Just because your Sphynx cat is wrinkly doesn't mean your pumpkin has to be! To help prevent your pumpkin from shriveling before its time, wipe a thin coat of petroleum jelly along all cut pumpkin surfaces, as well as the entire inside cavity. This simple method prevents excess moisture from escaping, keeping your pumpkin plump and well-hydrated longer.
1. Carefully cut out the bottom of your pumpkin by carving a circle large enough for your arm to fit through and prying the circle out with your knife. Cut off the pulpy side of the circle to create a flat surface for setting a candle on.
2. Reach into the pumpkin and clean out the seeds and guts, reserving the seeds to toast if desired. With a scraper tool (such as a metal scoop or a clay-modeling tool), scrape the pumpkin's inside wall on the side you're planning to carve until it is about 1 inch thick.
3. Print out the Sphynx cat stencil and stick the pattern to the pumpkin's side with clear tape. With a pin tool or wooden skewer, jab along the stencil lines, breaking through both the paper and the pumpkin's skin. Keep pin marks close together, ideally about 1/8 inch apart.
4. Remove your printed pattern, and refer to it to locate areas within dotted lines. With an electric etching tool or gouge, shave off the pumpkin's top layer within those areas, revealing the lighter color rind below. (Hint: Start by etching areas close to the center of the pattern, and work your way outward.)
5. Refer to your printed pattern again to locate areas within solid lines. With a thin, serrated crafts knife, slice along the pin holes outlining these sections. (Hint: Start by carving areas close to the center of the pattern, and work your way outward.)
6. Reveal the carved design by pressing on the cutout sections from inside the pumpkin, nudging them out and allowing them to fall away. Discard excess pieces.
7. Wipe the pumpkin's interior and all carved surfaces with petroleum jelly. Place an LED candle inside the pumpkin to make your Sphynx cat jack-o'-lantern glow.