Mouse House Pumpkin Stencil

It's easier to carve pumpkins skillfully if you have a variety of tools, especially when you're cutting small sections. Experiment with different instruments, like woodcutting knives, apple corers, and clay-sculpting tools to achieve different effects. After carving, illuminate these pumpkin houses with tea lights for a warm, homey glow.

To carve:

1. Hollow out three pumpkins -- one medium, one tall, and one short and round. (Hint: Hollow them out from the bottom to keep your pumpkin houses' roofs intact!)

2. Print out the free stencil patterns and tape them to the pumpkins, using the photo as a placement guide. Use a pin tool to make closely-spaced pin pricks along the stencil lines.

3. Remove the printed patterns and use the pin pricks as a cutting guide to carve the pumpkins, popping out and discarding excess pumpkin pieces.

4. Using the photo as inspiration, embellish your carved pumpkins. Use pushpins for adorable door handles, and sketch window shutters and lawn signs with permanent marker.