This pumpkin stencil is simple, elegant, and slightly art nouveau. It's also a cinch to carve. Create one for your porch display by logging in to BHG.com to download our free stencil.
Carving curved lines is slightly more challenging than carving straight ones, but don't be discouraged if your flower petals turn out slightly ragged. To smooth out minor carving errors, use a small triangular-headed clay-modeling tool to skim along carved edges. This tool trims off jagged bits, leaving a clean edge behind. Check art supply stores to find one.
1. Cover your workspace in old newspapers and set your pumpkin on top. Flip the pumpkin on its side and carve a circle in its bottom, cutting it wide enough to comfortably reach your arm through. Pry out the circle and level it with a knife to create a candle platform.
2. Dig out the pumpkin innards with a stiff metal spoon, and scrape the pumpkin side thinnest on the side you're planning to carve. (Hint: Choose the flattest, smoothest side to carve, and scrape the pumpkin on that inside wall until it is approximately 1" thick.)
3. Print your stylized flower pattern, and tape it against the pumpkin, smoothing the paper with your hands as you tape. Insert the pattern lines with a pin tool by piercing holes through the paper and into the pumpkin's surface. (Hint: By spacing pin holes approximately 1/8" apart, you'll give the pumpkin greater detail.)
4. Rip off the flower pattern and cut along the pin holes with a skinny woodcutting knife. Push gently on the carved sections from inside the pumpkin to prod them out.