I did a web search for 'free pumpkin carving templates' which returned loads of results but I ended up on Celebrating Halloween and the kids chose a skull and Tinker Bell.... No prizes for guessing who requested which! The templates are downloadable and printable and clearly state which region of the template needs to be carved. I carved the skull one first, and rather liking the way it turned out changed the Tinker Bell one to be similar by drawing an oval around her such that it didn't go all around her but met her feet and wings. There are so many silhouette images available on the net that I'll probably just 'make my own template' next year =)
Every year since I have struggled to get my lit tea light into my pumpkin without burning myself so started using a candle lighter. This year I decided to be a bit smarter and cut it a bit differently so as to make my life a little easier. The kids loved scooping out the seeds!
After printing out my templates, I cut out the 'carve sections' and stuck them to my pumpkin using a glue stick.
Not trusting myself to keep the stencil in place, I drew around the cut edges with a drywipe marker.
And off I went carving it with a good old paring knife. In previous years, I scooped out the flesh to make pies, soup and cake (I have a fantastic pumpkin cake recipe that tastes like carrot cake but better) but was under such pressure from the kids to just get on with it that I just thinned out the front of the pumpkin where I'd be carving. Ta da!! Hmmm... Pretty anti-climactic - it doesn't look that great when it's not lit up =(
All lit up..... Much better!