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Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Updated on November 6, 2016

Do you need pumpkin carving ideas? If you're tired of carving the same old jack-o-lanterns each year, read on and view our pumpkin carving ideas slideshow for new ideas to get your creative juices flowing again!

Each year thousands of families and individuals set out on their quest to find the perfect pumpkin for carving each Halloween. The goal is generally the same for each person who carves a pumpkin – to create the perfect face, whether funny, unusual, or scary that will be remembered for years to come. Everyone has their own technique when it comes to carving pumpkins and some have some unusual tools that are used to attain their goals.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas Slideshow

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Photo by Mark Scott @Dreamstime.comPhoto by earl53 @morguefile.comPhoto by Nikm @Dreamstime.comPhoto by Eti Swinford @Dreamstime.comPhoto by Kitsen @Dreamstime.comPhoto by southernfried @morguefile.comPhoto by Ladyheart @morguefile.comPhoto by earl53 @morguefile.comPhoto by cohdra @morguefile.comPhoto by robbie11111 @morguefile.comPhoto by Ladyheart @morguefile.comPhoto by marshe13 @morguefile.comPhoto by earl53 @morguefile.comPhoto by earl53
Photo by Mark Scott
Photo by Mark Scott
Photo by earl53
Photo by earl53
Photo by Nikm
Photo by Nikm
Photo by Eti Swinford
Photo by Eti Swinford
Photo by Kitsen
Photo by Kitsen
Photo by southernfried
Photo by southernfried
Photo by Ladyheart
Photo by Ladyheart
Photo by earl53
Photo by earl53
Photo by cohdra
Photo by cohdra
Photo by robbie11111
Photo by robbie11111
Photo by Ladyheart
Photo by Ladyheart
Photo by marshe13
Photo by marshe13
Photo by earl53
Photo by earl53
Photo by earl53
Photo by earl53

Beginner Level

The best ideas for carving pumpkins are often the simplest. To do this, simply draw your basic idea on paper, and then transfer it to your pumpkin. Use a pencil to lightly draw the face onto the pumpkin before you start cutting away at the pumpkin. The easiest shape to cut is triangles, followed by squares and ovals or circles. Perfect circles are hard to achieve without sharp tools and a sure (adult) hand.

Beginners may find that it is easier to use the pumpkin carving tool sets available at many retail stores for their first pumpkin carving sessions. If you're working with small children, let them design the face (and maybe scoop out the pumpkin); the adults should do the carving.

Alternatively, small children may enjoy decorating pumpkins with the many decorating kits available on the market (like painting cute pumpkin faces), and skip sharp tools altogether.

Intermediate Level

Teens and older adults can experiment with more challenging pumpkin designs, such as vampire pumpkins, barfing pumpkins (see the above slideshow), and semi-smashed pumpkins. Teens and adults can also experiment with various cutting and scooping tools including exacto knives, cookie cutters, Dremel tools (cover the hand held part of the tool with a plastic baggie first), and various scooping devices.

Advanced Level

If you have lots of experience with carving pumpkins and like a challenge, consider the more difficult 3-dimensional pumpkins, like the Joker in the above slideshow. You can download these designs online or buy a 3-D pumpkin kit at a local retail store. While these pumpkins take about an hour to do, the effects are well worth it. Just remember, these types of pumpkins don't last much longer than one or two nights, so you can't make them well ahead of time for Halloween.


Submit a Comment
  • lisa42 profile image


    7 years ago from Sacramento

    I enjoyed the slideshow. Great ideas!

  • viking305 profile image

    L M Reid 

    8 years ago from Ireland

    Halloween is a great time for dressing up and decorating the house. Pumpkins are a major part of this. Love the pumpkin patterns you have here


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