I wanted to carve the likeness of the scariest man (presumed to be) alive on a pumpkin, so I needed an acceptable picture of Osama bin-Laden. I went to my favorite search site, Google, clicked on the images tab, and typed in "Osama bin laden".
Not just any picture would do, so I downloaded several, and fired up Paint Shop Pro. It was easy to reduce the colors to 2, allowing me to judge whether the photo could still be recognized as Osama, and thus would make a good template.
After picking the best photo, I reduced it to 2 colors, scaled it to fit on a 8-1/2" x 11" paper, and cleaned up the image. You can download a copy below. Just right-click on the thumbnail images and select "Save Image as".
After printing the template, tape it to the pumpkin. Make small cuts in the paper to help it lay as close to the pumpkin surface as possible. Take a pointed object (I used a nail) and poke through the template and the skin of the pumpkin, following the lines.
Remove the template, but do not throw it away. The solid areas of color show you where to leave the pumpkin skin, and the white areas show you where to remove it. If you need to, take a pen and "connect the dots".
Carve away. Don't carve too deep, don't puncture the pumpkin, and it will last at least 2 weeks - longer, I'm sure, but mine met a fitting end long before it rotted.
If you want to light him up, open him up just before Halloween to install the light or candle.
I'm hoping to have more templates for next Halloween, so check back soon.
Jack O'Lantern Templates
Copyright © 2003 Guardian Geek
Last updated October 14th, 2003