To make your own pumpkin carving template, select the design, and measure the surface of the pumpkin. Draw or photocopy the appropriately sized image onto white computer paper.

Drawing the design directly onto computer paper is the easiest way to make a pumpkin carving template. Alternatively, choose a photograph to begin the template, and cut around the image with scissors. After measuring the area of the pumpkin, use a copy machine or scanner to enlarge the image to fit the pumpkin. These machines can also be used to darken the image if you want to use the silhouette of the picture. Once you draw or print the final template, cut away the extra paper, and tape the template to the pumpkin.

Use an awl or another sharply pointed tool to trace the image onto the pumpkin. Poke small holes through the template along the lines you wish to carve. When there are enough holes to see the image on the pumpkin without the template, tear the template off the pumpkin. Carve along the lines of the image. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin, and remove the seeds from inside. Place a small lit candle inside the pumpkin to illuminate your carving.