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70 Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas to Raise Your Halloween Spirit

Simple, funny and scary designs for beginners and expert crafters.

When it comes to spooky DIY Halloween decor, nothing beats the fun that comes along with carving a pumpkin. It's a creative and engaging family activity that will get people of all ages in the Halloween spirit. To get your creative juices flowing, we've rounded up some of the silliest, ghostliest and wickedest pumpkin carving ideas for this holiday and season.

You can go for scary looks (such as zombies, witches, ghosts and monsters), or playful arrangements that make use of candy corn and faux flowers. If you want to keep things simple and save time, fun pumpkin faces are always and easy place for beginners to start. Once you're done carving your jack-'o-lanterns, dress them up on your mantel, add them to your front porch or dinner table, and make October 31 one to remember. And if you're looking for even more ideas that you and your kids can join in on, check out these easy Halloween crafts and Halloween games.

Looking for more Halloween pumpkin decorating inspiration? Try these awesome ideas:

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    Retro Carved Pumpkins
    white star cut out pumpkin

    Use a round template (like a bottle cap or tape roll) to trace rows of connecting circles onto your pumpkin. Trace a larger circle onto the bottom of the pumpkin. Cut along interior lines with pumpkin carving knife. Cut out bottom circle. Paint with two coats of white craft paint or spray paint. Place LED candle lights in the bottom to light it up!

    For the pumpkin vase, use your knife to cut a round hole on the top of the pumpkin and remove it and clean out the insides. Place a vine plant inside the pumpkin (still in its small pot), and place a small vase inside with water. Arrange a few flowers in the vase, mixing it with the vines.

    Fancy Vampire Pumpkin
    pumpkin with fangs

    This one is super simple! Cut a hole in the center of your pumpkin, then cut plastic vampire teeth in half and hot glue them in place. Fold a black doily in quarters, and cut along one line to the center. Accordion-fold doily all the way around, and hot glue to the bottom of the pumpkin.

    Spider Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas spider pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    This spooky spider pumpkin will look great on your front porch or anywhere in your house! Simply carve out a circle on the face of the pumpkin, spray paint it (inside and outside) black, and poke 12-13 holes along the edge where you carved. Then, thread a needle with a metallic string and tie a knot on the end.

    Start from the inside and pull the thread through the first hole, then through another hole directly across the pumpkin (poking the pumpkin from the outside) and tying it off inside. Repeat this step until you have all your holes filled. Take a length of string and start by tying it to one of the crisscrossed strings you just created about 1 inch from the outside of the hole. Continue making a spiral by knotting as you hit the crisscross that is already there, continuing in a circular swirl. For the final touch, add a spider to your web!

    Mini Playhouse Pumpkins
    pumpkin carving ideas mini playhouse
    A Beautiful Mess

    This is a painting and carving combination where you cut out windows and doors for the candle light to shine through.

    Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess »

    Spots and Dots Pumpkin
    John Kernick

    It may look elaborate, but this polka-dot pattern is fairly easy. Sketch your pattern with a marker, leaving enough space between dots so holes won't overlap. Punch it out with a power drill and various bits. Finish it off by placing LED string lights inside to bask in your handiwork's glow.

    RELATED: How to Drill a Pumpkin in 5 Easy Steps


    Black Cat
    pumpkin carving ideas black cat
    Crafts by Amanda

    This idea doesn't require as much carving as the others. Cut out almond-shaped eyes, spray paint your pumpkins and add cat ears that you can DIY using toothpicks.

    Get the tutorial at Crafts by Amanda »

    Kitten Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas kitten pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    If you want to do less carving but still have a show-stopping pumpkin, then this Kitten pumpkin is pur-fect!

    Mini Kitten Pumpkins: Take your mini pumpkins and spray paint them black with two coats of paint. Add rhinestones for the eyes, thread for the whiskers and pom pom noses with a hot glue gun. For the ears, you can cut out triangles from velour paper, attach toothpicks to them with a hot glue gun, and stick the ears into the tops of the pumpkin.

    Main Pumpkin: Begin by carving a circle on the top of your pumpkin and taking out all the seeds. Fill the pumpkin with crumbled newspaper and nestle the kitten pumpkins on top. Take water tubes and fill them with water for the fresh flowers and place them inside the pumpkin.


    Candy Holder Pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    Craft a unique — and useful — front porch display with a large real or faux pumpkin. First, mark a hole on the top half of the pumpkin and carefully cut along the line with a pumpkin carving set. If you opted for a fake pumpkin, sand down any rough edges. Paint the entire pumpkin with black chalk paint and let dry. Before the festivities begin, fill it with candy and write a message with chalk.

    Goofy Grin
    pumpkin carving ideas goofy grin
    Mike Garten for Woman's Day

    Make your own funny-faced pumpkin by tracing your face design with a marker before carving it out. Use discarded pumpkin circles for the eyeballs and add a tea light for a nighttime glow.

    Get the tutorial at Woman's Day »

    Pumpkin Succulent Family
    pumpkin carving ideas succulent pumpkin family
    The House That Lars Built

    This is a unique way to display your favorite succulents. DIY one for each member of your family and have them help you turn ordinary pumpkins into planters.

    Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built »

    Pumpkin Diorama
    pumpkin carving ideas diorama
    Mike Garten

    Add drama to your carved pumpkin by filling it with everything from reindeer moss and twigs to mini headstones. Complete the over-the-top design with a full moon (a Ping-Pong ball that you can easily hang from a thin string).


    Tree and Moon
    pumpkin carving ideas tree and moon
    Courtesy of Erin Cestero

    Stack three pumpkins on top of each other and try your best at painting a tree. Poke out holes to represent stars and carve out a crescent moon at the top.

    Starry Fright Pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    Use a rubber mallet or a dishcloth-covered hammer to gently pound a cookie cutter into a hollowed pumpkin. Remove the cut-out pieces and repeat as desired.


    Glowing Lantern
    pumpkin carving ideas glowing lantern
    Brian Woodcock for Country Living

    Use this lantern template to create a classic spin on a jack-o'-lantern. You can place it on your porch or use wire to hang it by your door for trick-or-treaters to see their sweets.

    Get the tutorial at Country Living »

    Mickey Mouse
    pumpkin carving ideas mickey mouse
    Studio DIY

    If you can't go to Disneyland for Halloween, bring their characters right to your home. You'll need a large canvas foam pumpkin, a few small faux pumpkins and this printable Mickey Mouse pumpkin stencil for this idea.

    Get the tutorial at Studio DIY »

    Drilled Pattern Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas drilled pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    Decorate your house with simple, yet elegant pumpkin designs. Start by carving a hole in the bottom of your pumpkin. Then, you can use a piece of paper to draw a pattern that you like or print a design template to lay on your pumpkin. Use a toothpick or awl to poke holes as a guide to where you need to drill. Finally, use whatever drill bits you’d like and get drilling! You can even add a candle inside if you want your pumpkin to glow.


    Wicked Witch
    pumpkin carving ideas wicked witch
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Grab your craft knife and start carving the wickedest witch these kids will ever see — at least in pumpkin form. A crooked hat will complete the look.


    Monster Candy Bowl
    pumpkin carving ideas monster candy bowl
    Persia Lou

    Kids will love seeing this monster candy bowl instead of the typical dish of treats. Make sure to give it a toothless grin, googly eyes and a trick-or-treat sign so everyone knows to grab some sweets.

    Get the tutorial at Persia Lou »

    Lamp Jack-o'-Lantern
    pumpkin carving ideas lamp jacko'lantern
    Dana Gallagher for Country Living

    After gathering your best three pumpkins, turn them into glowing silhouettes of vintage lamps. Don't worry, you don't have to be the best painter to make these look good.

    Flower Moon Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas flower moon pumpkin
    Mike Garten

    If your pumpkin carving skills could use some work, rely on fake flowers and paint to disguise any mistakes. First, paint a real or faux pumpkin black and use chalk to draw an outline of a crescent moon. Then, use an awl punch to punch a series of holes within the moon shape, keeping the holes a minimum of 1/2" apart. Wipe away the chalk outline, then poke faux flower stems into the holes.


    pumpkin carving ideas scarface
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Draw out the eyes, mouth and scar before carving them out. Cover the scar with Q-tips and use olives for the monster pumpkin's eyeballs.

    Flower Power Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas flower power pumpkin

    This idea is perfect for the family that wants to make a big statement without spending a ton of time creating their design. All you have to do is paint your pumpkin bright pink (or any color you'd like). Then, just make holes for the eyes and mouth, and pop in some giant faux flowers and scary fake teeth!


    Zipper Mouth
    pumpkin carving ideas zipper
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    This craft is as fun as it looks. You'll need a zipper, black buttons, a wide black ribbon and a linoleum cutter.

    Glass Bead Jack-O-Lanterns
    pumpkin carving ideas glass beads
    A Beautiful Mess

    Use a power drill to poke holes into your pumpkins before filling them with glass beads. Placing a light on the inside will make the beads shine.

    Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess »

    Hungry Jack
    pumpkin carving ideas hungry jack
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Fill your carved out eyes with squash and place a sad-faced apple in your pumpkin's mouth. As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctors away — bogeymen and ghosts included.

    Candy Coated Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas candy coated pumpkins
    Romulo Yanes

    Can't figure out what to do with all of that candy corn? Put your extra Halloween candy to good use by decking out your pumpkin's carved face.


    Twisting Vines Pumpkin
    John Kernick

    Here's a pro trick for nailing this glowing 3D effect: Use a lemon zester, clay loop, or linoleum cutter to carve into — but not through — the top layer of pumpkin skin.

    Pumpkin Flower Vase
    pumpkin carving ideas flower vase
    Mike Garten

    After covering your pumpkin with metallic spray paint, carve a deep hole in the top, then slide in a plastic cup. Fill the cup with water and a medley of bright blooms.


    RELATED: Simple Halloween Decoration Ideas

    Monster Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas monster pumpkin
    Woman's Day

    When all else fails, go for an oh-so-scary monster look with white paint, a zipper mouth and a forehead scar.

    Carved Pumpkin Bowl
    Michael Partenio

    Cut a large pumpkin in half and scoop the insides out of the bottom portion. Fill with ice and decorate it with faux spiders, and you've got the spookiest drink display on the block.

    Tricks & Treats Pumpkins
    pumpkin carving ideas tricks and treats
    Deborah Ory

    Grab a pair of pumpkins to carve out the words "Tricks" and "Treats" using a pumpkin stencil. Then, place neon green paper inside to really send the message home.

    Get the tutorial at Woman's Day »

    Smiling Pumpkins
    pumpkin carving ideas smiling pumpkins
    Deborah Ory

    Keep it simple — but still fun — by having each family member carve out their best Halloween face on pumpkins of different sizes.

    Zombie Skeleton Pumpkins
    Country Living

    The walking dead are rising up — in your lawn, that is. Carve life-size bony limbs into stacked pumpkins to really make a statement (especially if you place them around a faux gravestone).

    Wood-Burning Stove Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas woodburning stove pumpkin

    Warm up your front porch with this adorable wood-burning stove idea. It's pretty easy to create, and Country Living even has a stencil for you to use!

    Candy Land Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas candy land pumpkin
    Mike Garten/Woman's Day

    Open up a few of your candy bags early and steal a couple of pieces to create this adorable house outfitted with gum drops, peppermints, candy corn, and more.

    Get the tutorial at Woman's Day »

    Ghost Pumpkin Topiary
    pumpkin carving ideas ghost pumpkin topiary
    Antonis Achilleos/Woman's Day

    Carve out doors on three pumpkins and have happy (or scary) ghosts pop out. You can even fill the pumpkins with fluff to look like smoke.

    Peekaboo Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos/Woman's Day

    Double the pumpkins, double the fun: Place a smaller gourd — white works best if you want it to mimic a skull — inside a big orange pumpkin for a pleasant surprise.

    Honeycomb Pumpkin
    Brian Woodcock for Country Living

    Go for a naturally sweet design by carving a large honeycomb pattern across the pumpkin's front. Leave a few honeycombs intact and paint them yellow to look like the real thing.

    Sweet Scarecrow Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    This candy-filled scarecrow is way too sweet to scare away any trick-or-treaters. Follow a classic pumpkin face design, and then make its features pop with candy corn in assorted shapes and sizes.

    Medusa Pumpkin
    Steve Giralt for Woman's Day

    Nothing's creepier than hair made of snakes, whether they're real or rubber. Although it's a more light-hearted take on Greek mythology, this version of Medusa carries the same consequences: If you gaze into her eyes, you might turn into stone.


    Pumpkin Candy Dispenser
    Brian Woodcock for Country Living

    This homemade beauty beats out any store-bought candy bowl. Just trace the bottom of a glass bowl or storage container to ensure that it'll fit inside. That way, you can safely store candy without covering it in the pumpkin's natural goop.

    Witch Pumpkin
    Steve Giralt for Woman's Day

    If you can't get your hands on a green heirloom pumpkin, paint a regular orange one in a muted green hue for a similar look. Then dress it up with parsnip nose, hair made out of a twigs, and witch's hat. Now, it's up for you to decide: Is it more of a Glinda or Elphaba?

    Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil Pumpkin Trio
    Steve Giralt for Woman's Day

    Nobody — not even this pumpkin trio — will shame your candy intake on Halloween. Since there's three pumpkins to carve, divide the carving duties up between family members to save time and let's face it, stress.


    Friendly Ghost Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Instead of going to the pumpkin patch, take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on butternut squash to make this friendly bunch. Depending on how much time you have, carve a single Casper or give him a few friends to keep him company.

    Hen and Chicks Pumpkin
    Brian Woodcock for Country Living

    Even if you haven't made your farm dreams come true (yet), you can play pretend with these pumpkins decked out with hen and chick designs. Fill the cut-outs with chicken wire to match your home's rustic aesthetic.


    Lion Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    No cowardly lions here: To get a fluffy lion's mane, stick faux chrysanthemums in shades of orange and yellow around its carved face.

    Stacked Witch Pumpkin
    Steve Giralt for Woman's Day

    Greet neighbors and trick-or-treaters with this bewitching pumpkin trio. Disguise the pumpkin stack with a black fabric cloak, finished off with a complementary ribbon.

    Melon Ball Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Even though summer's over, you can still put your melon baller to work: Carve out perfect circles with your trusty kitchen gadget for an abstract design, or to look like a dozen floating eyeballs.


    Eyeball Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Opt for a creepy statement by placing white pumpkins inside bigger orange pumpkins to resemble eyeballs. Stick two pumpkin creations side by side for extra impact.

    Get the tutorial at Woman's Day »

    Mason Jar Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas mason jar pumpkin
    Jennifer Causey

    To complement your farmhouse chic decor, take the time to carve out a classic mason jar on your pumpkin. Instead of the iconic Ball logo, go with something more festive.

    Home Address Pumpkin
    Courtesy of In My Own Style

    Let your neighbors and trick-or-treaters know just how serious you are about Halloween with this pumpkin, customized with your home address.

    Get the tutorial at In My Own Style »

    Drilled Shape Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas drilled shaped pumpkins
    Jennifer Causey

    Use an erasable wax pencil to mark off a pattern on your pumpkin, then use a medium drill bit to punch out your image. The hardest part? Deciding what kind of design you want to go for — spooky, classic, funny, or all of the above.

    Lollipop Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos

    Enjoy this pumpkin weeks after Halloween by indulging in these sweet lollipops (er, suckers).

    Squash Family
    Romula Yanes

    Is anyone else getting major Veggie Tales flashbacks? Your kids certainly will certainly remember Jimmy Gourd once you show them this carved creation.

    Sunflower Pumpkins
    Brian Woodcock

    Sunflower season may be long gone, but that doesn't mean you can't have these beauties blooming on your front stoop during the fall months. Create stacks in varying heights to resemble a real flower field.

    Owl City Pumpkins
    Romulo Yanes

    This family of birds is a literal hoot. Carve out their cute expressions using free templates, and then attach hand-painted nuts for tiny ears and feet.

    Robot Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas robot pumpkin
    Romulo Yanes/Woman's Day

    We can't stop smiling at this little robot. Minimal carving is needed, which is a plus if you want to make more than one. Hint: A melon baller will make creating all those little "buttons" so much easier.

    Passel of Rascals Pumpkin
    pumpkin carving ideas passel of rascals pumpkin
    Woman's Day

    For a picture-perfect look, cover a basic black hat in white masking tape and colorful branches.

    Bean Bag Toss Pumpkins
    pumpkin carving ideas bean bag toss pumpkins
    Brian Woodcock

    No, these pumpkins aren't screaming, they're just getting ready to join in on the Halloween festivities. Stack two on top of each other, give them a big enough mouth, and you've got the perfect bean bag toss game.

    Creepy Crawler Pumpkins
    Gemma Comas

    Light up the party with a spooky trail of spiders. Bent pipe cleaners bring to mind hairy tarantula legs when attached to mini pumpkins.


    Hairy Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Top your pumpkin with its very own plant toupee. Carve out the top of the gourd and tuck in a pot of grass or ivy for a truly awesome hairdo.

    Happy-Go-Quirky Pumpkin
    John Kernick

    Here's the foolproof way to carve out ghoulish features: Tape transfer paper to a pumpkin, draw on your design, remove the paper, and follow the outline with your carving tools. Sounds easy enough, right?

    Friendly Vampire Pumpkin
    Romulo Yanes

    No bloodthirsty monsters here. Yes, he's got a set of fangs, but what's not to love about this adorable Dracula face? Exactly.

    Roaring Pumpkin Hearth
    Country Living

    Set the scene with a whole pumpkin tableau. Avoid any real fires by opting for flameless illumination instead.

    Spooky Skeleton Pumpkin
    Good Housekeeping

    Go the extra mile and give your pumpkin head an accompanying torso. A second squash also provides extra decorating opportunities, like this adorable bow tie.

    Leafy Pumpkin
    Michael Partenio

    Mimic the fall foliage outside with our easy pumpkin carving template. Plop the glowing lanterns atop a pair of planters to welcome trick-or-treaters.

    Get the tutorial for Leafy Garland Pumpkin »

    Zombie Grin
    Antonis Achilleos for Woman's Day

    Bring a pumpkin back from the dead by carving a lopsided smile and adding eerie eyeballs (shaped with a melon baller). Place two mini pumpkins close by to look like hands clawing their way from the grave.

    Carved Cannibal Pumpkin
    Antonis Achilleos; craft & prop styling by Matthew Gleason

    Mini pumpkins, watch out. This clever design will gobble up any gourd — no matter the size — in its way.

    Halloween Town Pumpkins
    John Kernick

    Set up a flickering town square by cutting away windows and doors from silhouetted buildings. Then fill 'em with battery-operated candles or string lights to cast a subtle glow.

    Alarm Clock Pumpkin
    Built by Kids

    Wake up — it's nearly Halloween! This clock might not be able to tell you the time of day, but it will certainly impress your party guests.


    Get the tutorial at Built by Kids »

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