Belly band pumpkin stencils flatter gourds with enough girth to showcase them. Look for short, wide pumpkins for this stencil design, and select a gourd with shallow ridges for best carving results.
1. Place a few layers of old newspaper on your workspace, and set your pumpkin on top of them. Flip the pumpkin on its side, and cut a large circle in its underside. Pull out all the stringy guts and seeds with an ice cream scoop.
2. Flatten your printed Southwestern belly band stencil against your pumpkin's exterior, using clear tape to secure it in place. Score the pattern onto the pumpkin's surface by using a needle tool to poke tightly spaced holes along the stencil lines. Tear off the pattern after outlining the entire design, and keep it beside you for reference.
3. With a gouge or wide-blade cutter, etch pattern areas within dotted lines by removing thin slivers of pumpkin skin, uncovering the light-orange rind below. (Hint: To be certain you've etched deeply enough for light to glow through, shine a small flashlight at your design from inside the pumpkin.)
4. With a skinny wood-cutting knife, carve pattern areas within solid lines. Allow carved pieces to stay in place within the pumpkin wall until you've finished carving all pieces.
5. Pop carved pieces outward by pressing on them gently, nudging them outward. Wipe a thin coat of petroleum jelly along carved edges and etched surfaces.
6. Add a battery-operated candle to your pumpkin's interior to highlight your Southwestern design.