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Dog Jack O Lanterns

Updated on September 27, 2014

Dog Pumpkin Stencils

A few years back I found some dog carving stencils for Halloween on the internet and I was in love! I had just a Jack Russell at the time and was working for a dog food company and thought a dog jack o'lantern was the perfect fall decoration for my porch.

At the time no one else had seen these and I was the talk of the neighborhood. Carving pumpkin stencils is not as fast as just cutting triangles for eyes, it is time consuming, but well worth the time and effort. This year I'm going to do both my Jack Russell and my Boxer.

Dress up your porch with jack o'lanterns and pumpkins your neighbors will talk about. Your trick or treaters will love the cute dog pumpkins and their parents will smile that you picked kid friendly decorations.

So much of the time people try to scare kids on Halloween with scarecrows that come to life and jump out at them. I like friendly Halloween decorations. What can be more friendly than a bright smiling dog?

I have a Jack Russell Terrier, Brody, he's 10 years old and I tried to get a picture of him with his pumpkin, but he's a terrier and has slight ADD.

Better Homes and Garden - The Best Dog Stencils on the Internet

I think Better Homes and Gardens started the whole dog craze dog stencils. They have just about every common dog breed available

Pumpkin Carving Tools 5 Piece Set Plus Free Tattoo Decal Frightful Ride
Pumpkin Carving Tools 5 Piece Set Plus Free Tattoo Decal Frightful Ride

This pumpkin carving set contains the scrapers needed for the fine shading. I didn't have these at first and it was hard to chip away at the skin. The small intricate details can only be achieved with these scrapers.


Pumpkin Carving Tools - The Secret to Carving Great Pumpkins

To make pumpkin carving easy the right tools are needed. Pumpkin Masters is the most popular pumpkin carving tools, but when you're serious about your pumpkin carving and start shading and cutting out small sections you will find a few more advanced tools are needed.

You can purchase the plastic Pumpkin Master kits in any grocery store, but any serious pumpkin carver looks for hardy tools with more durability and strength.

Those large monster pumpkins will bend and break the kid size tools. I've started to use small dremel drills for carving and shaping.

Pumpkin Masters 102632 Pumpkin Carving Kit
Pumpkin Masters 102632 Pumpkin Carving Kit

For kids and beginner pumpkin carvers the Pumpkin Masters kits can't be beat. Each kit contains a book of patters, which I save from year to year in my Halloween bag, and a scraper which I love. The awl, or poker, as my daughter calls it is ideal for poking the cutting holes around the pattern.


Find Your Pumpkin - How To Find the Perfect Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin

Halloween Pumpkins at the Farm
Halloween Pumpkins at the Farm
Dremel 7000-PK 6-Volt Pumpkin Carving Kit
Dremel 7000-PK 6-Volt Pumpkin Carving Kit

Plug in this little electric drill and you have a pumpkin carving machine. It's safe, fast and makes it easy to reach the small and delicate areas. No more jagged edges.


Carve the Perfect Pumpkin

In order to carve the perfect dog jack o'lantern you have to start with the perfect pumpkin. It should be big enough to carve the face of your dog, and while the whole pumpkin doesn't have to be perfect one side should be clear of bumps and pumpkin warts.

Make sure it has a sturdy stem so you can lift the lid off your jack o'lantern. but don't carry your pumpkin by the stem or it might break off. I see six pumpkins in this pile that would make a great candidate for a dog jack o'lantern.

You can get pumpkins in a lot of places starting in September, garden stores, roadside stands, farmers markets and even grocery stores. But I like the adventure of going out to the country to a pumpkin farm and experiencing the whole fall festival atmosphere. An Indian summer afternoon in October is just about the most perfect time of the year.

Dog Breed Stencil Patterns - A List of Sites with Dog Patterns for Pumpkins

Every years I try to find new Halloween stencils to try. I love the comments I get from the Trick or Treaters as they enjoy my dogs and pumpkin designs. It never fails, I also forget where to find the stencils, so here is a list of dog stencils on the internet.

Pumpkin LED Candle Light - Colors may vary.
Pumpkin LED Candle Light - Colors may vary.

This bright light is safe and will last for years. Place inside your pumpkin jack o' lantern for illumination that can be seen from the road. Don't have to worry about candles or a fire hazard.

Ideal if you just have one or two pumpkins.


Light up Your Pumpkin - Alternatives to Candles

I love candles, and to me there is nothing more authentic than the real thing. But, when I'm burning candles in my pumpkin every night the extra heat actually increases the rate in which my jack o'lantern will decompose.

So candle alternatives are the way to go. I have both of the lights below and have a special Halloween bag with all my carving supplies and candles. The small tea lights look like the real thing, but you don't have to worry about a fire hazard or burning the inside of your pumpkin. These are the same tea lights many people use for weddings. They can also be safely placed in luminaries.

Lily's Home Battery operated Tealight Candles Flameless Set of 12pcs
Lily's Home Battery operated Tealight Candles Flameless Set of 12pcs

These battery powered tealights are an alternative to candles, they last longer, are safer and look like the real thing. Kid safe and will last the entire season.


How to Keep Your Pumpkin Fresh - Extending the life of your jack o'lantern

After spending so much time carving your pumpkin masterpiece you want it to stay nice for a long time. So what is the best way to do this? There is much debate on how to keep your pumpkin from rotting and looking the best. Some methods work better than others.

I found a great website from a science fair project Ways to preserve your Pumpkin that show photos of control pumpkins and various other methods of preservation. His results, Pumpkin Fresh and plain bleach worked the best.

Pumpkin Fresh ingredients contain borax, so maybe a mixture of the two would work best. Another tip. Don't let your pumpkin freeze outside, or get frosted, it speeds up the rotting process. Bring your pumpkin in the garage or porch to keep cool.

  • Store in refrigerator (if you have one big enough, I don't)
  • WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Vaseline, white glue, vinegar, hair spray, furniture polish, automotive spray, ammonia
  • Bleach and water: Dunk whole pumpkin in a 1 tsp. bleach/gallon water for 8 hours. Then spray daily with a mild bleach solution. Soaking hydrates the pumpkin flesh, while the bleach is an antimicrobial. Tip pumpkin upside down to prevent any pooling of liquid on the bottom
  • 50/50 Mixture Borax and water: put in spray bottle, spray every day to prevent your pumpkin from rotting and molding. Will do a good job for 2 weeks. (Borax can be substitued houseplant anti-fungal solution, foot powder in some water) Prevents fungal growth in teenage boys, why not pumpkins
  • WD-40: seems to come in third place in preserving pumpkins and preventing them from rotting. So if you don't have borax or bleach in the house check the garage and try WD-40
  • Pumpkin Fresh, available in most stores during the Halloween season. It's more expensive than the home made remedies, but pick up a bottle to try it, do your own experiment.

The Amazing Borax and Bleach - Preserves pumpkins and so much more

On all the pumpkin preserving sites I visited Borax and bleach came out on top as doing the best job in preventing pumpkins from rotting. Simple, inexpensive household items to use that will save you some money this Halloween season, goodness knows Halloween candy is expensive.

Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Casual Canine Hot Diggity Dog with Mustard Costume for Dogs, 12" Small
Casual Canine Hot Diggity Dog with Mustard Costume for Dogs, 12" Small

Every year the little wiener dog costume comes out and every year it makes me laugh. Yes, it's stereotypical, but it's still funny.


Halloween Question for Dog Lovers - Would you do this to your dog?

Some people say dressing your dog up in costume is humiliating for the dog.

If the dog is comfortable, can walk around freely and isn't trying to take the costume off then the dog is fine. In fact, your dog might like the extra attention he gets walking around as a dinosaur or a hot dog for Halloween.

My Boxer would love a costume, my Jack Russell would just roll around trying to get it off.

Have You Dressed your Dog in a Costume

See results
Star Wars Yoda Pet Costume, Medium
Star Wars Yoda Pet Costume, Medium

I'm not a big fan of Star Wars, but this dog costume always makes me smile.


Halloween Costumes for Dogs - Have a Dog Halloween Party

Most dogs are highly stressed when it comes to holidays. Halloween is no exception, the constant doorbell ringing drives my Jack Russell up the wall. He has to be put outside or in the bedroom. However for those dogs with calmer dispositions and manners (my Jack Russell is high strung) having your dog dress for Halloween I think is a fun idea.

Take your dog to the dog park in costume during October and have some fun with the holiday.Or have a dog Halloween party at your doggie day care, groomers, or obedience club. Have a contest for the best dressed dog.

Shop for More Halloween Supplies - Get into the Halloween Spirit

Shop for all your Halloween supplies, party items, and even candy online this year. It saves a trip to the store and there is so much variety that one store just can't carry it all. But, on Amazon you can find costumes, Halloween decorations, spooky yard art, wigs, monster make up, trick or treat bags, Halloween lights, cobwebs, and so much more.

Like this Article? - Let me know, anyone can comment

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    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      @tazzytamar: Thank you and thank you for visiting so many of my articles.

    • tazzytamar profile image


      4 years ago from chichester

      These are incredible! You're very artistic!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      5 years ago from Nebraska

      @tonyleather: With the pumpkin stencils it's easier than you think.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It must take some skill to get a recognisable image carved, but I love the idea!

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      5 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Very interesting! I'd never really considered carving anything but "regular faces" on a pumpkin, but this makes total sense... great idea!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      5 years ago

      Dog jack-o-lanterns would be a great decoration for the kids' Halloween party at our local animal shelter - thanks for this idea!

    • shay-marie profile image

      Shay Marie 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Heck yes! I'd put my dog's face on a pumpkin a t-shirt, a tattoo... Great article!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Bet my husband would love to see our Daisy's face on a pumpkin!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How cute!

    • tonyaalves3 profile image


      5 years ago

      I very creative idea regards to the Dog Jack O Lanterns


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