50 Pumpkin Carving Ideas That'll Impress All the Trick-or-Treaters

X-Acto knives at the ready!

pumpkin carving ideas
Zan Passante

Carving pumpkins is the best activity to show of your crafting skills and get your hands a little dirty (, it gives you an excuse to whip up a bunch of delicious pepita recipes). But you think you've been there, done that with a toothy grin? This Halloween, mix it up with a creative new design no one else on your block will have. If that seems too complex for your knife skills, skip carving altogether and try one of our painted pumpkin ideas instead!

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1 A Thorn In Its Side
Country Living

When you've got themed dishes to match, a spiky jack-o'-lantern can make a great centerpiece or party platter accent. Get the tutorial at Country Living.

2 Tiny and Colorful
Family Chic

Mini pumpkins dyed with food coloring are adorbs arranged on a cake plate. Get the tutorial at Family Chic.

3 Pumpkin Vase

Take note from The Crafted Life to create a chic pumpkin centerpiece. You don't have to stick to classic Halloween kitsch to carve a pumpkin that still feels festive!

4 Hungry Pumpkin
T L / EyeEmGetty Images

This two-in-one pumpkin is scary, creative, and funny all at once—the Halloween trifecta. The tricky part (you know, beyond having A+ carving skills) is cutting the mouth just the right size to fit a smaller gourd. You can help hold it in place with toothpicks.

5 Stencil Carving
You House Love

Young House Love created this elaborate pumpkin by printing out an intricate damask pattern and then tracing it. Stencils will help you make those touch precision cuts.

6 Trick or Treat Pumpkin
Pete ArkGetty Images

Use your words! But this crafty pumpkin requires some scary good skills, so don't say we didn't warn you.

7 The Death Star
Flickr Creative Commons/F. Tronchin

That's no moon! In a galaxy far, far away, there are some seriously cool pumpkins.

8 Polka Dots

Give a pop art-y, modern edge to your typical orange gourd.

Get the tutorial at WhipperBerry.

9 Stranger Things
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✨Eleven✨ @strangerthingstv @milliebobbybrown. Carved by @nionoodle

A post d by Maniac Pumpkin Carvers 🎃🎃🎃 (@maniacpumpkins) on

Grab your Eggos, Stranger Things pumpkins are happening.

10 Emoji Ghost
Flickr Creative Commons/Antonio Roberts

We're millennials and we aren't even sorry. This is our perception of a ghost.

11 Carved for Ice
Cheryl Style

Because you need a drink to go with all the spooks.

Get the tutorial at Everyday Dishes & DIY.

12 Frozen
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Opening weekend in LA has been a huge success! One visitor described this "Frozen" jack o'lantern as "amazeballs". Come see for yourself! Www.therise.org/

A post d by RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns (@riseofthejackolanterns) on

There's no such thing as too old to be a Disney fan, and we're downright obsessed with this Frozen take on Halloween.

13 Cheery Tiers

The secret to this triple-decker gourd: toothpicks and colored beads.

See more at WhimseyBox.

14 Pumpkins on Pumpkins
Flickr Creative Commons/Tim Jones

Instead of one awesome jack-o-lantern, craft a giant skull from a bunch of mini ones. Bad ass level = 100 percent.

15 Harry Potter
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My Youtube Halloween Special is uploaded! Look how cute this Pumpkin Harry is. I’m so happy with the result and can’t wait to light him up. 🎃

A post d by The Hufflepuff Queen (@thehufflepuffqueen1) on

Yer a wizard, Harry! How adorbs is the painted-on scarf?

16 Game of Thrones
Flickr Creative Commons/Richie S

Tyrion Lannister said it best. Amen.

17 Hocus Pocus
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Amuck!! Amuck, amuck, amuck, amuck, amu - - ! Time for Halloween movies. What’s your favorite? #hocuspocus #sjp #sarahjessicaparker #bettemidler #kathynajimy #amuckamuckamuck #halloweenmovies #pumkincarving #halloween #jackolantern #sandersonsisters

A post d by @ dreadfulpumpkins on

Just don't light a black flame candle inside and you're good.

18 Flickering Fireplace
Country Living

Sure, you can pile plain pumpkins in the hearth, but candlelit "flames" look so much better.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

19 Oogie Boogie
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🎵 I am the shadow on the moon at night, filling your dreams the the brim with fright 🎶 #thisishalloween #pumpkins #pumpkincarving #october #autumn #helloautumn #oogieboogie #nightmarebeforechristmas

A post d by Abbygail (@abbygailx) on

It's what happens when two holidays collide.

20 Swirling Vines
John Kernick

To recreate this soft glow, use a lemon zester, clay loop or linoleum cutter to peel away the top layer without puncturing the rind.

Get the tutorial at Good Housekeeping.

21 Winding Vines
My Home Ideas

These carved-out designs can work on your porch well after October 31st.

Get the tutorial at My Home Ideas.

22 Unicorn
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Getting into the halloween spirit #pumpkincarving #unicornpumpkin

A post d by Gabrielle Proulx (@gab_proulx001) on

PSA: The unicorn trend is still alive and well.

23 Gobbled Up
Antonis Achilleos

Sorry, little guy. It's a pumpkin-eat-pumpkin world out there.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

24 Pumpkin Lantern
The Polohouse

Suspend a hollowed-out pumpkin, stuffed with straw and candles, from a sturdy rope for a lantern effect.

Get the tutorial at The Polohouse.

25 Skeleton Jail
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#skeletonsindungeon #pumpkincarving #pumpkin #roastedpumpkinseeds #halloweenfun #HalloweenAtTheGesualdos 🎃🍂🍁

A post d by Evette Gesualdo (@eve_gesualdo) on

Carve out your pumpkin and stick mini skeletons in it. Add some "jail bars" for a creative (and totally hilarious) Halloween display.

26 Lit Lanterns
Dana Gallagher

Decorate your jack-o'-lantern with an old school lamp. Your pumpkins will be both pretty and practical when it comes to lighting up the front porch.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

27 Taco Tuesday
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Day 59 A night of pumpkins, friends, and tacos 👌 . . #tacoseveryday #tacos #tacobell #mexican #pumpkin #pumpkincarving #jackolantern #halloween #art #carving #spooky #food #foodie #fortwaynefoodie #foodporn #foodblogger #fortwayne

A post d by Tacos Every day (@tacosseveryday) on

Literally all we care about in life is tacos.

28 Jar of Fireflies
Jennifer Causey

Summer may be over, but you can still catch lightning bugs. Etch out a Mason jar and attach LED lights inside and out. Even better, use the blinking variety and they'll look like the real thing.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

29 Chevron Style
Wit & Whistle

The trendy decor design looks just as chic on a pumpkin.

Get the tutorial at Wit & Whistle.

30 Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun
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IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR #halloween #pumpkin #pumpkincarving #fallshit #fall #ghouls #cindylauper #punny #girlsjustwannahavefun #october

A post d by Ciara Mairead (@ciaramairead17) on

Phone rings in the middle of the night... ♫

31 Squigglies
Country Living

On that same matchy-matchy note, take a cue from your favorite home décor and mimic your wallpaper (or tablecloth, table runner or napkin) pattern.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

32 Glowing Alarm Clock
Built by Kids

Just don't trust this to actually wake you up in the morning and you're good.

Get the tutorial at Built by Kids.

33 The Headless Horseman
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Happy #october everyone! It's a great month to find #inspiration in all of the things fall brings. #creativity #instainspired #art #travel #StaciaGates #theartofstacia #pumpkins #halloween #instaartist #instaartistic #pumpkincarving #amazingphoto #instapicture #photography #goodvibes #lifeisgood #instagood #inspirationalpost #mondaymotivation #artistson #instaart

A post d by Stacia Gates (@theartofstacia) on

The legend of Sleepy Hollow lives on. Bring the Headless Horseman to life with a badass pumpkin carving.

34 Abstract Leaves
Country Living

Leaves + pumpkins? We've reached peak fall.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

35 Skeleton Hands
John Kernick

Trim the stem on an oblong-shaped pumpkin after carving out a vertical arm, then place a smaller one on top to complete the skeleton's spooky arm.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

36 Wood Grain
Steven Randazzo

Scraping off just the surface saves a ton of time when carving a pumpkin—it also allows you to get more creative with your designs without risking ruining the whole thing.

Get the tutorial at Country Living .

37 Minions
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#minions #halloween2016 #halloween #pumpkin #pumpkincarving #hauntedhouse

A post d by Nico B. (@pumpkin_nico) on

Despicable Me fans, this ones for you.

38 Crescent Moon
Dana Gallager

With a Lite-Brite (remember those?) as his inspiration, the designer punched holes in his pumpkin to create a crescent shape.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

39 Melon Monsters
Antonis Achilleos

These are hands down the cutest monsters we've ever seen.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

40 A Spider and Its Web
Kimberly Werner

We know it's fake, but we're still scared AF.

See more at Good Housekeeping.

41 Playing Cards
View this post on Instagram

Nothing says fall like a pumpkin carve while watching Thursday Night Football! #pumpkincarving

A post d by Tan Ho (@tanho63) on

Game night just got so much creepier.

42 Spooky Faces
Antonis Achilleos

Using white pumpkins is the super easy way to up your jack-o-lantern game.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

43 Veggie Accents
Kim Ludwiczak and Renee Wisniewski

Gourd-and-berry window boxes are the perfect touch to this charming pumpkin home.

See more at Good Housekeeping.

44 Corpse Bride
View this post on Instagram

Thanks! @rainbowgirl26!

A post d by RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns (@riseofthejackolanterns) on

Carving skills so on point, Tim Burton would totally approve.

45 Good Enough to Eat

An apple a day keeps the goblins away.

See more at Good Housekeeping.

46 Elephant
Antonis Achilleos

With four minis as feet and a stem as a trunk, transforming pumpkins into a friendly porch elephant is a breeze thanks to skewers and toothpicks.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

47 Coyote Scene
Trevor Dixon

Try out this much more sophisticated (and seasonal) take on the traditional elementary school project.

Get the tutorial at Country Living.

48 Evil Witch
Antonis Achilleos

A gourd's twisted stem works perfectly as a crooked nose. Plus this project skips the messy step of scooping out the inside.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

49 Hen and Chicks
Brian Woodcock

A little bit of chicken wire turns a pumpkin into a mama hen—a baby pumpkin works perfectly for your "mama" pumpkin's chick.

Get the tutorial at Country Living .

50 Wigged Out
Antonis Achilleos

If you're a stickler for a traditional face, give your pumpkin a new 'do with a cheeky plant toupee. Rapunzel or Donald, take your pick.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.

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