Our Top Halloween Pumpkins: From Stencils to Carvings

orange pumpkin with a sugar skull carved in the front of it, sitting on a halloween front porch with other small pumpkins
Photo: Carson Downing

Finally, a great way to select a pumpkin carving pattern. Browse our stencils, then move from each to the next slide to see the finished pumpkin. To make a stencil, print the PDF, then, if needed, size the pattern on your copier. Tape it to your pumpkin and outline the pattern with pinpricks before carving your masterpiece. Discover these fun, easy pumpkin carving ideas, and learn how best to use your tools.

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Owl Pumpkin Stencil

owl stencil
Jay Wilde

Carve this woodland stencil into your pumpkin. It's one of our favorite and easiest pumpkin carving ideas.

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Owl Pumpkin

owl and mouse pumpkins
Adam Albright

Display your finished owl pumpkin with a couple of carved mice pumpkins and colorful seasonal gourds.

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Haunted Mansion Stencil

haunted mansion pumpkin stencil
Illustration by Glenda Aldrich

You'll carve the moon and windows from this eerie structure. Just print our free pumpkin carving patterns and you're good to go.

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Carved Haunted Mansion

haunted house pumpkin
Andy Lyons

Black marker provides the mansion silhouette; your carving does the rest.

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Cute Owl Pumpkin

Cute Owl Pumpkin Stencil Design

This adorable owl pumpkin is a great fall project for advanced Halloween pumpkin carvers. You'll need an etching tool and a cutting knife. We found it was easiest to use a rotary tool ($74, Lowes) to etch all the details.

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Owl Pumpkin

Pumpkin with owl carving
Brie Passano

Although this stencil takes some time to carve, the resulting pumpkins are stunning.

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Frankenstein Stencil

Frankenstein Pumpkin Pattern

Look no further for pumpkin carving ideas—You should bolt to the pumpkin patch to pick up the perfect gourd to carve Frank's face.

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Carved Frankenstein

Fall décor with carved Frankenstein pumpkin
Carson Downing

This monster's all a-glow in your display. Place the carved pumpkin in a wood crate and surround it with seasonal gourds and fall leaves.

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Scarecrow Stencil

scarecrow Stencil
Jay Wilde

A carved scarecrow pumpkin is sure to turn your yard into a frightening gathering ground for trick-or-treaters.

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Scarecrow Pumpkin

gremlin with hat carved into pumpkin
Jason Donnelly

Carving out a moon behind the scarecrow design makes this easy Halloween pumpkin really glow. Try etching the teeth, rather than carving, for a creative display.

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Nervous Face Stencil


These nervous pumpkin stencils will leave guests wary of what might be lurking in the shadows. There's no etching required for this fun Halloween pumpkin design.

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Carved Nervous Face

Orange pumpkin carved with a nervous face
Carson Downing

This guy is even more expressive when he's carved. Display him on your front porch with a battery-operated tea light candle, ($27, The Home Depot).

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Deer Pumpkin Stencil

deer stencil
Jay Wilde

This deer pumpkin stencil doesn't require any carving at all. Simply etch away the pumpkin's skin to reveal the design.

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Deer Pumpkin Carved

deer carving on pumpkin on steps during Halloween
Carson Downing

To keep your carved deer pumpkin fresh, try rubbing the etched flesh with petroleum jelly ($2, Target). It'll help the pumpkin last longer.

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Sugar Skull Pumpkin Stencil

Sugar Skull Pumpkin Stencil

Greet guests with these festive carved sugar skull pumpkins—guaranteed to give a fright. This is a great Halloween decor project for advanced carvers.

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Sugar Skull Pumpkin Carved

orange pumpkin with a sugar skull carved in the front of it, sitting on a halloween front porch with other small pumpkins
Carson Downing

Mini pumpkins placed on tall candleholders help create a festive pumpkin display.

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Zombie Pumpkin Stencil

Zombie Pumpkin Stencil

Serve up a little spookiness with this carved zombie pumpkin. Etched grass and crows help set the eerie scene.

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Carved Zombie Stencil

hand from grave carved into pumpkin
Jason Donnelly

No need for elaborate pumpkin carving ideas. The zombie hand reaching out of the earth really stands out in the finished pumpkin carving.

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Haunted Tree Stencil


This tree is so creepy even the bats don't want to hang from its branches.

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Carved Haunted Tree

tree with bats carved pumpkin
Bill Hopkins

Detailed, thin lines make this carving a bit time-consuming, but end result is worth it.

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Angry Face Stencil


An angry pumpkin face will have trick-or-treaters approaching the front door with caution.

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Carved Angry Face Stencil

Angry Face Pumpkin Stencil Free Halloween Stencil

Glaring eyes glow when you put a candle inside this jack-o'-lantern.

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Trick-or-Treat Stencil


This pumpkin will leave kids wondering whether they're in for a trick or a treat.

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Carved Trick-or-Treat

trick or treat pumpkin carving
Perry L. Struse

The message really pops after you've finished carving. The stars also add a nice glowing effect. For some fun pumpkin decorating ideas, place these at your doorstep to welcome trick-or-treaters.

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Witch Stencil


Carved pumpkins don't get creepier than this. Use your carving tools to bring this witchy pumpkin to life. She'll evoke a cackling good mood for Halloween night.

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Carved Witch

carved witch stencil
Bill Hopkins

Bet your trick-or-treaters will love this glowing witch face on your doorstep.

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