We ordinarily recommend finding a pumpkin with the least number of lumps and bumps, but for this misshapen zombie pumpkin carving, a few knots could add character! In fact, this pumpkin carving may look even better when it's past its prime. With a little preplanning and creativity, natural pumpkin blemishes can be integrated into your stencil designs, forming everything from zombie warts to pirate scars.
1. Cut a circle in the bottom of your pumpkin with a thin, serrated knife, and clear out all the messy parts with an ice cream scoop. Scrape the pumpkin flesh thinnest in the region in which you'll carve the stencil design.
2. Tape the printed zombie hand stencil to the surface of your pumpkin, smoothing out the pattern as you go.
3. Pierce along the stencil lines with a pin tool, pricking through the paper into the surface of the pumpkin. Tear off the pattern after outlining all stencil lines.
4. Peel away pumpkin skin within the dotted lines (known as etching) for an enhanced effect.
5. Carve pattern areas within solid lines with a thin crafts knife.
6. Light your carved pumpkin with a regular or electric candle.