A shiny-eyed bird is a wise addition to your Halloween décor. This owl stands out against a night sky, complete with stars and a full moon.

Updated July 16, 2019
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Before you begin, learn how we created these textured effects using a carve-by-color technique.

Opt for a pale Lumina pumpkin: When lit from within, the exterior surface becomes multicolored. This design has the contemporary appeal of graphic art. For a starry sky, carve stars around the pumpkin: Saw some all the way through, and shave away others with a linoleum cutter. (If you want more "sky," carve another pumpkin with just stars.)

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Place pumpkin on its side on a flat, stable work surface. Use keyhole saw to cut a circle through the base or the top of the pumpkin. (Tip: If lighting with electric twinkle lights, cut the hole in the bottom; if lighting with a candle, cut at the top for ventilation.) Reserve the cutout. With fleshing tool, remove seeds, stringy pulp, and a thin layer of flesh from inside of pumpkin. A clean, smooth interior reflects light best. (Reserve seeds for toasting if desired.)

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Step 2

Download and print template. With scissors, cut away white part of template. Attach design to pumpkin with masking tape. (Tip: You may need to cut slits around the template and overlap so it conforms to the roundness.) Using a T pin or needle tool, prick every 1/8 to 1/4 inch along outlines of template. Remove template, but keep it nearby for reference.

Step 3

Using miniature saw, carve through pumpkin's skin and flesh in the sections that correspond to the template's yellow parts. Remove excess flesh.

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Step 4

Use linoleum cutter to scrape pumpkin skin in sections that correspond to the light-orange parts of the template. Start with the outside of the design and work inward. Scrape in the same direction in each section to keep the lines uniform.

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Step 5

If lighting a large pumpkin with mini lights, wrap a glass jar with a strand, securing one end to jar with masking tape. To light a small pumpkin, arrange strand's bulbs into a bouquet-like bundle and place wires in a glass jar or ramekin. Use a 25-light strand for small and medium pumpkins, and a 50-light strand for larger pumpkins. If using lights, place jar on reserved cutout base of pumpkin, then place pumpkin over lights. (Make sure the lights don't touch the inside surface; this can be a fire hazard.) Secure base cutout with T pins.

Step 6

Once the pumpkin is lit, you may want to do a few touch-ups: If the light shines unevenly, the flesh may be thicker in some spots; simply scrape away a little more wherever it appears darker.

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