Whether you bagged a big one this year or are simply enchanted by a buck's elegant profile, our deer pumpkin stencil beautifully celebrates this graceful animal. And with its back to the harvest moon, this deer's silhouette even looks a little ghostly, too!

By Jessica Tull
Updated August 06, 2020
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Alright fans of animal pumpkin stencils, break out your pumpkin art skills. We almost hesitate to call this deer stencil "carved"—it's entirely etched! (But etching is a form of carving, so it counts.) For best results when carving this lovely deer, choose a pumpkin that has at least one smooth, flat side to use as your etching "canvas." Round-sided pumpkins work well for simple Halloween pumpkin decorations, like traditional jack-o'-lanterns, but for detailed etchwork, flat-sided pumpkins are better! Carve yours today with our printable pumpkin carving stencil. Download the stencil for free, and get to carving!

deer carving on pumpkin on steps during Halloween
Credit: Carson Downing

How to Carve a Deer Pumpkin

Supplies Needed

  • Pumpkin, fresh or artificial
  • Printed free deer pumpkin stencil
  • Serrated pumpkin carving knife
  • Metal scoop
  • Pin tool
  • Etching tool, gouge, or chisel
  • Battery-operated tea light candle
free deer pumpkin stencil pattern

Step-by-Step Directions

With a few supplies and these how-to instructions, you can create your own carved pumpkin. You should be able to complete this pumpkin carving project in about an hour.

Step 1: Prep Pumpkin

Turn your pumpkin on its side to access the bottom of the pumpkin and use a thin, serrated knife to cut a large circle in it. (Tip: Make sure the circle is wide enough to comfortably reach your arm into.) Using your hands or a metal scoop ($10, Crate & Barrel) reach in and clear out the pumpkin innards. Download the free deer stencil and print it out, resizing it with a copier if necessary. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin, pressing down on the paper to smooth it as much as possible.

Step 2: Outline Design

Pierce holes along the lines forming the deer's head, neck, and antlers with a large nail or a pin tool, keeping pin holes tightly spaced. Remove the stencil after outlining the entire design.

Step 3: Etch Pumpkin

Etch the circular area surrounding the deer by peeling off the pumpkin's skin with a gouge. Keep the pumpkin's skin intact in the areas forming the deer. Place a battery-operated tea light candle (we use this 24 pack of  Flameless LED Tealights, $18, Target) in the pumpkin and enjoy! You can follow these 8 tips to make your pumpkins last longer, such as coating the carved portion in Vaseline and using a battery-operated candle rather than a real flame.


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