How to Turn Any Picture Into a Pumpkin Carving Stencil Using MS Paint

    by Carl Hose

    About the Author

    Carl Hose has been writing since high school. His work appears in the zombie anthology "Cold Storage," which he co-edited. His work also appears in "Champagne Shivers," "DeathGrip: It Came from the Cinema," "DeathGrip: Exit Laughing," the horror anthology "Loving the Undead," the erotic ghost anthology "Beyond Desire" and issues of "Lighthouse Digest." Hose's nonfiction appears in "Blue Review" and "Writer's Journal."


    MS Paint, a simple drawing and painting program, comes included with Microsoft. Designed more for fun than for major graphic or image editing projects, MS Paint allows you to create plenty of craft projects, such as such as making custom, professional-looking stencils for a pumpkin. MS Paint includes basic drawing and coloring tools and a shape tool. With MS Paint, turn any picture into a pumpkin carving stencil.

    Things You'll Need

    • MS Paint
    • Photo
    • Scissors
    • Stencil Paper

    Open MS Paint and go to the file menu. Select "Open" and browse to the location on your computer where the photo you want to turn into a stencil resides. Click the photo to open it.

    Select the pencil tool and trace the image outline. Fully connect the lines so you can black out the areas of the picture you don't want to cut out. It's tedious, but all lines need to be connected for this to work properly.

    Click on your eyedropper tool on the toolbar palette and select the black color. Fill in any spaces you won't be cutting out with black by clicking the area with the eyedropper. When you're finished eliminating the areas you won't be cutting out, the color areas will be all that remain. Those are the areas of the photograph you will cut.

    Place stencil paper in your printer. Purchase good stencil paper at an office supply shop or a hobby shop. Stencil paper is thicker than notebook paper and will provide a firmer stencil. Go to the "Control Panel" and open your printer. In your print options, choose the option to print in black and white. Print the picture.

    Cut your stencil out with scissors or a craft knife. Cut inside the lines of your image, leaving the background of the paper intact. This will give you a stencil ready to be taped on to a pumpkin.

    • Use a wireless mouse to avoid problems with running into the cord as you work on the outline.
    • Don't work for long periods without saving your work or a small computer problem could erase all of your hard work.