Halloween is right around the corner (yay!), and that means it’s almost time to start carving pumpkins. Jack-o’-lanterns have come a long way from the typical pumpkin with teeth, and if you’re a cat lover, you may even be looking for cat-related designs as inspiration for your pumpkin this year. If your cat isn’t in the mood to model your design, check out the DIY looks we used to create some super creepy (and cute!) cat designs on our own Halloween pumpkins, along with some templates you can use to make it easy. You can carve your pumpkin and have fun doing it!
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Carving a pumpkin: Cat lantern making with stencil
What would Halloween be without a carved pumpkin on your porch? Make this Halloween special by carving your own pumpkin cat (a Cat-o-Lantern!) with these step-by-step instructions: Cat lanterns are similar to the classic lantern in that they have a simple design. The main features of this design are the eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers.
You can add cat ears, like in the photo above, it’s easy! Carve out the entire design of the cat pumpkin, being especially careful when cutting out the eyes. Then take the triangles you cut out for the eyes and attach them to the top of the pumpkin with toothpicks . Above are a few cute designs of a cat face you can use.
Instructions to make the cat pumpkin
1. choose your pumpkin
Choose a healthy pumpkin, without bruises, scuffs or cuts, that is a fairly uniform color. Feel the stem and make sure it’s sturdy and won’t bend too easily. If you tap the peel, as you would a melon, and hear a hollow sound, your squash is ripe. Don’t wait too long – most pumpkins rot within a week and a half to two weeks. Keep that in mind, and buy your pumpkin about a week before Halloween.
2. design the pumpkin with your motif.
After printing out your template, draw your cat design on the pumpkin with a permanent marker or dry-erase marker, or tape the template to the pumpkin and poke holes in the pumpkin skin along the cut lines with a pin. Then remove the paper stencil and you will have a dotted outline to follow.
3. get the right tools
In order for you to carve the pumpkin, you should use a serrated bread knife or a knife from a pumpkin carving tool kit. To cut, pull the knife back and forth as if you were sawing through a log.
4. cut a lid
Cut around your pumpkin, about 5 inches from the trunk. Don’t cut straight through for this cut, but instead cut with the knife at an angle to the center of the pumpkin. This will create a depression for the lid.
5. remove the innards
Use a large spoon or your hands to remove the slimy filling and seeds from the pumpkin. Scrape it out as clean as possible. Note: Many people save the seeds and roast them as a treat or plant them to grow their own pumpkins!
6. carve your pumpkin cat
Cut into the pumpkin with a gentle back and forth motion, following the lines you drew or the holes you made with the template. Keep carving until you have carved out your entire design. Do not limit yourself to one side of the pumpkin ! Add cat paw prints to the back of the cat lantern to show your cat pride!
7. light up your pumpkin craft.
Many people use candlesticks or tea lights to light up carved pumpkins. You can also use modern flickering LEDs or a flashlight. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s safe and not a fire hazard. And above is another cute template for a whole cat character on your pumpkin!
Tips for extending the life of your jack-o-lantern.
If your Cat-o-Lantern starts to shrivel, you can place it in a sink or bucket of water for a few hours to revive it. You can also prevent shriveling by rubbing petroleum jelly on the freshly cut parts of the pumpkin. But don’t put it inside the pumpkin because it could be a fire hazard if you light it with a flame.