Download a Free Marine Mammal Pumpkin-Carving Stencil
Share your love of seals and sea lions with these unique stencils. Click on the pumpkin stencil you want to download and follow the directions below.
Prep Your Pumpkin:
- Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin around the stem and remove the lid. (Be sure to make a small notch or use a jagged edge so the top won’t fall in when you put it back on.)
- Scoop out the innards of the pumpkin and be sure to get as much of the stringy insides out as possible. Compost any pumpkin scraps.
- Scrape some of the flesh from the inside so your carving surface is about 1 inch thick.
- Wipe the surface of your hollowed-out pumpkin so that it is clean and dry.
- Print out and cut around your desired stencil.
- Tape the stencil down as best you can on the surface of your pumpkin.
- Using a poking tool or thumbtack, dot around the stencil outline.
- Remove the stencil and carve the outline, using the dots as a guide.
- Share your finished product with us on Instagram! Tag @themarinemammalcenter and use the hashtag #ConservationCarvings – we may share some of our favorites!
California sea lion love
Humpback whale mother and calf
Hawaiian monk seal
- When selecting a pumpkin, choose one with smooth skin – shallower ridges and fewer bumps make applying the stencil much easier.
- To get your stencil flat on the curved surface of a pumpkin, you may need to make small cuts or folds in the white space of the stencil. You can also dip the paper in water or vegetable oil; keep in mind water will make printer ink run and oil will make things a bit slippery.
- For more intricate designs, cut small details out first to preserve the structural integrity of the pumpkin.
- To make the holes easier to see, you can rub flour or chalk dust where you poked holes.
- Toothpicks are a great tool for mistakes or wobbly bits. If you cut a piece too thin or accidentally carve more than you meant, stick toothpicks between pumpkin pieces to hold them together.
- When removing large pieces of pumpkin, cut smaller sections and push them out from the inside.
- Keep your pumpkin in a cool area at night so it will last longer.