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How to Carve a Military-Themed Pumpkin: Free Pumpkin Stencils

traditional pumpkin carving

It's the season for colorful leaves, cooler weather, costumes, and of course, carving pumpkins. And what better way to combine your autumn spirit with your military pride than to carve a military-themed design in a pumpkin?

If you’re not sure how to go about this, let Military Spouse Central help. Our Veterans United crew crafted some military-themed pumpkins, and we included the free pumpkin stencils to get you started!

Pumpkin carving tips and techniques

  1. Choose a larger pumpkin. The bigger the surface, the easier it will be to carve a design.
  2. Cut the top of the pumpkin off at a 45-degree angle so the lid will not fall through.
  3. Try to carve the inside of the pumpkin out so that the outer wall is about one inch thick.
  4. Draw a design or download one of the free pumpkin stencils we provided.
  5. Use some tape to secure the stencil to your pumpkin.
  6. Tracing the design with small poked holes gives you a great outline for carving your pumpkin.[/caption] With the design or stencil taped to the pumpkin, trace the design with a pen, pressing into the gourd to make an indentation in its skin that you can follow with a carving knife. You can also trace the template by poking holes along the design.
  7. If you don’t have a carving knife, use a long, serrated knife.
  8. Carve slowly and away from yourself to ensure safety.
  9. To preserve your pumpkin for a longer period of time, spray the cut edges with a solution of water and bleach (1 part bleach to 8 parts water).
  10. Most importantly, have fun!

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