Watch out for the chompers on that vampire -- he looks hungry! Carve your own cartoonish jack-o'-lantern vampire, complete with widow's peak hair and needlelike fangs, by downloading our free pumpkin stencil. And eat another piece of garlic bread, just in case.
Before you sink your teeth into this carving project, spend a little time preparing your pumpkin beforehand. The effort will pay off in professional-looking results! We recommend cleaning out your pumpkin from the bottom (not the top) for a polished appearance. As a bonus, cutting a circle in the bottom of your pumpkin makes it easy to create a flat candle platform; just level the circle with a knife, and set a flameless tea light on it.
1. Tape your printed stencil to a hollowed-out pumpkin (see our tips above). With a large nail, poke closely-spaced holes along the stencil lines to transfer the pattern to the pumpkin's surface. Remove the stencil when all lines have been transferred.
2. Saw slowly along the holes with a thin, serrated woodcutting knife. Keep all cutout sections in place until you've finished sawing the design, then press on them with your fingers to push them toward the pumpkin's surface.
3. Light the pumpkin with a battery-operated tea light to illuminate the design.