This round-edge leaf pumpkin stencil proves a point we've made for years: Curls are universally flattering! We drew upon the curly edges of a white oak leaf as inspiration for this stylized leaf design. Click on the link below to download our free pattern!
If you prefer, you can etch this rounded-leaf design rather than carving it. Etched designs, when lit from within, provide a soft, translucent glow to your pumpkin design. Just trace your pattern as usual, then use a gouge or power etching tool to remove the pumpkin's top layer of skin, uncovering the light orange rind underneath.
1. Layer old newspapers across your workspace, and set your pumpkin on top of them. Flip your pumpkin on its side to access its underside, and carve a circle in its underside large enough for your arm and hand to fit through comfortably. Pry out the circle with your knife, and cut off the circle's pulpy side to create a flat, even platform for a candle.
2. Reach through the opening in your pumpkin to dig out the guts and goo. Use a scraper tool or stiff metal spoon to pare down the pumpkin's interior wall on the side you're planning to carve; scrape until the wall is approximately 1" thick.
3. With clear tape, fasten your printed leaf design to your pumpkin's exterior, using your hands to smooth the paper down as you tape. With a wooden skewer or pushpin, jab along the stencil lines, creating closely spaced holes outlining the entire design.
4. Rip off the pattern, and carve the design with a skinny, serrated crafts knife. (Note: You also can etch this design by following our tips above.)
5. Pop out the leaf-shape piece by pressing on it from inside the pumpkin. (Hint: If the piece won't budge, run your knife around the carved edges to make sure all edges have been cut completely free.)
6. Place a battery-operated votive candle on the leveled pumpkin circle, and place your carved pumpkin over the top of the candle.