Pheasant Pumpkin Stencil

A single pheasant eye is the only point on this design that requires carving, and you don't even need a carving knife to create it! We use an electric drill fitted with a tiny-size bit to gently bore into the pumpkin's side, creating a uniform hole. If you'd prefer not to drill, you could also etch the eye section and use a needle tool to punch through the pumpkin wall, clearing out the remaining rind.

To carve:

1. Slice open the bottom of your pumpkin with a knife, and cut out a circle large enough to comfortably fit your arm through. Reach in with a metal scoop to clear out the fibrous, stringy guts.

2. Stick your printed pheasant stencil to the outside of the pumpkin, flattening the paper with your hands and affixing it with tape. Perforate the stencil lines with a needle tool, jabbing through the paper and the pumpkin skin below. Hint: Keep needle pricks closely spaced for the greatest amount of detail.

3. Remove the pattern, and use a gouge or sharp razor blade to shave off bits of pumpkin skin from the etched areas. Be cautious not to penetrate the pumpkin wall while etching; you should remove just enough rind to reveal the light-colored flesh underneath. (Hint: To ensure you've etched deeply enough to allow light to glow through, shine a small flashlight at the etched areas from inside the pumpkin.)

4. Carve out the pheasant's eye by following our tips above, and light up your feathered friend by placing a bright battery-operated candle inside the pumpkin.