14 Cool Pumpkin-Carving Ideas

Forget the traditional jack o' lantern and try a contemporary pumpkin carving idea this Halloween! Turn to our collection of cool pumpkin carving ideas, including cocktail-inspired pumpkins, a pumpkin bonfire, and a batty belfry.

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    Antique Keys

    Both of-the-moment and vintage-inspired, these whimsical keys offer cool pumpkin carving inspiration for your seasonal decorating. Transfer the free patterns to your pumpkins and carve out the designs using a knife or carving tool.

  • 2 of 15

    Dog Breed Pumpkin Carvings

    Let your friends and neighbors know which dog breed is best by carving a cool Halloween pumpkin that looks like your favorite canine. Simply pick your favorite breed, download the pattern, and transfer to your pumpkin before carving.

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    Stacked Pumpkins

    When it comes to cool pumpkin carving ideas, it doesn't get much more amazing than a colorful stack decorated with flowers, swirls, and dots. Find three flat-bottom pumpkins in graduated sizes and different colors. Without hollowing them out, use a 3/4-inch hole-saw bit and drill circles in different patterns and shapes. Switch the resulting "plugs" between different pumpkins for extra pops of color, then use a vegetable peeler to etch the swirls. Finally, remove the stems from the two larger pumpkins and stack them. Elevate them on a pedestal, doorstep, or wooden barrel.

  • 4 of 15

    Cocktail Glasses

    Great for a Halloween party buffet decoration as well as a front porch accent, these sophisticated pumpkins are easier to make than they look. Download the patterns and transfer to two real or faux pumpkins; carve out the top and bottom areas of the glasses, then outline the center area of each glass and the bottle. Outline the decorative details on the glasses; gouge the areas inside the outlines and around the details until smooth. Outline the label and the bottle curlicues; lightly gouge the rest of the area inside the bottle outline to make it smooth.

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    Elegant Monograms

    Welcome guests to your home with these decorative monogrammed pumpkins that are simply elegant. To make these cool pumpkins, print letters (either your initials or one for each member of your family) in your favorite font. Transfer the designs to pumpkins and carve, either cutting all the way through the pumpkins or gouging out the top layer.

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    Video: How to Carve Initials into a Pumpkin

    Make your mark on pumpkin carving this Halloween season with a monogrammed pumpkin display! Learn how to properly carve your initials into any pumpkin.

  • 7 of 15

    Car and Camper

    Your car aficionado will love this pumpkin road duo. Download the patterns; transfer to your pumpkins and cut the opening to on the bottom of your finished design. Cut out the windows and windshield. Then use a gouging tool to outline the car and camper doors. Cut out a small rectangle under the camper door, and wedge in a scrap of pumpkin for the threshold. Embellish the car and campers with wheels, door handles, and curtains using pieces of small, colored gourds; secure with toothpicks. Cut out a stripe along the camper and insert a long strip of gourd to finish.

  • 8 of 15

    Pumpkin Bonfire

    If you have a little more time, you'll have fun pulling together this cool carving idea. Add the bonfire centerpiece to a backyard table or use it as a focal point in front. You'll need about 10 to 12 pumpkins and flickering candles to make these flames come to life.

  • 9 of 15

    Green Lanterns

    Smooth-skin gourds are a great way to add cool pumpkin carving to your decorating repertoire. Choose varieties in distinctive seasonal colors, such as yellows, greens, and reds. To create these luminarias, cut a hole in the side of each gourd large enough for your hand; scrape out the inside. Mark your chosen design on the gourd using a pencil or ballpoint pen. Carve the design with an awl, paring knife, or crafts knife, or use a power drill and different-size bits. Illuminate the gourds with strands of LED lights.

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    Knock on Wood

    This cool pumpkin carving idea is equal parts tree trunk and spooky message. It relies on a gouging tool to replicate the texture of wood grain and a knife or carving tool to create the knots. Use our message or make one of your own.

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    Video: Carve a Pumpkin with an Apple Corer

    Add even more creative pumpkins to your decor with these amazing designs using just an apple corer!

  • 12 of 15

    Bird Dwelling

    Accent this cool birdcage (carved into an artificial pumpkin for a lasting decoration) with a few complementary colored real gourds. Download and transfer the design; cut the opening on the back of the pumpkin. Cut out the areas between the  bars, including the doors. Holding the doors in place, insert straight pins through the horizontal bars above and below the doors, pushing the pins into the doors for easy opening. Paint the designated pattern areas black; let dry. Drill a hole through the stem and thread a metal ring through the hole. Thread ribbon through the ring and tie in a bow. Hang pumpkin from ribbon if desired. Secure the lid with toothpicks after a candle is in place.

  • 13 of 15

    Bats in the Belfry

    Architecture takes over in this pumpkin carving, which transforms the orange orb into a Halloween-friendly belfry. Accent your pumpkin with paper or plastic bats, or carve an attic or single window instead of a belfry.

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    Carved Crow

    A combination of black acrylic paint and carving tools are all it takes to create this Halloween pumpkin. After the crow is cut out and the windows are gouged, paint the bird black. To set this cool pumpkin carving idea, spray with varnish.

  • Next Slideshow Awesome Emoji Pumpkin Stencils

    Awesome Emoji Pumpkin Stencils

    We ::heart:: these ::thumbs up:: emoji stencil designs that can be carved right onto your Halloween pumpkins. ::Kissing face::
    Begin Slideshow »
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