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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use an erasable wax pencil to mark off a pattern on your pumpkin, then use a medium drill bit to punch out your image.
Enjoy this pumpkin in the weeks following Halloween by indulging in these sweet lollipops (er, suckers).
Is anyone else getting major Veggie Tales flashbacks?!
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.
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.
The walking dead are rising up — in your lawn. Life-sized bony limbs fit stretched across doubledecker gourds.
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.
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.
Light up the party with a spooky trail of spiders. Bent pipe cleaners bring to mind hairy tarantula legs when attached to mini pumpkins.
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.
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.
No bloodthirsty monsters here. Yes, he's got a set of fangs, but what's not to love about this adorable Dracula face?
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.
Set the scene with a whole pumpkin tableau. Avoid any real fires by opting for flameless illumination instead.
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.
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.
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.
Mini pumpkins, watch out. This clever design will gobble up any gourd in its way.
Set up a flickering town square by simply cutting away windows and doors from silhouetted buildings.
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.