Just a quick post to show off my awesome tiger pumpkin for Halloween this year– didn’t it turn out gorgeous? I can’t take credit for the design– I used a stencil I found online and it was a really good one. The white areas are completely cut out, the gray areas have the surface of the pumpkin shaved down, and the black areas are untouched.
I taped the stencil to the pumpkin, transferred the outline of the cut-out areas with a plastic awl-like device (it came with the pumpkin carving set), and cut them out with a tiny saw.
Then, because the stencil didn’t line up perfectly with my cut-out areas, I free-handed the gray areas with a pen onto the pumpkin (looking carefully at the pattern to make sure I was doing it approximately right), and followed up with a Speedball linoleum carving tool to shave down the skin. I used a medium V-shaped tip (tip #2) to cut out the edges and smaller lines, and a rounded scoop tip (tip #5) to shave down the larger areas.
It’s not nearly as impressive-looking without lights inside:
- Try to get a flattish pumpkin– otherwise the curve will distort your stencil when you tape it on and you’ll have to pleat the edges (like I did) and possibly lose some detail.
- Do not do what I did and do the cut-out areas first. This seriously weakened my pumpkin and made it much harder to shave off the skin in the gray areas. Instead, you should transfer the markings for the shaved areas first, shave them down, and then cut out the cut-out areas with your saw. This also keeps the edges of the cut-out areas clean, which didn’t happen for me due to the effect of shaving down the cut edges.
- Scrape the inside of your pumpkin pretty thin in your stenciled area– otherwise the light won’t shine through the shaved-down areas as well and will prevent your design from showing properly when the pumpkin is lit.