35 Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas

skull and crossbones carved into pumpkin
Carve your own funny, scary, or beautiful pumpkin carvings this Halloween. Your whole family will find plenty to love about these easy pumpkin carving ideas. We have everything from kid-friendly (and easy!) smiling carved faces to gorgeous carved pumpkin monograms for your front entryway. Plus, our free pumpkin carving stencils make these designs super easy to create!

Cat Pumpkin Stencil

Carve your favorite furry friend into your pumpkin this Halloween. This spooky (but not scary) pumpkin carving idea creates a silhouette of a cat against a full moon. Use our free cat pumpkin carving stencil to scrape the design, rather than using a traditional carving method. The thinned pumpkin flesh behind the cat will give the pumpkin a warm glow that looks like real moonlight.

Skull-and-Crossbones Pumpkin

Turn your front porch into a pirate ship with this easy skull-and-crossbones pumpkin cut out. The partially-carved skull gives a creepy ambiance, while the light of the candle inside shines through the eyes and crossbones. Carve this design into a pumpkin of any color—black will make it look like a classic pirate flag!

Frankenstein Face Pumpkin

Create a Frankenstein monster that's goofy and fun to carve. Our free pumpkin carving stencil makes this pumpkin pattern easy and adorable. A pumpkin carving knife is the only tool you'll need to get this stencil cut into your pumpkin.

Llama Pumpkin

Your new favorite animal makes for the cutest carved pumpkin. Let your Halloween pumpkin decorations match your llama decor by using our free pumpkin carving stencil! Use a scraping tool to create the llama design, then use a drill to add embellishments to make this pumpkin extra festive.

Dachshund Pumpkin Stencil

This dachshund dog stencil is the cutest way to share your pet's portrait. This free dog pumpkin design perfectly captures the delicate snout and floppy ears of this dog breed, and you can adjust the facial markings based on your dog's coloring for an accurate portrait of your pup.

Angry Face Pumpkin

This angry pumpkin has teeth, pupils and wobbly eyebrows that create a festive and spooky pumpkin. Use a pumpkin saw and our free pumpkin carving template to get the look for your front entryway this fall. Don't forget to put a candle inside to illuminate the face.

Adorable Animal Pumpkins

A few craft supplies is all it takes to create these adorable animal pumpkins. These funny pumpkin face ideas are created with cardstock, pipe cleaners, and glue. For the cat face pumpkin and the elephant pumpkin, place the pumpkins on cylindrical vases wrapped with paper. You can use a drill to carve small holes for the pipe cleaners and felt pieces or skip the carving and use hot glue for a design that lasts longer.

Zombie Pumpkin Stencil

Walking Dead fans rejoice—we the free pumpkin stencil for you. Create a creepy zombie hand with a lit background for a shaded and spooky design. Use a lumpy and bumpy pumpkin to complete the undead look.

Dragon Pumpkin

This dragon pumpkin design breathes fire, which looks so realistic once a candle is placed inside. This design plays with a mix of scraping and full carving for different amounts of light in different shapes. Little knights and princesses will love this easy pumpkin carving.

Witch's Legs

A little bit funny and a little bit spooky, these witch's legs stand tall with black paint, ribbon, and shallow carving, courtesy of gouging tools. Accent this witchy pumpkin decoration with a broomstick for outdoor decor that comes together easily.

Cute Owl Pumpkin

This owl pumpkin design is anything but scary! The details of this free pumpkin stencil include leaves, flowers and polka dots. Use a drill and carving tools to bring this free pumpkin design to life.

Thumbs Up Emoji Stencil

We ::like:: this pumpkin-carving design—and your Halloween trick-or-treaters will, too! This positive pumpkin design is sure to make guests smile, and maybe you’ll even get a thumbs up on your creative Halloween decorations.

Traditional Pumpkins with a Twist

One easy way to pump up a traditional pumpkin: Forget the orange and try a colorful gourd instead. Here, a green pumpkin transforms a traditional triangle face and crooked grin into an interesting focal point.

Paw Print Pumpkin

Either this paw print pumpkin stencil is a regular ol' dog print that's been enlarged by a factor of ten, or it's a true-to-life werewolf print. Use our stencil to make this easy-to-please Halloween pumpkin. If each of your family members is making a pumpkin, carve an extra for your pet to make your pumpkin family complete.

Baby Pumpkins

You don't even need to know how to carve a pumpkin to create this Halloween decoration! A pacifier is all it takes to create these funny pumpkin faces—simply make a small hole and insert! To get the look, add painted or carved eyes to create the faces, and add ribbons or small hats. 

Cat and Mouse Pumpkins

What's better than one grinning cat face pumpkin? A little mouse pumpkin to pair with it! Download the patterns for these cute critters below. After carving the kitty, don't forget to attach some black felt ears to make her extra cute.

Boxer Pumpkin

Represent the family dog on your Halloween pumpkin! Make your boxer (or another dog breed) into a pumpkin by carving all the details—down to the droopy jowls and perky ears—into the surface of a pumpkin. The key to this dog pumpkin carving is the shading; use a variety of tools and pressure to achieve the look. 

Easy Pumpkin Trio

A new twist on traditional pumpkin carving comes courtesy of this loveable trio of pumpkin ideas. Monster-inspired but without the scary edge, these easy pumpkin carving designs are a perfect complement to good-natured seasonal decorating. Create one or group them all together to spice up your front entry for trick-or-treaters.

Grinning Pumpkin Grouping

If you have multiple carvers in your household, then these silly pumpkin carving ideas are perfect for each of them to create a unique design. This grouping is forgiving of any flaws, with wide grins, big eyes, and goofy expressions—try one or all of our ideas for pumpkin faces to carve.

Video: Monogrammed Pumpkins

To make these pretty monogrammed  Halloween pumpkins, first, decide whether you want to use the initial of your family name or the initials of each family member's first name. Let each person pick their own pumpkin for a variety of different colors and sizes. Keeping all in the same font will give your family pumpkins Weasley-sweater vibes. If you'd rather, print letters in different fonts to mix it up; trace onto pumpkins and carve or gouge out.

Maine Coon Pumpkin

Don't just use a generic cat pumpkin stencil this year—create a pumpkin based on your cat's specific breed! For example, Maine Coon cats, like this one, have large ears and dense fur. Carve these details into a pumpkin and add different markings on the face based on your cat's appearance.

Pumpkin Luminarias

Light up your walkway for trick-or-treaters this Halloween with miniature pumpkin luminarias. Small to midsize pumpkins work perfectly for this easy carving idea—just hang a series of these carved faces along a sidewalk using heavy-gauge wire and shepherd's hooks. Skip the candles in place of battery-operated lights.

Laughing Pumpkin

Your littlest ones will love the good-natured expression of this easy pumpkin carving idea. The simple pattern makes it easy to cut out the off-kilter teeth, oversize nose, and expressive eyebrows. For long-lasting light, consider battery-operated candles. 

Sly Vampire

This smiling vampire stencil could seem scary at first, but he's a friendly, funny monster: just look at that grin! With a hooked nose and dramatic eyebrows, this vampire pumpkin is all fun and games. To make this vampire, simply use our stencil as a guide.

Scared Pumpkin

Aah! Even your pumpkin can get scared by all things spooky this Halloween. Use our pumpkin carving and crafting techniques to create an outdoor Halloween decoration that looks like it has seen a ghost. Fill gardening gloves with fiber-fill for a gasp-worthy expression.

Design a funny pumpkin for your Halloween porch. Our big-eyed jack-o'-lantern is hilarious -- and fun to carve as well as display. Get the kids involved, too; this pumpkin design is made for creative little ones.

Video: Funny Pumpkin Carving

This Halloween, give your pumpkin its own costume. All you need is a pencil, fine-tooth saw, scissors, a small paintbrush, paint, paper or foam, small plastic cups, hot glue, and a marker. An easy-to-make monster can add a little mischief to your Halloween décor.

Ghost Emoji Stencil

Boo, we see you! For this emoji pumpkin carving idea, don't use just any ghost—use your favorite emoji instead! A playful emoji ghost will make a haunting accent for your Halloween home. Bonus: Our Casper stencil is perfect for pumpkin decorators who would rather etch than carve their designs.

Carve perfect shapes into your pumpkin by using cookie cutters. A little muscle makes it possible -- we show you how.

Video: Cookie Cutter Pumpkin Carving

For a ridiculously easy way to add flair to your Halloween pumpkin, try our insider technique: Use a cookie cutter! A smattering of bats creates a spooky flock on this pumpkin carving design.


Cheese-and-Mice Pumpkin

Kids will get a kick out of the cheeky (and cheesey!) carving idea for this pumpkin. Simply coat a real or faux pumpkin with soft yellow paint, drill a few different-size holes, and add plastic mice in various stages of entering and leaving. For safety, use battery-operated candles for illumination.

Flower-Power Pumpkins

Take an easy pumpkin carving pattern, add flowers and greenery, and voila: floral-enhanced jack-o-lanterns! Happy faces are quick to carve, and cheery colors add a light and bright touch to this autumn duo. Attach accents with pins, toothpicks, or glue for adorable smiling pumpkins.

Pumpkin House Numbers

This easy pumpkin carving idea is a great way to welcome visitors to your home this Halloween season. Remove the stems from the pumpkins (except for the top one). Trace number stencils onto pumpkins using a crafts knife. Then, chisel the pumpkin skin out of the stenciled numbers, revealing the lighter pumpkin flesh beneath.

Medusa Pumpkin Stencil

Trick-or-treaters better not stare too long at Medusa's peering eyes. This mythical monster and her snake-coiled hair is said to turn onlookers into stone. Use our pumpkin carving templates to perfect her twisting locks. 

Pumpkin for the Birds

Your kids will have fun helping pick out accents for this easy pumpkin carving idea. Transfer the pattern onto a pumpkin and cut out. Make sure to cut the lid with a zigzag edge. Wind wire around the feet of artificial crows, and position them as desired. Poke the wire ends into the pumpkin to secure the birds in place (you also could use fake mice or rats as other seasonal accents).

Mice Stencils

Give your cat pumpkin something to chase. Complete your pumpkin display with a fun scattering of mice using our free printable pumpkin carving stencils. Group multiple mice on one large pumpkin or carve individual pumpkins for more flexibility in the final arrangement.

Drilled-Face Pumpkins

Make quick work of easy pumpkin carving with everyone’s favorite tool: a drill. Start with a quick sketch of your design and use a drill with a small bit to create evenly spaced holes on the pumpkin. Tuck in a strand of LED lights for constant illumination.

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