Breathe deeply. It's JUST a spider stencil. Yes, their creepy real-life versions are much less than welcome in your household. But this little fella doesn't bite, and he's certain to bring a few fun-loving squeals from trick-or-treaters who spot him lurking in a corner. So try letting him hang out for the holiday; we promise he'll be on his best behavior.

By Jessica Tull
spider stencil

Keep your spider pumpkin's porch life long and fresh-looking by rubbing cut surfaces with petroleum jelly immediately after carving. If your pumpkin starts to shrivel, you could also dunk the entire gourd in cold water for a few hours to firm it up. We recommend tossing this spider pumpkin in the compost pile when he's finished lurking on your porch. Swatting him with a newspaper definitely won't do the job!

free spider stencil pattern

To carve:

1. Print out the free spider stencil by logging in to If necessary, resize the stencil with a photocopier to fit your pumpkin. Tape the stencil to your cleaned-out pumpkin, smoothing the paper down as best you can.

2. Prick along stencil lines with a large pin tool, puncturing the surface of the pumpkin with closely spaced pin pricks. Remove the stencil when all lines have been outlined.

3. Carve the outlined areas with a thin, serrated woodcutting knife. Start by cutting sections in the center of the design and work your way outward. Saw gently along the pin pricks, leaving cutout sections in place until you've finished cutting the entire design.

4. Pop out cutout sections by pressing on them with your fingers from inside the pumpkin. Light your spider pumpkin by adding a candle to the pumpkin's interior.


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