Carved Halloween pumpkins are traditionally ghoulish and scary. They may be just a little too evil for younger members of the family who may prefer to celebrate Halloween without nightmares. Carving Disney character faces into pumpkins is a popular way to remove the fright factor, but keep the spirit of the holiday. You don't need to be an artistic genius to do this if you use Disney pumpkin carving stencils.
Printable Disney stencils
Halloween pumpkin carving is relatively new to the UK compared to the US. Luckily, Americans have been using carving stencils for years so it is easy to find free printable downloads online for most major Disney characters. Old favourites like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Winnie the Pooh are always popular. You can also dig out stencils for characters in films such as Cars, Toy Story and Monsters Inc., and for princesses, pirates and villains. Printable stencils can be saved to your computer and printed off when you are ready to use them.
Pumpkin carving kits
Pumpkin carving kits aren't as widely available in the UK as in the US, but they are worth watching out for. You can carve pumpkins from stencils using regular kitchen equipment, but the specially designed utensils (scoops, carvers, tracers and pokers) in these kits may be safer and easier for kids to use. If you search around a little, you can find Disney branded carving kits. These also usually contain stencils which could be used as an alternative to downloads.
Using a Disney pumpkin stencil
Once you have your stencil, attach it to the scooped out pumpkin. One way to mark the design is to draw firmly along the lines; or you may prefer to punch holes through the paper and into the pumpkin to make guides for carving later. Either way, once you are done, you should be able to remove the stencil and see where you need to cut. All you need to do now is to carve the design into the pumpkin and push through the pieces you cut out. Once you light it, you'll see your Disney design.
Pumpkin carving tips
Be careful if you are letting children carve a pumpkin with potentially dangerous tools. Kits may have more child-friendly tools but check their age guidance ranges. Younger kids who want to use a Disney stencil may want to be involved in the carving, but it is safer if an adult does this bit; let them help with the punching (under supervision) and pushing out. Push pins make good punching tools if you are using the hole-punch method or as an alternative, try a skewer or a small screwdriver. Rubbing flour over the holes makes them stand out for easier carving. If you make a mistake, you can always reattach a bit of pumpkin with a piece of a cocktail stick.
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