We were originally planning to carve an ordinary jack-o'-lantern, but -- SQUIRREL! We were suddenly distracted, and inspiration struck. Now we're enjoying the glow from our carved squirrel pumpkin and wondering why we didn't think to carve it in the first place. Carve yours today by logging in to BHG.com to download the free stencil.

By Jessica Tull

Orange pumpkins are traditional, but don't be afraid to experiment with other color options! Pumpkins are available in all sorts of shades, and as long as the pumpkin is fresh (check for overall firmness and a strongly attached stem), they're all good candidates for carving. As a bonus, carving your masterpiece on a creamy-white or dappled green gourd will set your artwork apart from the traditional orange crowd.

free squirrel stencil pattern

To carve:

1. Hollow out a pumpkin from the bottom (not the top), and attach your printed stencil to the surface of the pumpkin.

2. Prick holes along the stencil lines with a poker tool, keeping prick marks closely spaced. Remove the stencil.

3. Etch areas on the stencil surrounded by dotted lines by removing the pumpkin's skin with a gouging tool. Carve areas on the stencil surrounded by solid lines with a skinny, serrated knife.

4. After carving the entire design, pop out cutout sections by pressing with your fingers from inside the pumpkin. Add a lit candle to the pumpkin to give your carved design a pretty glow.


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