So-Easy, So-Fun Pumpkin Stencils
Each Halloween, you face a choice: should you carve a fresh pumpkin or an artificial one this year? Our tips and patterns guarantee perfect results either way.
Our Before & After Pumpkin Stencils are the best way to see how your pumpkin will look after carving. Click on the link below to see 20 fabulous stencil designs.
Create a unique stencil of your own design. Simply Login (or Register -- it's free), then drag the eyes and noses onto the pumpkin. Resize, rotate, and place in just the right spot before you print and transfer to a pumpkin.
- Fresh pumpkin or an artificial carvable pumpkin (like Fun-Kins*)
- Tools or a purchased carving set (like the Pumpkin Masters set with assorted tiny saws, pokers, and scrapers), or an X-Acto wood-carving set, or a Dremel rotary tool with an engraving tip and small bit
- Tracing paper; tape or straight pins
- *Fun-Kins pumpkins come with an opening in the base and are hollow and ready to carve. Never use a candle inside a Fun-Kins pumpkin; use an electric light.
Prepare Fresh Pumpkins
If you plan to carve a fresh pumpkin, draw the outline of a six-sided lid on top of the pumpkin. Then draw a notch at the back to use as a guide for replacing the lid. Make the lid large enough for easily cleaning out the pumpkin. Instead of cutting a lid, you may wish to draw an oval opening on the bottom of the pumpkin. With the bottom removed, the pumpkin can sit over a candle or a light.
Cut out the lid or bottom opening with a Lid-Cutter saw or a knife. To cut out a lid, carve at an angle toward the pumpkin's center. This creates a ledge to support the lid. To cut out a bottom opening, cut straight into the base.
Clean out the seeds and pulp with the Scraper Scoop or a flat-edge ice-cream scoop. Scrape the pulp from the area you plan to carve until the wall is 1 inch thick.
Carving Fresh and Fun-Kins Pumpkins
Choose a pattern from our selection and enlarge or shrink the design as needed to fit the pumpkin. Attach the pattern to your pumpkin using tape or straight pins. If you use pins, place them on the design lines to avoid unwanted holes in the pumpkin.
For a fresh pumpkin, use the tip of a poker tool to make holes along the design lines about 1/8 inch apart. Don't push the poker all the way through the wall of the pumpkin; remove the pattern. For a Fun-Kins pumpkin, use a pencil to firmly draw over the pattern and engrave the design lines on the pumpkin.
- Place a light inside your pumpkin while carving it to really see what your completed design will look like. This is extremely important when carving layers in the pumpkin to create interesting shadows and highlights.
- You can avoid dotting or indenting your designs by using etching tools that act as pens, leaving a fine line on the pumpkin.