Friday, October 4, 2013

Jack 'O Lantern Fun Part II: Pumpkin Patterns

The first step of the pumpkin carving process is really to pick out what pattern you want first, and then select a pumpkin that is an appropriate shape and size to match your pattern. There are lots of free pattern websites online where you can browse possible options and these are usually rated by skill level. As a general rule, the higher the skill rating the longer it will take you to carve the pumpkin.

2012 Carving- Witch and Black Cat

If you're looking for some awesome websites to find pumpkin patterns, I would suggest trying these three sites out. I've used them all before and they offer a range of skill levels. You can also use the premise of how the patterns are made to create your own pattern too if you're feeling adventurous!

Top 3 Pattern Websites:

Zombie Pumpkins: This website groups their patterns by category. They have a (very) small selection of free patterns and an extensive list of patterns you can buy. I would recommend getting the "Whole Harvest" package which allows you access to ALL of their regular patterns...which at the moment is 305. I have bought this package in the past and then printed off every single one that I think I might ever carve so that I have a stash of them ready to go. You have 9 months to access the patterns, so you don't need to print them all right away. If you're feeling generous and have the extra money, consider the "Monster Harvest" package and contribute to the charity of the year--this year it's the National Brain Tumour Society.
2010 Carving- The Tooth Fairy
Pumpkin Masters: They have a few free patterns to download, but they also have some that you can buy and then print as well. Pumpkin Masters is also very well known for their paper pattern books that you can buy at most department and drug stores. These pattern books come with the carving tools depicted above! You can also pay to download some of their patterns to print from the website as well.

Carving 2012- Bone Xylophone
Stoneykins Pumpkin Carving: They have 100 free patterns to get you started, but you won't want to stop there! This site has both fully carved-out patterns, as well as the shaded patterns (where you only cut part way through in places). Similar to Zombie Pumpkins they have various sized packages that you can purchase depending on how many patterns you want. You then simply download and print your patterns.
2009 Carving- Where the Wild Things Are
TIP: When ever you use a stencil to carve your pumpkin, either from a book or one that you've downloaded, always make extra copies!! This way you have a clean one for reference after you've transferred it to your pumpkin, and you have an extra copy for future years if someone else wants to use it. (And then make copies of it again etc. so you always have a copy of it!)

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