As autumn arrives and the leaves begin to fall, we’ve all got one thing in mind: Halloween! And that means it’s time for scary movies, scarves, and carving pumpkins. If you need a little inspiration for the perfect jack-o’-lantern, try one of these fun pumpkin carving ideas below.
From simple monograms to cute drilled designs, you’ll find an idea that’ll take your pumpkin from “meh” to amazing.
Fun Pumpkin Carving Ideas for the Whole Family
Grab your carving tools, drill, and pumpkin—it’s time to carve up a masterpiece!
1. Classic Pumpkin Carving
You can’t go wrong with a classic pumpkin carving like this one from Kids Activities Blog. Simple triangle eyes and a zig-zag mouth are easy to cut, and it always looks fantastic.
2. Boo Drilled Pumpkins
Boo! These spooky drilled pumpkins from Handmade Charlotte are easier to make than you think! First, scoop out the pumpkin. Then, grab your drill and wood space bits in various sizes to drill your design in minutes.
3. Baby Handprint Footprint Pumpkins
Hello Wonderful’s baby handprint and footprint pumpkins are such a cute way to celebrate baby’s first Halloween. Trace the baby’s handprints and footprints, then use a small carving tool to cut the prints out. How darling!
4. Black Cat Pumpkin
Make an adorable black cat pumpkin to adorn your porch or Halloween party table. For this design from Crafts by Amanda, you’ll stack two painted pumpkins with the eyes cut into the smaller one on top. Add cat ears (and a tail, if you’d like) to complete the purr-fect pumpkin.
5. Easy Pumpkin Carving With Cricut Vinyl
You’ll love this Cricut-inspired pumpkin carving! Carve out the center of the pumpkin to make room for battery-powered luminaries. Next, use your Cricut to create a vinyl covering to go over the hole. The result is a beautiful, glowing pumpkin with a flawless design. Get the free SVG file from Heart Filled Spaces.
6. Pumpkin Carving With Templates
Using pumpkin carving templates makes things so much easier, as do pumpkin saws. Create your favorite characters or classic Halloween symbols. Jack Skellington is our favorite of the pumpkins from Happiness is Homemade.
7. Candy Monster Pumpkin
Though Persia Lou uses a faux pumpkin to make this candy monster pumpkin, you can make it with a real one, too. Cut out a large, open mouth, add some big googly eyes, and fill the pumpkin with candy. What a fun way to give out candy to Trick-or-Treaters or at a party.
8. Pumpkin House
You don’t need to limit pumpkin carving to Halloween. These pumpkin houses by Adventure in a Box are a fun idea anytime during the fall. They make gorgeous fairy houses for the kids to play with or beautiful luminaries to add to the porch.
9. Music Notes Pumpkin
This music note pumpkin is a MUST for musicians or music teachers. Music notes are easy to make using a pumpkin knife and drill and will look lovely lit up at night. Play some spooky music to accompany your musically themed pumpkin! Follow the tutorial from Handmade Charlotte to make your own.
10. Owl Pumpkin
Make an owl pumpkin or one of the other fun designs from Hello Wonderful. You can use an owl stencil to make the process easier, but you may be able to freehand the design, too.
11. Cupcake Pumpkin
Do you have a sweet tooth? Show off your love for dessert with this cute cupcake pumpkin. Grab the printable template and transfer the design to your pumpkin to make one of your own.
12. Alarm Clock Pumpkin
If you’re willing to put in the work, this alarm clock pumpkin from Built By Kids really has that “wow” factor. The clock really works! But if you don’t want to fuss with a working clock, you can simply paint one on instead.
13. Cat Drilled Pumpkins
Any proud cat lady will love this cat drilled pumpkin idea from Handmade Charlotte. The process is straightforward using a drill to cut the holes all over and then a knife to carve small triangles to make the cats’ ears.
14. Spooky Eyeball Pumpkins
Have you seen this trendy idea from Hip 2 Save? It’s very cool (and creepy)! To make spooky eyeball pumpkins, you’ll need a large orange pumpkin and a smaller white one to fit inside it. Carve an eye shape into the large orange pumpkin, and draw an eye on the smaller white one. Put the white one inside with the “iris” showing through. Add eyelashes if you’d like.
15. Monogram Pumpkin
For a simple jack-o’-lantern that looks stylish with any décor, create a monogram pumpkin like this one from Sometimes Homemade.
16. Ghost Pumpkin
The Pinning Mama has perfected the ghost pumpkin. It looks brilliant lit up or unlit! Painting the ghost white helps it stand out against the orange pumpkin during the daytime hours.
17. Pumpkin Elephant Toothpaste Experiment
Okay, it’s not merely a carving idea. This pumpkin elephant toothpaste experiment is a fun activity to fill an afternoon. Or, if you’d like your Halloween party to go out with a big bang, try it then! Follow the tutorial from Hello Wonderful to make this wow-worthy pumpkin.
18. Vampire Pumpkin
We love this idea from One Lombard! Insert a set of vampire teeth into the mouth of a pumpkin to take it from cute to spooky. Carve eyes if you’d like, but popping googly eyes on the vampire pumpkin makes it so much easier. If you use glow-in-the-dark teeth, they’ll light up at night without a candle inside.
Pin this list of pumpkin carving ideas to use when Halloween comes ‘round.