Hundreds of FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns, Halloween Activities, and More!

Hundreds of FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns and Stencils by The Pumpkin Lady

Friends invited you to their pumpkin carving party. Your daughter brought home a small pumpkin from her class trip to the pumpkin farm. The neighbors have had front porch Jack o’lanterns glowing for the last week.

A Great Pair Of Shoes Pumpkin Carving Pattern

But you?

You can’t draw a stick figure…so how can you carve a pumpkin?

It’s easier than you think!

For the last 20 years, I have been designing original pumpkin carving patterns and teaching friends and family how to carve pumpkins. From the simplest smiles to celebrity portraits, the process is the same.

Creepy Tree Pumpkin Carving Pattern

And with my full free patterns, tips, and videos, friends will think you’ve been carving for years!

Want to know my secret?

Have fun.

Joy Ride Pumpkin Carving Pattern

You see, I’ve taken the worry out of it for you. Every pattern is an original, so your carving will already stand out from the crowd.

Jack Pumpkin Carving Pattern

And I’ve written out instructions for every step of the process: you will be carving the pumpkin in the exact same way I would, with the best chance for success and the least possible ways to break it. And if there’s a snafu? There are hints to help you fix that, too!

Pumpkin Carving Tips - The Tools
Here is a safety saw and a poker from a kit we got at our local store. These work great!

See? Easy! Now, do you know what I really what you to focus on?

The memories.

I LOVE Fall. Halloween is my happy place. I don’t want you to hurry through this process because it’s meant to be enjoyed…every second of it!

Falling Leaves Pumpkin Carving Pattern

GO to a pumpkin patch, grab a cup of hot cider, take a hayride, get lost in a corn maze, and stare in wonder at a field of giant glowing orange globes.

Feel the smooth shell of a pumpkin and pick the biggest one you can carry…then stack on a few tiny ones on your way out. Then go back for pots of mums in gold, fuchsia and burgundy. Take the deepest of breaths.

Cider Pumpkin Carving Pattern

Can you smell it?

It’s the heady aroma of woodsmoke. It’s the leafy piles smoldering after they’ve been raked up three times, last scattered by giggling children.

It’s the sound of dry leaves under foot, the crackling embers, the crickets as darkness blankets the Earth.

How does it feel?

Feel the bonfire’s heat, warm on your face. Tingle as the chill breeze tickles the hair on your arms. Unstick the stringy gooiness of removing a toasted marshmallow from your fingers.

What does it taste like?

Savor the melted chocolate on your tongue. Salivate on crystalized sour candy. Slurp your pumpkin spiced latte. Go back for seconds!

Cauldron Capers Fun Halloween Craft Project Coloring Page

We love carving pumpkins because it is part of the wonder that is Halloween.

We are children for such a precious, short amount of time…but at Halloween, we become young again. Whether we are five or 95, we can all find our place in this holiday!


Halloween is about not being perfect!

Sunny Pumpkin Carving Pattern

See? The pressure’s off! Let your Jack o’lantern wear that crooked smile! Let loose the skeletons from your closet! Grab a coloring page and scribble outside the lines!

Embrace the weird, wibbly, wobbly perfection you already are.

Now then, let’s carve!

We have FREE Pumpkin Carving How-to Videos to help you carve like a PRO!Also, we have a simple set of FREE pumpkin carving Instructions and some helpful hints, tips and tricks. Just scroll down and take a look. You may also download a copy of these instructions here. We also have a great set of Pumpkin Carving How-to Videos that you can watch for free here!

Pumpkin Carving Pattern Categories!

Download & Print Your FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns! We have hundreds of FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns to choose from in lots of fun categories! So, grab a few patterns and carve out your Halloween masterpiece!

Hundreds of FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns and Stencils PLUS tons of fun Halloween Activities for the entire family!



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NEW!!!! Fun FREE Halloween Coloring Pages!

Halloween Craft Project Coloring Page

We are so excited to share our latest edition to the site…FREE Halloween Coloring Pages! Grab your favorite pencils or markers, pick out a fun Coloring Page, and create a Masterpiece!

Pumpkin Carving How-to Videos

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Pumpkin Carving Instructions, Tips, and Tricks

Pumpkin Carving Instructions 1 - Pick of the Patch (Pick the perfect pumpkin)

Step 1: Pick of the Patch (Pick the perfect pumpkin)
No one wants a rotten pumpkin! To have a pumpkin that lasts until you’re ready to carve it, pick one without any nicks or soft spots.

Pumpkin Carving Instructions 2 - Get ready, get set, goo! (Removing the seeds and goo)

Step 2: Get ready, get set, goo! (Removing the seeds and goo)
Cut a circular lid into the pumpkin by carving a wide circle around the stem. Make sure it’s at least big enough to put your fist through. Next, pull out as many seeds and stringy goo that you can by hand, and then use a pumpkin or ice cream scoop to scrape the inside clean.

Pumpkin Carving Instructions 3 - Place Pattern (Applying your pumpkin carving pattern)

Step 3: Place Pattern (Applying your pumpkin carving pattern)
Tape or pin your pattern onto your pumpkin (make sure the surface is dry so the tape will stick!). Use a pumpkin poking tool, awl, or nail to poke small, shallow holes through the paper, following the lines of the pattern. When all lines have been traced, remove pattern and save it for reference later.

Pumpkin Carving Instructions 4 - Carving Time (Carve out you pumpkin carving pattern)

Step 4: Carving Time (Carve out you pumpkin carving pattern)
Insert your carving saw (never use a knife!) into a poked line. Begin sawing out each section. Remember, saws don’t twist and pumpkins don’t give! To prevent your saw from breaking, saw curved areas carefully, gently turning the saw the direction you wish to go while you continue to saw.

Pumpkin Carving Instructions 5 - Let it Glow, let it glow, let it glow! (Light your Halloween Masterpiece)

Step 5: Let it Glow, let it glow, let it glow! (Light your Halloween Masterpiece)
Battery lights are great for pumpkin lighting. However, if you really love candles, use these to light your pumpkins. Light your candle and then, about a minute or two later, blow it out and observe the inside top of your pumpkin. You’ll see a dark area singed by the candle’s flame. Carve a chimney hole into this area, just over an inch wide, to allow the flame’s heat to escape. Now, relight the candle and watch your pumpkin GLOW!
, rather than deep ridges, will make applying a pattern so much easier! More bumps equal more hassle.

Hint 2: Even if it’s the “ugly” side, choose the flattest side of your pumpkin to apply the pattern and carve. When the day turns to night, viewers will only see the glow, not the gory, and it will make your pumpkin carving process a snap!

Hint 3: To light candles (and esp. to relight them on blustery Autumn nights!), forget the top lid and carve an opening into the bottom of the pumpkin instead. When it’s ready to glow, light your candle, pick up your pumpkin and gently place it over the candle. Viola! No burnt fingers!

Hint 4: Having trouble putting on the pattern? Before you tape it down, make several tears, about three inches apart, all around the outside edge of the pattern. When you tape it down, this will make the pattern form to your pumpkin’s rounded shape.

Hint 5: When you apply the pattern, poke the holes about 1/4” apart, and even closer together on more intricate patterns. The holes only need to just pierce the pumpkin skin – about 1/8” deep.

Hint 6: Never use a knife to carve your pumpkin. Even when carving with a saw, keep your non-carving hand away from the blade. Remember, a safe Halloween is a Happy Halloween!

Hint 7: Hold your saw like a pencil and insert it at a 90-degree angle to the pumpkin’s surface to carve a simple pattern. To create different effects (like a portrait’s shadow), you can angle the blade.

Hint 8: When you begin carving, carve the tiniest sections first. Next, carve the areas in the center of the pattern, and then carve out the other sections working towards the outer edge. Never rest your hand on a carved out area or your design might break!

Hint 9: If you’re having trouble viewing your poked out pattern, rub a little flour, cornstarch or baby powder into the dots. The dots will turn bright white and your design will practically pop off the pumpkin!