OK, who spooked the pumpkin? This DIY gourd's look of wide-eyed surprise is enhanced by etching, a moderate-level carving technique made easy by our free downloadable stencil and step-by-step instructions.
Flickering candlelight glows beautifully through this pumpkin's carved face and its thinner, etched layers. We recommend using a woodworking chisel or gouge to scrape thin layers of pumpkin from the surface. Be sure to etch before carving to avoid breakage.
1. Cut a circle in the bottom of the pumpkin and clean out the interior. Scrape the pumpkin flesh thinnest in the area you're planning to carve; we recommend no more than 1" thickness.
2. Attach the printed stencil to the pumpkin with tape.
3. Use a pin to make tightly spaced pricks along the stencil lines, piercing through the paper into the surface of the pumpkin. Remove the paper stencil from the pumpkin, but keep it nearby for reference.
4. Use a scraping tool to peel away skin within the stencil's dotted lines (a process known as etching that enhances the pattern's features). After etching, use a thin knife to carve along the pattern's straight lines, cutting completely through the pumpkin's side. Discard excess pumpkin pieces.
5. Use a candle or electrical candle to light the pumpkin's interior.