It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the temperature is dipping, and pumpkins are coming back. So why not do something a little different this year? Instead of carving the pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern, why not create some cool stencil art for the holiday? It’s entirely possible to create a DIY image transfer pumpkin. This article is on how to turn a picture into a stencil without photoshop and then apply it to a pumpkin for a totally unique and awesome Halloween decoration!

“The jack-o-lantern follows me with tapered, glowing eyes. His yellow teeth grin evily. His cackle I despise. But I shall have the final laugh when Halloween is through. This pumpkin king I’ll split in half to make a pie for two.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

Step 1: Select Your Images

These alternative carving ideas will be a blast for your kids this year on Halloween
Try a stencil design this year. Source: Thinkgeek

The very first step is as simple as picking out the designs or images you want to put on your pumpkin. Whatever black and white skulls, ghosts, and goblins you want to have on your pumpkin, simply print them out with regular ink and paper. Make sure the pumpkin is the right size for the picture you printed out! If you’re having trouble finding an image, try a jack o lantern generator.

Step 2: Cut Out the Printed Images

Create a design of your choice this season
Draw a cat on your pumpkin this Halloween. Source: HGTV

Take those printed out pics and cut them out according to their shape. The process is very similar to doing an image transfer on wood. Basically you’re essentially plastering the image onto the pumpkin. Next is how to create your own pumpkin stencil.

Step 3: Glue the Images

Be sure that the image
Make sure the glue sets right. Source: Blogspot

Now that the image is cut out, use decoupage glue on the ink side of the paper to paste it to your pumpkin. This step is similar to DIYers who carve their own faces onto jack o’ lanterns or use a pumpkinizer. Be sure to brush an even layer of glue onto the image, and stick it gently but firmly onto the pumpkin.

Step 4: Dry Time

Some designs are more intricate than others, like this BB8 model!
Truly one of a kind. Source: Family Disney

Allow one hour for the paper to dry onto the pumpkin. It should form sort of a paper mache-eque material and turn slightly grey when done. This will allow the pumpkin stencil maker to set in. What should you do during the wait time? How about cooking up some fantastic fall related recipes with pumpkin?

Step 5: Wet the Paper

DIY stencils offer many Skellington worthy projects
DIY crafts and stencil design. Source: Picquery

Either gently use a spray bottle or lightly dab a sponge to moisten the paper onto the pumpkin. Alternatively you can also use the markings as a template for shaving layers into the stencil design.

Step 6: Carefully Remove the Paper

Be extremely careful at this point.
Very slowly and gently remove the paper. Source: DIYnetwork

This is where the majority of DIYers see the most trouble. Here you have to very, very carefully and gently rub the paper away from the pumpkin without damaging the ink underneath. This is by far the most delicate step in the process. Be sure to work slowly and gently to pull apart the paper from the ink. Should you want, you can even put your face on a pumpkin.

Step 7: Seal It Up

Make it last another year by sealing the project up
Clear acrylic sealers can make the job last. Source: Amazon

Painting or spraying a clear acrylic seal over the finished captured images can make it last much longer. While it might not light up at night, it can certainly make an impression this Halloween. Otherwise, there are countless other ideas for creating jack o’ lanterns that you can use.

Any Halloween tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more great tips and inspiration!

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