Persian Cat Pumpkin Stencil

We longed to make this pumpkin stencil as soft and luxurious as the real Persian cat's fur is. So we etched layers of fluffy, cascading fur into this tribute to our favorite round-face kitty. And while we couldn't re-create the real Persian's sink-your-fingers-in fluffiness, we did create this gorgeously-detailed likeness to brighten your front porch. In our view, it's next to purr-fect.

Just like a real Persian, this carved Persian cat pumpkin requires a little upkeep to maintain its beautiful appearance. We recommend wiping the pumpkin's carved surfaces with petroleum jelly to keep your pumpkin better hydrated. Refrigeration also helps maintain a carved pumpkin's freshness; just place the entire pumpkin in a plastic bag and pop it in the fridge when it's not in use.

To carve:

1. Sign in to BHG.com to print our free Persian cat stencil pattern. (If you don't have an account with us yet, registration is free, too!) Place the printed pattern on the side of a cleaned-out pumpkin and attach it with clear tape.

2. Score the pattern onto the pumpkin's surface by using a pin tool to jab closely spaced holes along the pattern lines. (Note: Be sure to poke through both the paper and the pumpkin skin.) Remove the pattern when all lines have been duplicated onto the pumpkin.

3. Look at the printed pattern to locate areas within dotted lines; etch those areas with a gouge or etching power tool. To etch, simply remove the pumpkin's skin by gently scratching it away. (Note: Be careful not to puncture completely through the pumpkin wall while etching; scrape away just enough skin to reveal the light color rind below.)

4. Look at the printed pattern to locate areas within solid lines; carve those areas with a linoleum-cutting knife or specialty pumpkin-carving knife. To carve, saw gently along the pin prick marks, leaving cutout sections in place until you've completely carved the design.

5. Press on cutout sections from within the pumpkin to push them out and reveal the stencil design. Illuminate your Persian pumpkin's face by placing an LED candle inside the pumpkin cavity.

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