One of the most beloved Halloween traditions is the carving of pumpkins to create jack-o-lanterns. These luminous decorations can be spooky or cheerful, taking their inspiration from a wide variety of sources. Whether you want one round jack-o-lantern with triangle eyes and a jagged mouth or five jack-o-lanterns of varying shapes and sizes, pumpkin carving is a fun family activity that leads to the creation of an iconic piece of Halloween decor. Check out the best pumpkin carving ideas for Halloween 2017!
31. Scarred Jack-o-Lantern
Using a marker, draw eyes, a mouth and a jagged scar running all the way around a pumpkin. Cut along the scar and hollow the pumpkin out. Use half-toothpicks to reattach the pumpkin halves to each other. Carve out the eyes and mouth, then drill tiny holes all along the scar just above and below it. Bend q-tips with the ends cut off so that each q-tip goes in the two holes to create the effect of a stitch. Finish it off with olives for pupils, placed in the eyes and attached with toothpicks. It’s a little involved, but as cool Halloween decorations go, it’s a winner.
Project Source: womansday
32. Choir of Frogs Halloween Pumpkin Carving
These pumpkin carvings are charming, if a bit complex. You’ll need acorn squash to start with. Get at least three to create a merry group. For each squash, cut it all the way around a third of the way up the squash. Carve half a mouth into the bottom piece. Cut half an inch or so off the bottom of the top piece and add the top of the mouth. Place the two halves together using toothpicks, and save the skin that was cut out. Peel a thin piece for the tongue, and use the thicker pieces for round eyes, mounted on toothpicks. Place each gourd on green leaves to give the appearance of feet. Can’t you just hear them singing?
Project Source: womansday
33. Light Brite Jack-o-Lantern
Did you love Light Brites growing up? Share the joy of these vibrant pegs with your kids at Halloween by purchasing a pack and using them to decorate your pumpkin. Cut out the top and hollow out the pumpkin as usual, and do some extra scraping so the pumpkin walls are thinner. Then drill or carve holes all over the pumpkin and push the Light Brites in. Toss in a battery-powered night light for extra illumination and enjoy the rainbow-colored magic!
Project Source: giverslog
34. Cookie Cutter Jack-o-Lantern
One of the easiest pumpkin carving ideas is to use cookie cutters to create a unique piece of Halloween decor. After removing the top and gutting the pumpkin, pound a cookie cutter into the pumpkin with a mallet. Once it’s at least halfway through, remove the cookie cutter, with tweezers if necessary. Use a serrated knife to complete the cut. Repeat as desired, with the same cookie cutter or multiple complementary ones. Insert a candle for a lovely decorative jack-o-lantern.
Project Source: cutediyprojects
35. More Basic Tips
No matter what kind of jack-o-lantern you’re trying to create, it helps to keep some of the basics in mind. For instance, if you’re using stencils, a round, smooth pumpkin that stands flat is best. If you want to carve a face, you may do better with a taller pumpkin. Transferring a design to tracing paper first can make the process easier. Finally, instead of a circle, try cutting a hexagon around the stem so it’s easier to put the lid back on later.
Project Source: cutediyprojects
36. Innovative Pumpkin Carving Style
While most jack-o-lanterns start with cutting a hole in the top or bottom, another possibility is to cut around the stem and continue downward on each side, making a keyhole shape. Carve this all out in one piece. You can cut out the face or design on the other side. Meanwhile, this unique hole allows easy access for placing and removing the candle, sidestepping the problems people sometimes encounter with the more traditional hole placement.
Project Source: makezine
37. Pumpkin Totem Pole
Select four pumpkins of varying sizes, shapes and colors and carve them with traditionally simplistic jack-o-lantern faces. Give each one a distinctly different expression. Place the largest one on the bottom and weigh it down with rocks and sand. Stack the other pumpkins on top, from largest to smallest, removing the stems on all but the top pumpkin. What a fun decoration!
Project Source: bhg
38. Feuding Twosome
If you’re searching for cute pumpkin faces to carve, you can’t go wrong with the classic duo of cat and mouse. Find two round pumpkins, one significantly larger than the other. Print out the cat and mouse patterns and carve accordingly, using the larger pumpkin for the cat. Use a gouging tool to give each pumpkin whiskers, and be sure to have some felt on hand to attach felt ears to the top of the cat-o-lantern with hot glue or pins. What cute rivals they are!
Project Source: bhg
39. Classic Jack-o-Lantern
It’s hard to go wrong with a basic style of jack-o-lantern. If you like that idea but aren’t sure of your own design skills, print out this simple pattern and use it as a guide. The large crescent moon eyes and curvy smile give this jack-o-lantern a warm and friendly feeling that is amplified when you add the candle. The tiny nose and cheerful eyebrows are the perfect finishing touches to this jack-o-lantern that will bring a dash of Halloween joy to any home.
Project Source: bhg
40. Cutesy Couple
If you’re in the midst of a new relationship this Halloween, why not take the holiday as an opportunity to revel in it? Find a couple of extra-large pumpkins and carve out jack-o-lanterns representing each of you. For an added layer of romantic fun, carve each other’s likenesses instead of your own. When you are finished, have someone take a photo of the two of you with your pumpkin portraits. Post it on social media or hang it on the wall as a charming autumn memory of your relationship.
Project Source: clipzine
41. Two-Toned Pumpkin Pair
It’s always great to stumble upon easy pumpkin carving ideas, and this is one of the easiest. Buy two pumpkins of about the same size but very different coloring. Bright orange and off-white are an ideal combination. After removing the tops and hollowing out the pumpkins, use an apple corer to poke large holes all around each pumpkin. Save the pieces of pumpkin and place them inside the holes of the opposite pumpkin for a wonderful polka dot effect. If you’re worried about the plugs staying in place, secure them with half-toothpicks. The result is a vibrant ode to autumnal color.
Project Source: meaningfulmama
42. Ninja Turtle Pumpkin Carving Idea
The Ninja Turtles are popular characters that lend themselves very well to jack-o-lanterns. Start by cutting out the stem and hollowing out the pumpkin. Next, paint the entirety of the pumpkin bright green and wait for the paint to dry. At this point, you should decide which turtle you want to depict. You could even do four pumpkins and depict all four. Paint a thick, squiggly horizontal line near the top of the pumpkin for the face mask. Once that’s dry, carve out eyes inside the area of the mask. Design a large, curved mouth, carving out the middle. For the rest, scrape down to the inner flesh to create two rows of teeth. Finally, add a few dark green freckles under the eyes. Cowabunga, dude!
Project Source: blogspot
43. Marshmallow-Mouthed Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Decor
If you’re still worried you don’t know how to carve a pumpkin, it’s probably best to start with a very simple design. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, though. Why not take the basic jack-o-lantern design with the triangle eyes and nose and the upturned mouth, but change it around by not carving in the teeth? Instead, place marshmallows inside the mouth. If the mouth is thin, use mini-marshmallows; if it’s wide, use full size ones or use toothpicks to secure the marshmallows in place. You can also use colored marshmallows for added fun. You’ll want to do this just before Halloween since the marshmallows won’t last long, but it’s a wonderfully simple and whimsical idea that trick-or-treaters will love.
Project Source: craftymoods
44. Pumpkins with Braces
This pumpkin begins in a basic way, with cutting a hole in the top and getting the guts out. From there, you’ll cut out two round eyes. The mouth is the complicated part but also what gives this design character. Draw a large, smiling mouth that takes up most of the pumpkin face. Cut a hole in the bottom part, leaving plenty of room for a top row of teeth. For that part, you will cut just a thin bit of the skin, exposing the inner part of the shell. Continue scraping and defining the outlines until it looks like a row of teeth. Then, run a wire from one end of the mouth to the other in the middle of the teeth and place one small metal bracket in each tooth, with the angle over the wire. The result will be adorably geeky.
Project Source: behance
45. Ferocious Predator Pumpkin Carving
For a scarier twist on the cat and mouse combination, find a large, tall pumpkin and a tiny gourd. Carve the pumpkin into a ferocious-looking cat with lots of jagged teeth and arched eyebrows. Save the cut-out pieces; two small ones will become the cat’s ears, while the largest one will lay flat to become the tongue spilling out of the mouth. Two extra-small pieces will become the mouse’s ears. That gourd should lay in its side so that the stem resembles a tail and the bottom faces the cat. The rounded ears provide the necessary suggestion of a face. For a nice finishing touch, drill tiny holes near the cat’s upside-down triangle nose and stick firm stalks of grass in them to create whiskers. The effect is simultaneously cute and intimidating.
Project Source: goodhousekeeping