10 Simple Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Picking out the right pumpkin is the easy part. Well sometimes. We have spent many a hour searching the pumpkin patch for the right one. However, if you know how you want to carve your pumpkin it may be easier to choose.

I have searched around and found some ideas that might get your creative juices flowing or if you prefer grab a store bought pumpkin carving stencil to make things even more easy. 

We have updated this pumpkin carving post since it originally came out in 2012 and added affiliate links 

Halloween Decorating Ideas

15 Pumpkin Carving Ideas

We all know about the traditional Shape Cut Pumpkin but how about jazzing up your pumpkin this year with some more creative carving and painting.

If you have younger kids you may want to do the carving while they make the design and help you take out the seeds. 

We suggest buying a pumpkin carving kit,  using a serrated kitchen knife or an X-Acto knife for carving.  To to make intricate designs, you could try using a small saw. Just don’t cut on a slant — clean up-and-down slices look best.

We have also purchased the kits before where you download a face, tape it the printed face onto the pumpkin and then punch out the design. These do look great and depending on your patience you will have a wonderful looking 

Fortunately we don’t have kids smashing ours so the hard work sticks around until it rots! 


Cutting out simple triangles and square and a mouth full of teeth is sticking with the basics of pumpkin carving.  


How to draw a jack-o-latern design directly on a pumpkin

We suggest wiping down the pumpkin first.  Once dry use a pen or a sharpie . 


carving out a triangle eyes on a pumpkin. man pulling out the shape from pumpking


How to carve a throwing up jack o latern.

This was my husband’s idea for a joke for my children, they were only 5 and 7 at the time. I think that year I actually got the stomach bug the next day!

Carving a pumpkin does not mean cutting all into it and getting out the guts. You can simply carve out the skin for a unique and sophisticated look. Just no candles in this one.


Another great way is to use a dremmel  and make holes around the whole pumpkin once it is cleaned out   What a fun look.

three pumpkin face ideas on orange background

They don’t all have to be scary or carved to get a cute pumpkin face. These look like the fake ones from the craft store with crafting supplies glued on. I love the stacked look too.

three fake pumpkins stacked ontop of eachother white orange white
Source: hgtv.com 


How to include other gourds in your pumpkin carving

How about adding other veggies to make them into different faces?




This reminds me of a craft I did for a kids Halloween party. Use your magazines and cut out face parts and just glue them on. I used small pumpkins you can read more on the post on the kids pumpkin face craft.


Simply Paint your pumpkins

How do you paint pumpkins?


Prep Your Pumpkin

Wipe it down with a sanitizing wipe or with a soft cloth and some mild soap. This helps to remove dirt and grime to give you a clean surface to paint on, and it also removes bacteria that might speed up the rotting process.


What kind of paint should I use to paint a pumpkin

Pull out the acrylic paints and make up your own faces. You will want to keep this and the magazine ones indoors.

a stack of painted pumpkins, with a pink background


Who say you have to only decorate one pumpkin or that they have to be spooky. Love this one from Craft Gossip.

Love these Candy Corn Pumpkins from Midwest Living.
candy Corn pumpkin decorating

Any thoughts for your pumpkin this year? Maybe you have a wonderful Pumpkin Carving design to share.

How about turning your pumpkin into a candy holder this year? 



Carve a pumpkin into a vase

Pumpkins can also be carved into vases for a fall table.  Pick up some pumpkins after Halloween to make a great table setting for Thanksgiving

20 Simple Pumpkin Carving Ideas

grab a pumpkin and transform them into great jack o laterns or better yet here are some creative ways to make some non traditional pumpkin carving.

Which Pumpkin Carving Idea Do you like best?

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