How to Carve Pumpkin Flames for a Campfire-Inspired Display

Do you hear a campfire crackling? Use our free pumpkin stencils to make this pumpkin-carved display—we'll show you how!

stack of carved flame pumpkins framed by logs
Photo: Blaine Moats

What You'll Need:

  • 10-12 pumpkins in a variety of sizes
  • Pumpkin-carving tools
  • Votive candles

Carve Pumpkins

Use our free pumpkin carving stencils to create a whole pile of pumpkin flames.

To carve the pumpkins:

  1. Place the flame pattern against the side of a cleaned-and-scraped pumpkin, smoothing the paper against the pumpkin surface and attaching it securely with tape.
  2. With a pin tool, perforate the stencil lines by jabbing holes through the paper and into the pumpkin's top layer.
  3. Use a thin woodcutting knife or a pumpkin-carving knife to carve out the flame design, then press on the carved sections with your fingers to remove them.

We carved five flame-design pumpkins for this project.

Build the Campfire with Pumpkin Flames

When your carved pumpkin flames are ready, build a log base for your faux campfire. We made ours from cut log pieces used for firewood. Layer the log pieces directly on the ground in a circular shape.

To make the pumpkin tower, stack the largest carved pumpkins on the bottom, and then work your way up with progressively smaller pumpkins. If you don't want to spend time carving pumpkins that won't be visible, you can cheat by adding whole pumpkins to the back and bottom of your display. When you're done building the tower, use small candles or battery-powered lights to give the flame shapes a realistic flicker. If you use real candles, carve an additional opening behind the pumpkin stem to act as a chimney, allowing the candle's smoke to escape.

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