How to Carve a Pug Pumpkin with Our Free Printable Stencil

With its widely spaced eyes and sweet, floppy ears, this carved pug pumpkin looks just like the family pet!

Pumpkin carving is a classic Halloween tradition the whole family will enjoy—and this year, even the family dog can be involved! Gather the kids and use our free printable pumpkin stencil to carve a pumpkin that looks just like a sweet pug. The kids can help clean goopy seeds from the pumpkin's interior, and older kids can handle simple carving tasks under adult supervision. With a pumpkin stencil this cute, small-handed volunteers shouldn't be hard to find!

For even more adorable pumpkin carving ideas, get more of our free dog-inspired pumpkin stencils. If you're a cat household, we have those too! Gather the fam, head to the pumpkin patch, and get carving.

pug dog sitting next to pug dog stencil design on pumpkin

How to Carve a Pug Pumpkin

Supplies Needed

  • Pumpkin, fresh or artificial
  • Free pug pumpkin stencil
  • Large knife
  • Scraper tool
  • Pin tool
  • Etching tool
  • Serrated knife
  • Battery-operated tea light candle

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these easy how-to instructions to carve your own pug-inspired pumpkin. You should be able to finish the project in about an hour.

Step 1: Prep Pumpkin

Carve a circle in the underside of your pumpkin and use a knife from a pumpkin carving kit ($11, Target) to pry it out. Level the cutout with a knife to form a flat surface; you'll use it as a candle platform later. Scoop out all the messy pumpkin guts, and scrape the inside pumpkin flesh thinnest on the side you're planning to carve.

Step 2: Transfer Stencil Design

Tape your printed stencil pattern to the outside of the pumpkin, smoothing the sheet of paper as you tape. Use a pin tool to poke holes along the stencil lines, keeping pinpricks closely spaced. Remove the paper stencil, but keep it nearby for easy reference.

Step 3: Etch Pumpkin

Use an etching tool to scrape the areas on the paper stencil that are surrounded by dotted lines. To etch, use a gouge or etching tool to remove just the surface skin of the pumpkin, revealing the light-color rind below.

Step 4: Carve Pumpkin

Carve areas on the paper stencil that are surrounded by solid lines. Use a serrated knife from a pumpkin carving kit ($4, Walmart) to cut completely through the pumpkin wall. After completely carving the design, press gently from inside the pumpkin to pop cutouts outward. Rub cut pumpkin surfaces with petroleum jelly ($2, Target) to preserve them.

Step 5: Display Pug Pumpkin

Once you're done carving the stencil design, your pumpkin is ready to display! Light a candle or switch on a battery-operated tea light ($5 for six, Walmart) and place it on the leveled cutout from the bottom of the pumpkin. Set your carved pug pumpkin over the top.

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