Looking for pumpkin inspiration this October? Use one of our Lawrence pumpkin stencils to show your school spirit.
Download the stencils below:
Be sure to share your pumpkin art on social media with the hashtag #LawrencePumpkin
- A small, sharp knife, like a paring knife. This is useful for smoothing the edges to enhance the appearance of the carving
- A transfer tool (a pointed thin tool, like a sharpened pencil or toothpick) to penetrate the paper and the outer layer of the pumpkin to help transfer the shape onto the pumpkin’s surface
- Or pick up a pumpkin carving kit that has tools included
- Prepare your pumpkin & stencil
Prepare the pumpkin by removing the top and gutting the pumpkin. Prepare the stencil by trimming it down to size with scissors. Leave about half an inch of space around the stencil so that you will be able to tape it onto the face of the pumpkin. When attaching, make sure not to crease it too much as it will mar the outcome of your carving.
- Transfer your design
When the stencil is firmly attached to the surface of the pumpkin, use your transfer tool to poke holes through the lines on the paper stencil. The holes should be 1/8” apart but you can space them closer or further apart depending on how complex your design is. Push the transfer tool with enough force to penetrate the paper and the outer layer of the pumpkin. It is not necessary to push it all the way through. These holes will act as a guideline for when you are using the knife so ensure that you follow the design lines as much as possible. Take your time when doing this and if necessary, repeat it a few more times until the outline is clearly visible on the face of the pumpkin.
- Carve your pumpkin
Once you have a clear outline, take your knife and push the tip of the blade into one of the outline holes. Cut through to the next hole, wiggling the knife along using back and forth movements. Carefully cut along the outline of your design. Do not rush. Make sure the blade of the knife connects the two dots before you make the cut. When cutting through tight angles, re-position the knife blade completely at the new angle.
Pro tip: To make your job easier, cut and remove smaller sections one at a time. You can use your finger or the eraser end of a pencil to push out the cut sections.
- Finishing touches
Use the knife to smooth the edges by removing excess pumpkin flesh. Although it is not necessary, carving out the edges at an angle of 45 degrees makes the final carving look better, as it lets
more light shine out. When learning how to carve a pumpkin using a stencil, be patient and have fun! It can be a fun project, but if you’ve never done it before, remember that it might take some practice before you master the technique. If your pumpkin doesn’t look exactly like the picture on the stencil, don’t worry — what’s important is having fun and trying something new, all while showing your Lawrence spirit!
Pro Tip: Want to skip the mess of carving? Cut out the designs and use them as painting stencils instead.