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Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

Updated on July 1, 2014

Carving pumpkins is a lot of fun, and you can get involved at any level you want, from doing the traditional carving of a nose eyes and teeth, to creating an impressive 3-D piece of art.

There are a plethora of patterns to choose from when creating a piece of pumpkin art, with many you can acquire and place against the pumpkin to begin your work.

There are also a number of tools you can use to work on carving your pumpkin, usually of which can be acquired as a group in a package.

Included in this article are examples of a number of pumpkin carvings at various skill levels to get your creative juices flowing.

This is something that is always a hit with family and friends, and can be used as great quality and enjoyable time together. Usually no one gets bored once they get going on the work. 

Pumpkin Carving Should be Fun

As you look at some of the pumpkins and what seems to be impossible images, keep in mind that some of the shadow and other elements have to do with lighting and how deeply you carve into the pumpkin itself.

Even the angle you cut will determine some of the shadow that will be cast by the light.

Don't be discourage if you're a newcomer though. Just get an idea of what you want and start cutting and scooping. Let it be fun at first to see if you want to take it to another level to satisfy your creative nature or delight your friends and family.

Angry Pumpkin Carving

While the first pumpkin carving image is a little more complicated than cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth, it does give an idea of what to do if you want to get a little more adventurous once you get the hang of it.

This is an example of the darker side of the pumpkin carving look, which can also be expressed in a lighter fashion, with the pumpkin smiling.

More Traditional Pumpkin Carving

Cat Halloween Pumpkin Pattern

The cat pattern is a good example of straight-forward design and carving. While fairly easy, there are still little detail to consider, like the little round parts of the eyes which give the appearance the cat is watching something out of the corner of its eye.

It's also a good choice because of the association of cats with Halloween.

Cat Pumpkin Pattern

Halloween Ghost Carving Pumpkin Pattern

This ghost carving was included to show the effects of a slanted cut on the pumpkin. Notice how if gives the illusion of shading by a darker hue? It works great and you can figure out even more interesting shading through trial and error. After all, that's the fun part Isn't it?

But for those wanting more surety in the outcome, you can also acquire stencils which offer a wide variety of designs to choose from.

Ghost Pumpkin Carving

Pirate Pumpkin Design

Note in the pirate pumpkin patter how it isn't cut all the way through. That's another secret of pumpkin art. The more you shave the lighter the image or shadow, and the less you shave off the darker the shadow or image.

Remember you'll usually put a light and/or candle inside to show off the carving. That's how the deeper or shallower cutting affects the outcome.

Pirate Pumpkin Carving Pattern

Dragonfly Pumpkin Art

Obviously the dragonfly pattern below is extremely detailed and not for the beginner. What's important is to show how the shaving depth of the pumpkin can create the extraordinary detail.

I sure wouldn't want to make any mistake when nearing the end of a pumpkin carving like this.

Dragonfly Pumpkin Carving Pattern

Leaf Pumpkin Art

Here's another example of depth of carving. Look at the bigger leave in the center and note how the one carving it left some pumpkin at the surface in order to create the leaf vein look.

Pumpkin Pattern with Leaves

Howling Wolf Pumpkin Art

The howling wolf is an example of straightforward deeper cutting. It is done very well, and while appearing easy, I'm sure was anything but. It's a good contrast to the more delicate creations above.

Howling Wolf Pumpkin

Wolf Pumpkin Art

Keeping to the wolf theme, here's an example of a totally different look and how by leaving things out you're actually putting things in. In other words, there are places you don't carve as part of the design and look. See how strategic shaving and cutting can create the look without touching large portions of the pumpkin?

Wolf Pumpkin Design

ET Pumpkin Pattern

The ET pumpkin design is one where several elements are used together to create the image. Various cuttings and depths of shaving create the shadow and ultimate look of the work. I really like how the light at the end of his finger was reproduced.

ET Pumpkin Design

Dragon Pumpkin Art

With the dragon design, you need a good pattern and a steady hand to make it work. What I particularly like about this one is the way the wings kind of fold into the pumpkin at the top, making it part of the image. Nice job.

Dragon Pumpkin Pattern

Mermaid Pumpkin Art

In this final pumpkin pattern of the mermaid, you can again see, at an elevated level, the way you use light, shaving and deep carving to create an amazing work of art.

Be sure to have your camera ready for when you complete your work, as they don't last forever, and before too long will shrivel up.

Mermaid Pumpkin Pattern

Pumpkin Carving Patterns, Tips and Art

Hopefully you enjoyed this collection of pumpkin patterns as much as I did. It's a good start on understanding the basics of carving and give you some ideas on what to keep in mind as you start your work of art.

Friends and family will appreciate your work, as it's always a compelling experience to see the work of an artisan applied to pumpkin flesh.


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    • HolidayGiftIdea profile image

      HolidayGiftIdea 4 years ago

      Wow! I love Halloween but I could never do something like that. I'm always intrigued by all the pumpkins when I take my kids trick or treating.

    • Coach Grandpa profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Riverview, Florida

      I enjoy celebrating all the holidays and especially Halloween. I like the pumpkin designs you presented. I receive numerous designs via email from friends every year. They range from characters, animals, scary faces and some adult carvings. I am new to HUB and just started writing. I am reviewing HUBs to sharpen my skills. I found yours and find them entertaining and skillful. Keep up the good work.

    • IntimatEvolution profile image

      Julie Grimes 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

      Great pumpkins!