The Pumpkin King Pumpkin Stencil

All hail his carved majesty! Add a little nobility to your yard with our carved Pumpkin King, a fun gourd spoof on playing-card royalty. Seat him on a birdbath or urn "throne" and enjoy his stately presence this Halloween. You can practically see the wisdom shining from his face -- or wait, that's candlelight.

What's a regal pumpkin monarch without his royal consort? For a truly impressive display, use both halves of a pumpkin to make two crowns: one for His Royal Highness, and the other for Her Majesty, the Pumpkin Queen.

To carve:

1. Print out the Pumpkin King stencil pattern, and tape it to a pumpkin that you've previously gutted. Pierce along the stencil lines with a poker tool, keeping holes close together.

2. Remove the printed stencil, and locate areas on the page that are outlined in yellow. Gouge lightly along these areas, peeling back the pumpkin's skin to reveal the light yellow-orange rind below.

3. Carve the Pumpkin King's eyes and mouth by sawing along the pin hole lines with a thin, serrated knife. Pop out carved pieces by pressing on them gently from inside the pumpkin. In the lower back of the pumpkin, cut a hole large enough to slide a flameless candle through.

4. Cut a second pumpkin in half, and clean the seeds and stringy bits from the interior. Cut along the pumpkin half's outside edges, carving the edge into scalloped shapes to mimic a crown's prongs. (Use the other half of this pumpkin to create a crown for the Pumpkin Queen.) With a gouge, etch areas along the scallop tops to embed fake jewels, and attach gems to these indentations with crafts glue. Use skewers to attach the crown to the top of the Pumpkin King's head.

5. Place your carved pumpkin in the area you're planning to display it, and slide a flameless candle through the back hole of the pumpkin. Embellish the base of the pumpkin with faux fur if desired.

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