Creating this XLNT pumpkin stencil requires selecting a pumpkin in similarly excellent condition, and finding a gourd with a firmly attached green stem is a good indicator of that. When you find one, be careful not to hold the pumpkin by the stem! While it's tempting to use the stem as a handle, doing so loosens its attachment and leads to quicker rotting.
1. Log in to BHG.com to download the free XLNT pumpkin stencil. Fasten it to your pumpkin's exterior with clear tape, smoothing the paper down as best you can.
2. Transfer the pattern to the pumpkin's surface by poking along the stencil lines with a large nail or pin tool, keeping holes within 1/8" of each other for the most detailed results. Take off the stencil.
3. Carve along the hole guidelines to cut out the letters and reveal the design. (Hint: If letters do not dislodge easily by pressing on them, cut them into smaller pieces and carefully remove them.) Discard excess pumpkin pieces, and illuminate your pumpkin with a flameless candle.