The carved letters are cute, but it's the etched details that really take these traffic sign pumpkins over the top. Fortunately, it's a simple process! To etch, just take a chisel or craft blade and whittle away at the pumpkin's top layer of skin, exposing the rind below. If you happen to own a power etching tool, the process is even faster.
1. Sign in to access our free traffic sign stencils. (If you haven't already registered with BHG.com, don't worry -- registration is free, too.) Print them out and check the stencil size against your pumpkin; if necessary, resize the stencils with a copier for a better fit.
2. Hold the printed patterns against the sides of your cleaned-out pumpkins, and tape each one in place. Use a needle tool to trace the patterns onto the outsides of your pumpkins. To trace the pattern, pierce the needle tool through the paper and into the pumpkin skin below, making closely spaced holes along the pattern lines.
3. Take off the pattern and keep it beside you for reference. Etch areas within dotted lines by following our etching tips above. Carve areas within solid lines by cutting along the needle marks. (Hint: Wait until you've carved the entire design to remove the cutout sections. When you're ready to dislodge them, just press on the cutouts from inside the pumpkin to pop them outward.)
4. Light up your traffic sign pumpkins by placing a battery-operated candle inside each pumpkin.