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31 Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas to Try This Fall

Get inspired by scary, funny, and cute designs!

pumpkin carving ideas
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Of all the fun and creative fall activities, few of them feel more festive than pumpkin carving—and it's not just about Halloween! Of course, jack-o'-lanterns are a fun part of any lawn, or tabletop fall porch décor setup. But pumpkin carving is also a kid-friendly project that keeps the little ones occupied and yields delicious pumpkin seeds!

If you know how to carve a pumpkin, it's easy to try lots of different designs! But if the classic toothy grin and triangle-shaped eyes no longer feel quite as thrilling as they did when you were a kid, you're in the right place. After all, if you're going to go to the trouble of whipping out a brand-new pumpkin carving kit, you might as well have an epic pumpkin to show for it at the end. Here, you'll find pumpkin decorating ideas that are far more exciting, but still easy enough for anyone to tackle. Carving experts and beginners at pumpkin crafts alike will find at least one idea here to take on this October. So visit your local pumpkin patch and pick out the best one. Then, all you need to do is throw down some newspaper, sharpen your tools, and get ready to display your newest outdoor Halloween decorations proudly!

succulent pumpkin carving ideas
Alison Gootee
1 of 31
Succulent Planter Pumpkin

As if mini pumpkins weren't cute enough already! Here, they're transformed into planters for succulents, which are simply tucked into the carved-out top.


pumpkin carving ideas flowers
Mike Garten
2 of 31
Flower Power Pumpkin

Sunflower seeds, pinecones, dried leaves, and artificial flowers bring this toothy pumpkin to life. You can even forage for some of these supplies in your own backyard.

chicken wire pumpkin carving ideas
Brian Woodcock
3 of 31
Hen and Chicks Carving Idea

There's only one material that makes sense to use when it comes to crafting a chicken out of a pumpkin: chicken wire!

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

pumpkin carving ideas squash
Romulo Yanes
4 of 31
Butternut Squash Trio

Very little carving is required for this hilarious ensemble, which makes it an ideal project for beginners. Star anise "eyes," orange burlap, and straw are all you'll need to complete the look.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

pumpkin carving ideas bean bag
Brian Woodcock
5 of 31
Bean Bag Toss Carved Pumpkin

These pumpkins don't just look cute—they're also legitimately fun to play with! Turn a stacked set into a bean bag game in just a few simple steps.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.


pumpkin carving ideas family
The House That Lars Built
6 of 31
Pumpkin Family

This is probably one of the most adorable pumpkin carving ideas we've ever seen! You use the pumpkin face template to create adorable expressions, and plant little succulents for their hair!

Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.

pumpkin carving ideas
Becky Stayner
7 of 31
Gnome House Pumpkin

Grown-ups and kids alike will love having this magical gnome house in the yard. Just be ready for company: Gnomes are bound to move in within a day or two! 😉

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

pumpkin carving ideas candy jar
In My Own Style
8 of 31
Carved Faux Pumpkin Candy Jar

Trade out your usual candy jars for one that’s even more festive. This tutorial recommends using a plastic or foam pumpkin, so don’t worry about getting pumpkin juice on your candy!

Get the tutorial at In My Own Style.

pumpkin carving ideas creepy crawly
Design Improved
9 of 31
Creepy Crawly Pumpkin

Your porch will be the talk of the annual Halloween party with this creative pumpkin sitting on it. The lantern has creepy crawlies dipping in and out, and isn't "spooky" what Halloween is all about?

Get the tutorial at Design Improvised.

pumpkin carving ideas drilled pumpkin design
One Little Project
10 of 31
Drilled Pumpkin Design

Is drilling the same as carving? Eh, what’s it matter! Draw dotted or circular patterns with a pen and use a drill to create evenly sized holes. Using a drill-bit will make your jack-o'-lantern design far more even and clean than any pointed carving knife.

Get the tutorial at One Little Project.


pumpkin carving ideas nailhead trim pumpkins
Lovely Indeed
11 of 31
Nailhead Trim Pumpkins

Nailhead pumpkin designs look like something out of Crate & Barrel! Metallic furniture nails look especially cool in black and white pumpkins, but orange ones or gourds will do as well!

Get the tutorial at Lovely Indeed.

pumkin carving ideas faux pumpkin leaf centerpiece
Homemade by Carmona
12 of 31
Faux Pumpkin Leaf Centerpiece

Hosting a fall or Halloween-themed dinner party? A leafy pumpkin centerpiece brings the whole table together.

Get the tutorial at Homemade by Carmona.

pumpkin carving ideas pumpkin planter
Inspired by Charm
13 of 31
Pumpkin Planter

This clever blogger notes that fresh pumpkins only last about a week after you cut into them. To account for that, he ensures that this gorgeous succulent and spider planter can be disassembled as quickly as it came together!

Get the tutorial at Inspired by Charm.

pumpkin carving ideas  terrarium
In My Own Style
14 of 31
House Number Pumpkin Carving

Carve your street address right into the front of a pumpkin! This blogger used a foam pumpkin to bring her vision to life, but a real one would work just as well.

Get the tutorial at In My Own Style.

pumpkin carving ideas dots
15 of 31
Polka-Dot Pumpkin Carving Idea

This blogger used a professional "hot knife" to cut out the round, precise holes on the pumpkin you see here, but you can achieve a similar look with traditional carving tools.

Get the tutorial at Whipperberry.


leaves pumpkin carving ideas
Scandinavian Love Song
16 of 31
Autumn Leaf Pumpkin Carving Idea

Double your autumn decor with this leaf design. To make, use a small knife, which allows you to gently press into the outer layer of the pumpkin and create "leaves."

Get the tutorial at Scandinavian Love Song.

pumpkin carving ideas  marbles
A Beautiful Mess
17 of 31
Glass Marble Pumpkin Carving Idea

For a more artistic pumpkin, pop glass marbles into carved holes. Place a candle inside to give them a glowing effect.

Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

pumpkin carving ideas mason jar
Jennifer Causey
18 of 31
Mason Jar Pumpkin Carving Idea

Pay homage to your favorite kitchen accessory with this dreamy design. Transfer paper and a downloadable template make it easy.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

pumpkin carving ideas lanterns
19 of 31
Carved Pumpkin Lanterns

Pumpkin lanterns are the prettiest way to light a path to your home. A drill, pipe cleaner, and battery-powered pillar candles are all you need to craft them!

Get the tutorial at Designlovefest.

stitched pumpkin carving ideas
Aww Sam
20 of 31
Cross-Stitched Pumpkins

Crafters, you're going to love this one: With a little bit of embroidery thread and the help of a drill bit, these DIY pumpkins really do end up looking like cross-stitched masterpieces.

Get the tutorial at Aww Sam.


pumpkin carving ideas  terrarium
Our Southern Nest
21 of 31
Carved Pumpkin Topiary

Calling all overachievers: Take things to the next level—literally!—with this pumpkin topiary idea.

Get the tutorial at Our Southern Nest.

pumpkin carving ideas cupcake
Lindsay Ann Bakes
22 of 31
Cupcake Carving Idea

The kitchen's not the only place you can make magic happen! If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love carving a favorite treat onto your pumpkin this year.

Get the tutorial at Lindsay Ann Bakes.

pumpkin carving ideas  terrarium
My Name Is Yeh
23 of 31
Pumpkin Terrarium

There's no better carving idea for a green thumb than a pumpkin terrarium. Small plants and flowers add vibrancy to the scene.

Get the tutorial at My Name Is Yeh.

pumpkin carving ideas drilled
Handmade Charlotte
24 of 31
Cat Drilled Pumpkin

Show off your love of felines by using drill bits to carve cat shapes into your pumpkin.

Get the tutorial at Handmade Charlotte.

pumpkin carving ideas diorama
Mike Garten
25 of 31
Pumpkin Diorama

Fill a carved pumpkin with spooky finds (moss, twigs, and even tiny headstones) to give it the look of a miniature graveyard. A ping-pong ball hung from a string stands in for a full moon.

See more at Good Housekeeping.


pumpkin carving ideas grin
Mike Garten
26 of 31
Goofy Pumpkin Carving Idea

Stretch and twist the classic jack-o'-lantern face to mimic the wacky grin here. To make the eyeballs, cut 1-inch circles out of discarded pumpkin, shave the edges, then attach with pins.

See more at Woman's Day.

pumpkin carving ideas painting
A Thoughtful Place
27 of 31
Plaid Pumpkin Carved Planter

This cheerful DIY combines pumpkin carving with pumpkin painting for a fun, floral decoration.

Get the tutorial at A Thoughtful Place.

frankenstein pumpkin carving ideas
Mike Garten
28 of 31
Franken-Pumpkin Carving Idea

It's no surprise that the most original pumpkin carving idea on our list involves four different pumpkins. After carving the basic elements here, you can "stitch up" your monstrous creation by poking holes in the top and threading through a few pieces of thick wire.

See more at Woman's Day.

pumpkin carving ideas snail
Mike Garten
29 of 31
Snail Pumpkin

A hollowed-out pumpkin with a swirly design becomes the "shell" for this sweet snail, while pipe cleaners and ping-pong ball "eyes" help him see clearly.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

leaf pumpkin carving ideas
Michael Partenio
30 of 31
Leafy Pumpkin Carving Idea

Bookend your front door with these enchanted glowing lanterns. Pro tip: Place them on top of tall planters to give them some height.

Get the tutorial at Good Housekeeping.


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