Tombstone Pumpkin Stencil

Whoever occupies this nameless grave died a long time ago... but historical ghosts make this scene creepier, don't you think? Carve this eerie tombstone into your Halloween pumpkin and set it in your yard as a festive gravestone. If you're a real Halloween go-getter and decorate your entire yard, carve multiple tombstone gourds and arrange them in rows for a jack-o'-lantern cemetery. Download our free stencil to get started!

tombstone carving

When it comes to carving this tombstone's spooky lettering, you have options. You could cut out the letters by carving along the stencil lines --this gives the tombstone's words a chunkier appearance. For a more elegant script, we recommend etching the letters and numbers by using a gouge to scrape away the pumpkin's top layer. Then carve the tombstone's outline and curlicues as directed below.

To carve:

1. Tape your printed tombstone pattern to a pumpkin that you've cleaned out. Pierce along the stencil lines with a needle tool, creating closely spaced holes in both the paper and the pumpkin's surface. Remove the pattern when all stencil lines have been transferred to the pumpkin.

2. Carve the pattern by using a skinny pumpkin-carving knife to saw along the pin-hole outlines. (Note: If desired, follow our instructions in the stencil caption, above, to etch the tombstone's letters and numbers.)

3. Push carved pieces toward the surface by pressing on them from inside the pumpkin. If any pieces are difficult to remove, trace around their edges with a knife to ensure they've been cut free from the pumpkin, and cut them into smaller sections, if necessary. Pop these pieces outward and discard them.

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