Long before there was an internet, there was my Father, who of course as many people's Fathers, could do anything.
My Father was a pretty diverse person able to pick up just about anything and do it. He worked a job where he only had Thursdays off each week. Most of my childhood was highly planned, and resources of any kind were tightly managed.
My Father had a Mom who was an Art Teacher and a Father who was somewhere between a Civil Engineer and an Architect. His Father died when he was 12, and his Mom raised he and his siblings alone. My Father taken a number of college level commercial art classes, and had various art skills. If there ever was a do-it-yourselfer, it was he.
So when my 4th grade or so elementary teacher asked the class if anyone had an artistic parent ( MEEEEEE!) who might help the class out by providing some stencils for a particular art project. (MEEEEEE!)
The teacher was looking for a pattern of uniformity, that could be completed by each student. Tracing the stencil, and cutting was one class goal. Individually chosen embelishments as desired were the other. The Jack-o-Lanterns would first decorating the room and then go home with each student.
Now the rule at my house, multiply proven by my brothers prior was that there were to be no surprise school requests. This after one of my brothers agreed to accept the unhatched 20+ chicken eggs and incubator over the Christmas holiday the year before.
Only just prior to departure for school the next day, did I approach my Father regarding this task that was necessary for school that day. Wilson Elementary was all of a block from the house we lived in so there wasn't a rush for that. However, both of my siblings had already left for school.
So, I went to my Father, who was reading the newspaper. I told him with much display what had been asked by the teacher, and that I had volunteered him, as he was the logical expert.
My Father, said something like "Oh, " in a somewhat unusual moment, merely got up and went to the place where empty gift boxes were stored in our basement. Selected one and returned.
He proceeded to free hand draw two stencils, to my specifications ( one scary Jack-O-Lantern and one friendly), rummage in his art supplies and produce the magic Exact-o knife "THIS is a surgical tool, it is sharp," and proceeded to do four things.
1.) identify that one might correct freehand errors in cutting
2.) extract center objects without cutting from the side.
3.) that simple strokes of contouring on the pumpkin and stem increased authenticity and
4.) that there would be no shaming, and I would be sent to school with both the stencils and a note explaining my minor tardiness, in favor of securing proper tools for art.
The stencils were tucked safely inside the schoolbook I was carrying, and produced for the office staff first who were duly impressed... then tucked away again and on to the class. The teacher and the other kids thought it was great. It worked out well. The stencils lasted through 20 something kids handling use and reuse. I think the teacher kept them.
When I was in my 40's, I sent this to my Father as part of his Father's Day. He did not remember the situation. I have never forgotten the situation.
My Father was a major youth leader and young adult leader in the 1960's and 1970's and 1980's within Oklahoma City, but also nationally known for actively pursuing many types of youth development in faith and community, politics and education he was chronically pressed for time.
Having a moment of his time during those young years that was just mine was a big deal. Having and being Father was a big deal that day for us both.
The Internet and many stores provide premade stencils. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/10/27/free-halloween-pumpkin-stencils/
Having family rituals and trying to make things from scratch that have a beginning, middle and end that are shared in community seems to be a shrinking option. Look for things your family can make and share. Look for "just us" moments.