The Pumpkin Queen Pumpkin Stencil

Presenting Her Royal Majesty, the Pumpkin Queen! We crowned our offbeat Halloween monarch with a chunky, half-pumpkin tiara and modeled her facial features after playing-card royalty. We think she looks like a funky queen of spades, although that could be related to her throne location; we popped her on an urn not far from our garden tool-shed! Create your own royal gourd by downloading our free pumpkin stencil pattern; just log in to BHG.com.

You might be wondering what happened to the other half of the pumpkin currently forming the Pumpkin Queen's royal headwear. We formed the additional half into a crown for her spouse, the Pumpkin King!

To carve:

1. Gut your pumpkin by carving a hole in the bottom and hollowing out the interior seeds and stringy parts. Attach your printed Pumpkin Queen stencil to the side of your pumpkin, and use a long pin tool to pierce tightly spaced holes along the stencil lines.

2. Once all stencil lines have been transferred to the pumpkin, remove the stencil and keep it close by for reference. Locate yellow lines on the stencil, and gouge those lines lightly with an etching tool to reveal the pumpkin's light yellow-orange rind below. (Be careful not to puncture your pumpkin while etching.)

3. Cut out the Pumpkin Queen's eyes and mouth with a thin, serrated knife. Saw gently along the pin holes, carving from point to point, and gently push out the cutout pieces to reveal the design.

4. Halve a second pumpkin with your carving knife, and cut scallops along one of the cut pumpkin halves to mimic crown prongs. Use a gouge to etch areas at the top of each prong for displaying fake gems; use crafts glue to attach gems to these indentations. Thread pearls onto corsage pins and push them into the crown's scalloped edge, creating a pearl-lined border. Use skewers to attach the crown to the pumpkin's head.

5. Place your pumpkin where you intend to display it, leaving its carved underside off. Set the carved pumpkin over a battery-operated candle for illumination, and hot-glue a ruffle to the pumpkin's base. 

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