60 Genius Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

What's a jack-o'-lantern without cat-eye glasses?

pumpkin carving ideas
Steve Giralt

If you're tired of carving the same old face year after year, try one of these clever designs for your stoop. From a creepy Medusa to a family of owls, there's something for everyone. (Or go the less messy route and paint your pumpkins.)

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pumpkin carving ideas witch
Steve Giralt
Bewitching Greeter Pumpkin Carving Idea

Set a sassy sorceress out front to welcome neighborhood night walkers. Glue on fake lashes to make this witch extra eye-catching! Carve eyes, nose, and mouth into white pumpkin. Hot-glue false eyelashes above eyes. Stack 2 more white pumpkins underneath, securing with skewers. Cut and wrap a half circle of black burlap around body for cloak; use straight pins to affix to body. Add a striped ribbon tie around neck and embellish black witch hat with same striped ribbon.

What you'll need: fake lashes ($6 for 3 sets, ), black burlap ($5, )

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pumpkin carving ideas family
Steve Giralt
Family Pumpkin Carving Idea

Statement accessories like cat-eye glasses, a top hat, and earrings give this family of pumpkins some serious style.

Get the templates.

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pumpkin carving ideas the mask
Steve Giralt
Mask Pumpkin Carving Idea

Fashion real or artificial leaves into a quick disguise for a classic jack-o'-lantern. Paint eight artificial leaves black and let dry, then layer into mask shape; hot-glue together. Cut eyeholes in mask. Trace eyeholes onto large orange pumpkin; carve. Glue black-painted acorns to straight pins, then push into eyeholes for pupils. Secure leaf mask to pumpkin using glue dots.

What you'll need: fake leaves ($10 for 210, ), black spray paint ($4, )

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pumpkin carving ideas medusa
Steve Giralt
Medusa Pumpkin Carving Idea

Don't look this modern Medusa in the eye or you might turn to stone. Carve 2 large round eyes, 2 smaller circles for nostrils, and squiggly mouth into a blue-green pumpkin. (Tip: Measure and plan for eyeholes to fit LED lights snugly.) Push in LED lights. Hot-glue armature wire to back of rubber snakes, leaving a few extra inches on back end. Push wired snakes into top at sides for pigtails.

What you'll need: plastic snake ($13 for 22, )

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pumpkin carving ideas Hear No Evil
Steve Giralt
Hear No Evil Pumpkin Carving Idea

This stacked-pumpkin statue — complete with Jack Be Little eyes and faux-skeleton arms — denies any wrongdoing.Trace Jack Be Littles onto large orange pumpkin for eyes; carve out circles, then insert Jack Be Littles so bottoms face out. Add black thumbtack pupils. Carve a mouth. Repeat to create all three expressions, then stack carved pumpkins and secure with skewers. Use T-pins to attach three pairs of skeleton arms and hands.

What you'll need: black thumbtacks ($5 for 120, )

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pumpkin carving ideas nailed it
Steve Giralt
Nail Teeth Pumpkin Carving Idea

This surprised fella will look oh-so adorable on your stoop. Carve circle eyes and big mouth in any size squash. Push artificial nails into edge of mouth for teeth. For eyes, glue black sequin pupils to at seashell coins; push into place.

What you'll need: artificial nails ($8 for 500, )

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pumpkin carving ideas punk-in
Steve Giralt
Punk Pumpkin Carving Idea

In large orange pumpkin, carve 1 circle eye and 1 half-moon eye, half-moon nose, and boomerang mouth. Push a black- painted wooden circle pupil into bottom of circle eye. With X-Acto knife, cut 4"-wide, 8"-long, and 3"-deep slit around stem. Bundle wheat into sections with oral tape and trim bottom stems to 3 in. Line bundles up in slit for Mohawk.

What you'll need: wheat ($16, )

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pumpkin carving ideas floating ghosts
Floating Ghosts Pumpkin Carving Idea

Lurking inside this tower are three cheesecloth ghosts itching to play.Choose three orange pumpkins that stack nicely; hollow each from bottom. Draw and cut out your own templates for a door and windows, trace onto pumpkins, and carve. Trace each again onto balsa wood sheets; cut out. Paint wood shapes black and hot-glue to frame. Bend 12-gauge aluminum wire into ghost shape, leaving 8" excess on both ends. Drape cheesecloth over wire; trim excess. Spray with liquid spray starch; allow to dry. Glue black paper faces onto ghosts. Poke ends of wire into interior of pumpkin to secure.

What you'll need: cheesecloth ($5, ), balsa wood sheets ($12 for 25, )

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pumpkin carving ideas eye spy
Steve Giralt
Eye Spy Pumpkin Carving Idea

After you carve a bony facial expression, stick a plastic spider in one socket. On a tall white pumpkin, trace a circle around plastic spider and cut out. Carve a second circle eye, triangle nose, and jagged teeth. Push spider into 1 eyehole.

What you'll need: plastic spider ($10 for 30, )

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pumpkin carving ideas mop head
Steve Giralt
Mop Head Pumpkin Carving Idea

Repurpose this everyday cleaning tool into a top-notch updo. Carve 2 half-circle eyes, triangle nose, and squiggly mouth onto a warty variety pumpkin. Glue on black rhinestone pupils. From a white mop head refill, cut off a few strands and set aside. Arrange mop on pumpkin to look like a wig; keep in place with straight pins. Wrap the extra strands around a Jack Be Little to create bun; hot-glue on top of mop wig.

What you'll need: mop ($30, )

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pumpkin carving ideas Diorama
Courtesy of A Pumpkin & A Princess​
Diorama Pumpkin Carving Idea

Competing in a pumpkin carving contest this year with friends or family? Creating a haunted diorama like this is one epic pumpkin carving idea.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Peekaboo
Antonis Achilleos
Peekaboo Pumpkin Carving Idea

With a large serrated knife, cut off top ⅓ of large orange pumpkin and hollow out. Then hollow out bottom part too, and on each side, cut a hole halfway down; push skeleton arms through. Cut divots in bottom's base to keep arms steady.

For skull, trace plastic Halloween eyeballs on a small white pumpkin; hollow inside traced circles with melon baller, push eyeballs into holes, and then carve a mouth. Position stemless medium white pumpkin inside bottom section of big pumpkin for body; top with skull. Secure top and bottom sections of large orange pumpkin along back and sides with wood skewers. Arrange skeleton hands over top.

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Pumpkin Carving Ideas marquee letters
Courtesy of Kara's Party Ideas​
Marquee Letter Pumpkin Carving Idea

Your neighbors will be totally envious of this pretty porch setup.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Lion
Antonis Achilleos
Lion Pumpkin Carving Idea

This brave lion only looks hard to make. Hollow large pumpkin from base; carve mouth and eyes. Cut nose from a jack-be-little pumpkin; paint black and let dry. Attach to large pumpkin with toothpicks. Halve and hollow a small orange pumpkin for snout; secure with wood skewers. Halve and hollow a small orange pumpkin for ears, cut flat on one side; secure with toothpicks. Straight-pin faux chrysanthemums around face for mane.

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pumpkin carving ideas Plaid Vase
Courtesy of A Thoughtful Place
Plaid Vase Pumpkin Carving Idea

Who said you had to use pumpkins just to carve Jack-o-Lanterns? This year add a festive fall touch to your home with this cute painted pumpkin vase.

Get the tutorial at

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pumpkin carving ideas Witch
Witch Pumpkin Carving Idea

Make this bewitching display at home by first hollowing a green heirloom pumpkin. Carve out mouth and eyes, then attach parsnip nose with toothpicks. Straight-pin faux berry branches on top for hair. Print hat template and trace onto felt; cut out tracing and assemble with hot glue. Wrap ½-inch satin ribbon above hat brim and place on top of hair.

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pumpkin carving ideas Fireplace
brian woodcock
Fireplace Pumpkin Carving Idea

Create a gorgeous glowing escape in your living room thanks to this display of pumpkins carved to look like fireplace flames.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Zipper
Antonis Achilleos
Zipper Pumpkin Carving Idea

Hollow out medium round pumpkin from the bottom. Carve 2 oval eyes, then cut 2 smaller circles from leftover rind for pupils. Etch away skin on each pupil using linoleum cutter, attach black button with pin on top and secure to pumpkin with toothpick.

For eyebrows, use awl to poke 3 holes above each eye as shown. Push a length of through left hole; knot inside to secure, then thread through holes and knot to close.

Repeat for right eyebrow. For mouth, unzip a little more than halfway. Use black pushpins or silver straight pins (color heads with black permanent marker) to attach zipper, shaping mouth opening. Trace inside open part of zipper with highlighter. Unpin to carve mouth, then repin in place.

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pumpkin carving ideas Glass Bead
Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess​
Glass Bead Pumpkin Carving Idea

Skip the hassle of carving an intricate face into your pumpkin this year by drilling in holes fit for or marbles.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Metal Man
Antonis Achilleos
Metal Man Pumpkin Carving Idea

He may not have a heart, but Dorothy's Tin Man is gleaming thanks to a milk-jug collar, a shiny funnel hat, and foil eyes, ears, and nose. First, hollow out tall white pumpkin from top (make hole smaller than opening of funnel).

Carve eyes and mouth. Cut pupils, nose, and ears from 36-gauge foil sheet roll; hot-glue in place. Sit pumpkin on metal milk jug or can. Cut and curl collar around vessel; place funnel on top for hat.

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pumpkin carving ideas Emoji
Courtesy of Bespoke Bride​
Emoji Pumpkin Carving Idea

The kiddos will love this one! Pick your favorite emoji to carve and paint on a medium-sized pumpkin.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Corny Jackie
Antonis Achilleos
Corny Jackie Pumpkin Carving Idea

With highlighter, draw curved line on white pumpkin for mouth; add half-circles below for teeth. Carve along bottom of teeth, widening as needed. Using , etch away skin on teeth.

Carve eyes, then hot-glue 2 black jelly beans as pupils. Hot-glue candy corn nose and eyelashes. For hair, dip dried corn husks (from a grocery store) in a bowl of water and lay them out. While still damp, tear into different-width strips.

To make curly pieces, roll a few and secure with paper clips until dry. Working around stem, hot-glue one end of each husk strip to top of pumpkin; use straight pins to secure as needed. Fold 2 wider corn husk strips in half, and wrap together at ends with a third strip to form a bow; hot-glue in place.

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pumpkin carving ideas Mason Jar
jennifer causey
Mason Jar Pumpkin Carving Idea

Fan of all crafts involving Mason jars? Flaunt your love for the adorable household essential with this creative carving idea.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Gnome
Antonis Achilleos
Gnome Pumpkin Carving Idea

Carve 2 small holes in butternut squash for eyes and push in dried black beans for pupils. Hot-glue a kidney bean horizontally for a nose and carve mouth. For feet, cut off ends of mini cucumbers at an angle and secure with . Trace hat template onto and cut out; roll into cone and secure with hot glue. For ears, slice skin off bottom of squash and cut into 2 half-circles; secure with toothpicks. For beard, hot-glue 2 rows of dried pumpkin seeds. Cut burlap belt and hot-glue around base of squash. Cut buckle from cereal box; glue in place. Cut strip of burlap for apron, then glue half-circle of burlap to underside; hot-glue in place. For hair, cut a length of , glue middle of bunch to top of squash, then tie ends into pigtails with thin cotton ribbon.

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pumpkin carving ideas Polka Dot
Courtesy of Whipperberry​
Polka Dot Pumpkin Carving Idea

Whether you're working with fake or real pumpkins, think outside the box with your carving ideas and incorporate fun patterns like these polka dots.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Space
Antonis Achilleos
Space Pumpkin Carving Idea

Wow earthlings with the out-of-the-world effects on this space-inspired set. Tap the built-in LEDs on the butternut squash rocket ship and pumpkin flying saucer to light up the night.

Rocket Ship: Trace an Amber LED Floral Light 3 times down neck of butternut squash; carve. Insert light in each hole so they stick out just enough to twist on and off. Cut 3 rocket fins out of small pumpkin (start at top by stem; end with point toward middle of pumpkin). Attach around squash using toothpicks. Poke hole in bottom of squash with small carving knife, then insert small branch with leaves.

Star: Print and cut out template; trace onto small round pumpkin with highlighter. Cut around star outline with carving knife, then use flat linoleum cutter to remove layer of flesh within outline. Cut another 2 or 3 stars, each about ¼" to ½" smaller than the last.

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pumpkin carving ideas Etched Leaves
Courtesy of From China Village​
Etched Leaves Pumpkin Carving Idea

Why spend time carving out a pumpkin's seeds and guts when you can etch beautiful designs into the side like this fall-inspired pumpkin.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas Porcupine
Antonis Achilleos
Porcupine Pumpkin Carving Idea

Using the craft knife, cut two rounded feet from the small gourd. Position the oval squash (this is the porcupine body) with the stem centered as a nose. Choose where the feet should sit and press toothpicks into the gourd; press the feet into these toothpicks. This should anchor the porcupine body and stop it from rolling around.

To create quills, frame the face by pressing toothpicks into the rind, leaving enough space for eyes. (Tip: Try pushing them in at a slight angle to make it easier). Continue until the body is covered, as shown. Remove two small acorn caps and use hot glue to affix the caps to the face as eyes. Choose a larger acorn, remove the cap and glue it over the stem tip to create a snout nose.

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pumpkin carving ideas Vampire
Courtesy of Freut Cake​
Vampire Pumpkin Carving Idea

Don't forget about carving mini pumpkins! This DIY craft is a simple way to spruce up a Halloween party table.

Get the tutorial at .

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pumpkin carving ideas aliens
Antonis Achilleos
Aliens Pumpkin Carving Idea

Spaceship: Cut door into side of a large round pumpkin and hollow out insides through this hole. Use round scraping tool or melon baller to carve windows, then carve ring around each with linoleum cutter. From a second large pumpkin, cut a 1½" cross section, then cut in half; pin to spaceship with toothpicks. Cut a 4"-tall stand from bottom of second pumpkin (carve hole in top for spaceship to rest in). Stick LED tap lights to bottom of spaceship, then place on stand.

Alien: Carve mouth in small white pumpkin. Push in 4 yellow thumbtacks for eyes; draw pupils with black permanent marker. Cut two 10" lengths of yellow 12-gauge aluminum wire and wrap around base of marker to curl. Poke 2 holes in top of pumpkin with awl; insert wire curls. Cut slit on either side of face, then insert round edge of wood teardrop for ears.

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