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25+ Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

Get into the Halloween spirit with these creative designs.

Carving a toothy grin into your pumpkin is always a fun and classic option, but why not mix it up this year? There are too many great Halloween decorating options out there not to have a little extra fun, and most of these carving ideas are truly easy to complete and oh-so-cute. Whether you're carving pumpkin faces or other crafty designs, these creative ideas will make sure you have the best jack-o'-lantern in the neighborhood. You can even surprise your neighbors with an idea they've never seen before, like owl pumpkins, tealight candle holders made from pumpkins, and even pumpkin vases filled with blooms. Click through for how-tos and everything you need to create incredible pumpkins this year. Prefer not to carve? We've got ideas for that, too.


As a bonus, all of these ideas are the perfect foundation for our other festive fall decorating ideas. Need pumpkin patch suggestions? Here's the best one in every state.

MIKE GARTEN

Flower Moon Pumpkin

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.


MIKE GARTEN

Gold Star Cookie Cutter Pumpkin

First, paint the pumpkin and let it fully dry. Then, using a rubber mallet (or a hammer covered with a dishcloth), gently hammer a cookie cutter into a real or faux pumpkin until it pushes completely through. Repeat all over pumpkin in a design of your choice.


MIKE GARTEN

Chalk Paint Pumpkin Candy Holder

This craft is best completed with a faux pumpkin to keep your candy fresh! Mark a hole on the top half of a faux pumpkin. Using a pumpkin carving set, carefully cut out a hole in the top half of the pumpkin. Sand down any rough edges. Paint the entire pumpkin with black chalk paint and let it dry. Fill with candy and write a message with chalk.


MIKE GARTEN

Pumpkin Flower Vase

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


JENNIFER CAUSEY

Mason Jar Pumpkin

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.


COURTESY OF IN MY OWN STYLE

Home Address Pumpkin

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


JENNIFER CAUSEY

Drilled Shapes

Use an erasable wax pencil to mark off a pattern on your pumpkin, then use a medium drill bit to punch out your image.


ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

Lollipop Pumpkin

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


ROMULA YANES

Squash Family

Is anyone else getting major Veggie Tales flashbacks?!


BRIAN WOODCOCK

Sunflower Pumpkins

Sunflower season might be over but that doesn't mean you can't have these beauties blooming on your front stoop during the fall months.


ROMULO YANES

Owl City

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


COUNTRY LIVING

Zombie Skeletons

The walking dead are rising up — in your lawn. Life-sized bony limbs fit stretched across doubledecker gourds.


JOHN KERNICK

Spots and Dots

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. A detailed design shines brighter by placing LED string lights inside.


BRIAN WOODCOCK

Bean Bag Toss Pumpkins

No, these pumpkins are screaming, they are getting ready to join in on the festivities. Stack two on top of each other, give them a big enough mouth, and you've got the perfect bean bag toss game.


GEMMA COMAS

Creepy Crawlers

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


ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

Head of Hair

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.


JOHN KERNICK

Happy-Go-Quirky

Here's the foolproof way to carve out ghoulish features: Tape transfer paper to a pumpkin and draw on your design. Then remove the paper and follow the outline.


ROMULO YANES

Friendly Vampire

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


JOHN KERNICK

Twisting Vines

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


COUNTRY LIVING

Roaring Hearth

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


GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

Spooky Skeleton

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


MICHAEL PARTENIO

Leafy Garland

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


ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

Zombie Grin

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 to look like hands clawing their way from the grave.


ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; CRAFT & PROP STYLING BY MATTHEW GLEASON

Carved Cannibal

Mini pumpkins, watch out. This clever design will gobble up any gourd in its way.


JOHN KERNICK

Halloween Town

Set up a flickering town square by simply cutting away windows and doors from silhouetted buildings.


BUILT BY KIDS

Alarm Clock

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


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