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Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Tools

Updated on December 30, 2010

Best Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tools, Patterns, and Ideas

A collection of the best Halloween pumpkin carving stuff.

A little too big!

A little too big!
A little too big!

Selecting the best pumpkin

First of all, selecting the pumpkins you'll carve for Halloween is very important.

Size matters!

You will need to select the pumpkin that is the right size and shape for what you would like to carve. The bigger and heavier, the more difficult it is to handle. Bigger isn't always better.

Generally, try to select pumpkins that are uniformly orange meaning that are ripe, and have no bruises, cuts or nicks.

Never carry a pumpkin by the stem

It may break!

Templates, Stencils, and Patterns

These are all free!

Using a template is usually the best way to carve, if you want a lot of detail or when you are just starting out with carving pumpkins.

Free Templates, Patterns, and Stencils for download:

Celebrate Halloween - A very nice selection of free templates. Well organized!

Pumpkin Lady - Over 200 templates to download and print!

Hershey's Templates - As in Hershey's chocolate!

Cartoon Characters - Harry Potter, Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, and many more!

Martha Stewarts Pumpkin Carving Templates - Clever ideas from Martha herself.

Zombie Pumpkins - A searchable database of over 200 stencils.

Better Homes and Gardens - Many free downloads to print and carve.

Tools for the job

In order to carve a really good pumpkin you will need the right tools! They should be sharp, flexible, thin and sturdy.

You could buy a pumpkin carving toolkit or you can put together your own tools, including power tools. Believe it or not, there is even a Dremel tool just for pumpkin carving! *See Dremel Pumpkin Carving Tool below.

The use of a combination of power tools and hand tools is actually recommended. Power tools allow for easier carving, while hand tools will give you greater control over detail or sensitive areas.

Recommended Hand Tools:

A long, thin bladed boning knife - For larger cutting, such as the hole in the top. It is the hand tool version of the jig saw.

An X-Acto knife with a keyhole saw - For detailed work.

Small, thin knives - Great for detailed work.

Grease Pencils - Especially good for freehand drawing a pattern.

Ice Cream Scoop - Awesome for scooping!

A large metal ladle - Also nice for scooping.

Recommended Power Tools:

Jig Saw - It takes practice, but it is a fast way to cut. Use a small, thin blade. Be careful, it keeps cutting after you turn it off!

Drill - For making small, accurate holes. Much better than trying to "carve" a small hole!

Dremel Tool

Carving the pumpkin

First, cut out the top of the pumpkin around the stem of the pumpkin. The hole normally should be large enough to allow you to scoop out the seeds and stringy guts by hand, or with a large spoon.

Turn the pumpkin around to determine where you will begin carving.

Feel free to use the shape and textures of the pumpkin to enhance the finished product.

Put the template on the pumpkin and tape it down or use the grease pencil to mark where you would like to carve.

Once you are ready, begin cutting the larger areas and then work toward more detail. Take your time!

Star Wars Themed Pumpkins

Star Wars Themed Pumpkins
Star Wars Themed Pumpkins

The Death Star Pumpkin

The Death Star Pumpkin
The Death Star Pumpkin

Van Vacter Pumpkin Melon Knife, Black and Stainless Steel

Van Vacter Pumpkin Melon Knife, Black and Stainless Steel
Van Vacter Pumpkin Melon Knife, Black and Stainless Steel

* Small grooves for fine carving of surfaces.

* Large grooves for sawing through thick surfaces

* Easily maneuvered with just a twist of the wrist.

* The ergonomic handle allows for a firm, non-slip grip


X-Acto X5082 Basic Knife Set with Wood Chest

ELMERS X-Acto Knife Set, 3 Knives, 10 Blades, Carrying Case (X5082)
ELMERS X-Acto Knife Set, 3 Knives, 10 Blades, Carrying Case (X5082)

* Knife set and storage case comes with three knife styles plus ten assorted blades.

* Set includes #1 Knife, #2 Knife and #5 Knife.

* 10 blades fit all three knives.

* Convenient carrying case.


Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Rotary Tool includes 10 Templates

Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Rotary Tool includes 10 Templates
Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Rotary Tool includes 10 Templates

* 6-volt cordless Dremel rotary tool (requires 4 AA batteries, not included)

* Makes carving intricate pumpkin designs as easy as tracing drawings

* Rotates at two speeds: 6,000 rpm or 12,000 rpm

* Includes 10 carving templates, 1/8-inch diameter high-speed cutter, and wrench

* Weighs only 6 ounces; 2-year warranty


Pumpkin Masters Power Poker and Saw

Pumpkin Masters Power Poker and Saw
Pumpkin Masters Power Poker and Saw

* Pumpkin masters' power scoop is the newest and easiest way to clean out your pumpkin

* Comes with a replaceable saw attachment and a replaceable poker attachment

* Battery operated scoop

* Requires 4 AA batteries



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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love pumpkin seeds to roast and would probably need a bigger oven with that big pumpkin. Love pumpkin carving as you can get so creative.

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a great lens, with lots of great pumpkin designs. However, the too big pumpkin hit my imagination and I'm already thinking to the amount of litres of soup I could do with such a fruit (or vegetable?)

      I think I already featured this lens on at least one of mine - going to check otherwise I'll add it, it's worth the task!


    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 

      8 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      Fantastic lens! 5 stars! There are so many amazing pumpkins out there now, not like when I was a kid and they just had a mouth and 2 eyes generally! Do you know of any ways to preserve your carving a bit longer? If I took the time to do this I'd want it to last at least a week (better keep them in from the squirrels for a start maybe!)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh, I love that great pumpkin! I wonder how many pies you could get from that?


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