them from the pumpkin's interior. Light up the revealed design by placing a LED candle inside the pumpkin cavity.