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Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Patterns for Halloween

Updated on March 31, 2015

Find the best pumpkin carving ideas and patterns for Halloween 2015 on this page. Here you will find big photos of pumpkin faces, jack-o'-lantern patterns and a how-to video guide.

Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin Carving

This giant pumpkin face was carved by a child. A good rule of thumb for helping young kids carve a pumpkin is: The smaller the child doing the carving, the bigger the pumpkin you should use. Mistakes can be easily corrected when there is more room in which to maneuver the carving tool.

The first four carving ideas below are easy for little hands to make. The first pattern is another simple idea with triangle eyes and nose. The mouth is made with cut-out squares for teeth:

Pumpkin Carving with Triangle Eyes and Nose
Pumpkin Carving with Triangle Eyes and Nose

Using the same basic pattern above, see what a difference it makes to increase the size of the triangles used to make the eyes in the example below:

Pumpkin Face with Giant Triangle Eyes
Pumpkin Face with Giant Triangle Eyes

The pumpkin face below is made entirely of triangles. It's like a geometry lesson on a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Face with Triangles
Pumpkin Face with Triangles

The template below uses half moon shapes for the eyes and the mouth. The added eyebrows give a happy-face look.

Giant Happy Face Pumpkin
Giant Happy Face Pumpkin

Here's another easy idea for carving a pumpkin. This happy guy has great big eyes and slanted eyebrows:

Pumpkin with Big Eyes
Pumpkin with Big Eyes

Arched eyebrows always give a happy look, like in the pattern below:

Pumpkin with Arched Eyebrows
Pumpkin with Arched Eyebrows

The picture below is the classic, life-of -the-party, jack-o'-lantern pattern.

Happy Pumpkin Carving Pattern
Happy Pumpkin Carving Pattern

If you make a really big smile, you end up with a funny face pumpkin like the one below:

Pumpkin Carving with Hole on the Bottom
Pumpkin Carving with Hole on the Bottom

The one above also features a creative pumpkin carving idea. The carver cut the hole to remove the pulp and seeds in the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. If you do this, the pumpkin can be leveled and will be less likely to tip over with a burning candle inside. Besides that, it does give a more eerie look!

The idea below is for a giant pumpkin. Just look at all those candles this grandaddy holds:

Granddaddy Pumpkin
Granddaddy Pumpkin

Scary Pumpkin Carving Ideas

It wouldn't be Halloween without some scary pumpkin carving ideas in the mix to delight the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood. Check out these diabolical creations:

Devil Pumpkin Idea
Devil Pumpkin Idea

In the picture above, notice that a hole was cut in the top which gives the appearance of fire coming out of the top of its head.

Devil Pumpkin Face
Devil Pumpkin Face

The eyes and mouth of the scary pumpkin carving above are outlined with a red felt-tipped marker for added effect. Notice the triangle cutouts for the pupils of the eyes.

The jack-o'-lantern below uses a special-effects, battery operated light for a more sinister look:

Mean Jack-O'-Lantern Pattern
Mean Jack-O'-Lantern Pattern

Ghosts are also prominently featured on Halloween. The design below uses a template from the famous Edvard Munch painting The Scream to make a creepy, glow-in-the-dark ghost. This idea is perfect for a haunted house theme.

Ghost Pumpkin Pattern
Ghost Pumpkin Pattern

Use the idea below to make a pattern for a mean pumpkin man. Notice how the angry eyebrows are made.

Evil Pumpkin Face
Evil Pumpkin Face

Carving crossed eyes on the face gives a gruesome effect of wicked glee as in this photo:

Crossed-Eyes Pumpkin Carving
Crossed-Eyes Pumpkin Carving

Carving pupils for the eyes is also a way to give the appearance of spooky cat eyes as in the example below:

Pumpkin Face Pattern
Pumpkin Face Pattern

For a really creepy effect, just carve the eyes and no other facial features. When you do this, your carving looks like a Halloween cat lurking in the night.

Eyes on Pumpkin Face
Eyes on Pumpkin Face

Speaking of cats, here's the mischievous grin of the Cheshire cat from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, carved on two Halloween pumpkins:

Cheshire Cat Pumpkin Carving
Cheshire Cat Pumpkin Carving
Cheshire Cat Pumpkin Carving Pattern
Cheshire Cat Pumpkin Carving Pattern

It wouldn't be Halloween without a black cat lurking in the darkness. You can easily add one to a pumpkin. First, select one of these great pictures of Halloween cats. Next, make a pattern by tracing the one you like to thick black paper, using colored carbon paper to make the transfer. Cut out your black cat and use a glue stick to attach aluminum foil to the back to protect it from the candle flame.

Then, tape toothpicks or kabob skewers to the back and insert into your pumpkin. This is a unique idea and a real show-stopper.

Black Cat Pattern inside Halloween Pumpkin
Black Cat Pattern inside Halloween Pumpkin

Here's two carving examples which resemble the Felix the Cat cartoon character. A red felt-tipped marker adds the finishing touches.

Two Pumpkin Faces
Two Pumpkin Faces

Unusual Pumpkin Carving Ideas

These are extreme creations from the guru of pumpkin carving, Tom Nordone. Check out this cannibal pumpkin man.

Canniba lPumpkin Design
Canniba lPumpkin Design
Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors
Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors

This guide is written by pumpkin-carving addict Tom Nardone and he gets his 15 seconds of fame every year at Halloween. Click to go look inside this book for even more great ideas.

 

Learn the tricks of carving your pumpkin from the world's #1 expert in this video. Watch as Tom Nardone explains his methods and shows you which tools to use for special effects. Most of the carving tools he suggests are found in your kitchen drawer or at your local hardware store.

When you graduate from basic pumpkin-carving, make a costume for your creation, like in this example from the King of Carving himself:

Extreme Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Extreme Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Extreme Pumpkins II: Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors
Extreme Pumpkins II: Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors

This is the sequel to Nardone's first book and this is the ultimate extreme pumpkin carving guide. Click to look inside book.

 

Here's another unique template:

Unique Pumpkin Template
Unique Pumpkin Template

This one just goes to show you that anything works for this holiday:

Creative Carved Pumpkin
Creative Carved Pumpkin

Pumpkin Faces and Jack-O'-Lantern Patterns

Got a budding thespian in your family? This is the pumpkin version of the famous comedy and tragedy masks:

Comedy and Tragedy Pumpkin Faces
Comedy and Tragedy Pumpkin Faces

Do you know what's better than two pumpkin carving ideas? Why, three or four, of course. So, here's three more:

Three Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Three Pumpkin Carving Ideas

And here's four more:

Four Pumpkin Carvings
Four Pumpkin Carvings

And now here's five:

Five Pumpkin Patterns
Five Pumpkin Patterns

And here are six :

Six Pumpkin Faces
Six Pumpkin Faces

Making these pumpkin faces for Halloween jack-o'-lanterns is a super family activity. Don't have kids? Invite your friends and neighbors for a pre-Halloween party and make pumpkin carving the evening's entertainment. It's a great way to collect a creative assortment for your holiday decorating in a short time. Enjoy!

A Lawn full of Halloween Carved Pumpkins
A Lawn full of Halloween Carved Pumpkins

Have a Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! with Pumpkins and Lanterns
Happy Halloween! with Pumpkins and Lanterns
1 X Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit by Warren Cutlery
1 X Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit by Warren Cutlery

More than 100 great reviews on this pumpkin carving tool set. One-day shipping available.

 

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    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      @ easylearningweb - Thank you and I hope you can put these to good use.

      @ Mary (Tillsontitan) - I guess I didn't recognize the costume because I can only see your head. Great idea for Halloween!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Just FYI my current avatar is my costume for Storm, a female superhero. I'm flattered people think that's what I look like :)

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 3 years ago

      Great examples and pictures, just in time for Halloween!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Hi Mary! I miss your avatar in the Halloween costume. Maybe you'll change it back for a couple of weeks until the holiday.

      Carving the pumpkin is a great family activity. Thanks for the comment and the vote.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Halloween is the most fun holiday ever! When my kids were young they couldn't wait for Daddy to come home and carve the pumpkin. They loved sticking their hands in the goo to clean it out and then baking the pumpkin seeds. You've brought back many happy memories with your great pumpkin pictures and carving ideas!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you Frank. There's enough here to keep the whole family busy getting ready for the holiday.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      writer fox these activities would keep the children busy for hours too great tips my friend :)

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Hi Flourish: I love the autumn season, too, and pumpkins are a big part of that. Did you know that in Hawaii they often carve pineapples instead of pumpkins? (I put a picture of one of those on my Pinterest Halloween page!) Thanks for the vote and for pinning. I appreciate that.

      Hi Merrci: No I didn't carve all of these myself. But, like you, it's great to have a lot of designs to look at for inspiration. I hope you found a few to use on your own pumpkins this year. Thanks for commenting.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This is just amazing! Did you do all of those yourself? It made me realize how visual we are--I loved looking at every one of the designs. So clever, and so clear what the goal was, from Felix to happy to wicked. Brilliant!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      My favorite time of year! We usually have 3 or 4. Voted up +++ and pinning!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Hi Bobbi: Funny pumpkins are great, too, and the way the holiday is celebrated now it is just a fun time.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Hi Linda: If you watch the video, there's an easy way to clean out the inside of the pumpkin. One way is with an ice cream scoop and another way is with a power tool.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi Writer Fox,

      This is an amazing Jack-O' Lantern Tutorial Hub and I know parents and children alike will appreciate it.

      I wish I had this knowledge when my nephews were young. My attempt at carving pumpkins turn out more funny than scary.

      Another great hub and have a wonderful Friday.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 3 years ago from USA

      Some good ideas, but I what I want to know is: Who is going to clean out the pumpkin? Not Me!!