The pinwheel stencil's visual appeal comes from alternating etched spokes with carved spokes. For pumpkin stencils that combine both techniques, we recommend etching first. This causes less strain on the pumpkin shell and decreases the risk of breakage. When you do carve, leave cutout sections in place until you've finished carving the entire pattern. Keeping the pumpkin as intact as possible while carving increases its stability.
1. Use clear tape to attach the printed pinwheel stencil to your pumpkin's exterior, smoothing the paper as you tape it in place.
2. With a needle tool or wooden skewer, punch tightly spaced holes along the stencil lines to reproduce the pattern onto the pumpkin's surface. (Hint: For detailed results, keep needle holes within 1/8" of each other.) Take down the stencil, and keep it handy.
3. Find stencil sections surrounded by dotted lines, and etch them with a chisel or sharp crafts knife by slicing away slivers of pumpkin skin, exposing the light-colored rind below.
4. Find stencil sections surrounded by solid lines, and carve them with a sharp serrated knife. Allow carved pieces to remain in place within the pumpkin wall until you've carved the entire design.
5. Press gently on carved pieces from inside the pumpkin to prod them outward, revealing the pinwheel design. Wipe carved and etched areas with petroleum jelly to lock in the pumpkin's moisture.