No ritual so perfectly embodies Halloween’s comradery and lingering mischief like pumpkin-carving. The PicMonkey crew highly recommends customizing your very own gourdy fruit. To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve created 10 pumpkin carving stencils, but feel free to make your own stencils with our graphic graphics. Explore! Create! Go wild without worries as you follow our super simple steps.
Pre-tip: Pick out a pretty punkin. PicMonkey recommends big pumpkins because, hello, the bigger the better, but also because our printable stencils were designed for larger pumpkins. If miniature is more your thing, keep that in mind when you’re making your own.
1. Cut a hole in the top and remove your lid. Carve at an angle such that your tool’s handle points away from the stem, and make sure the hole is larger than your hand.
2. Remove the seeds, strands, and other guts. You cannot avoid the mess, but you can combat it. Get a big bowl or something to collect your pumpkin innards. Scrape away as much as you can – since the strands can be flammable when dry – but try not to shave away too much pulp, as you may compromise your pumpkin’s structural integrity.
3. Once your pumpkin is hollow, attach your stencil. For us, it was easier to adhere each stencil to the pumpkin rind once we cut them into circles and taped the entire circumference of the stencil.
4. Carve. Should difficulties arise in either stencil adhesion or carving, we recommend using a carving kit to poke frequent holes, à la connect-the-dots, through the paper and into the pumpkin rind. Once your edges have been traced with dots, remove the stencil and carve along your dotted lines. This might make it easier to manage, what with the variable paper quality and pumpkin toughness and plastic tools.
5. Remove the carved pieces. If they’re small or delicate, use a tool to gently push them out from the inside.
6. Toss in a teacandle or two and badaboo! You’re ready for Halloween.
Pro-tip: Use wires or toothpicks to support floating pieces, as we’ve done with the PicMonkey jack-o-lantern.