Carving the pumpkin for Halloween is something I have looked forward to every year ever since I was a little kid. Of course, when I was really little, all I could do was watch the carving part. I did help out by drawing a design on a piece of paper; that was about it.
Eventually I got old enough to start carving the pumpkin myself. Guess what? I was totally stoked …; and I was totally terrible at it. Nothing ever came out remotely like I envisioned it. And you know how it goes — if you make a mistake with a knife, you can’t really hit “undo” on that.
Now here’s the kicker …; I really have not progressed since then. Now my kids are looking to me to carve the most awesome pumpkin ever and I honestly am not doing much better than I ever did!
And you know what? I’m not alone. I know lots of other people who have a hard time with pumpkin carving. Maybe you’re one of them and you are looking for some alternative ideas for pumpkin decorating this year — or maybe you really are a pumpkin-carving genius and you just are looking for some creative fuel to fire your imagination. Either way, here are 70 of the coolest pumpkin carving and decorating ideas ever. A lot of these don’t require you to ever pick up a knife!
How totally amazing are these? Glow-in-the-dark pumpkins! Visit the source link and you will find a full tutorial. As you will discover, crafting these is ridiculously cheap and easy; you just need some plastic pumpkins from the craft store along with some glow-in-the-dark paint. Sunlight charges up the paint, so leave these out on your porch and they will be ready to glow by sundown. Install a blacklight for the best effect!
2. Monogrammed Pumpkin
If you are looking for something a little more sedate, you may prefer a project like this one. There are a number of steps involved to get the monogram on the pumpkin so neatly, but the finished result is very elegant.
3. Cheshire Cat
If you do want to carve a pumpkin this year, you can make it a lot easier on yourself by printing out a template first. Personally I think that this design is absolutely adorable. As the tutorial describes, you can transfer the design either by taping it on and poking holes through, or you can draw it on yourself. If you draw on a design, always use a dry-erase marker (not a permanent marker) so you can wipe away your mistakes.
4. Cute Owl Pumpkins
If you are up for some carving but you want to keep it minimal, you can try making these adorable owl pumpkins from Better Homes and Gardens. You will need some sunflower seeds, but aside from that, there are almost no supplies required. Aren’t they just too cute for words? Be sure to visit the source link for a video!
5. Pumpkin Archway
Sadly there is not a whole lot of information on how you can make this yourself, but the page does list some of the supplies: foam pumpkins, rebar, and PVC piping. As you can see, it looks very cool, especially lit up in the dark, and it probably would not be too challenging to put together. Thanks to the foam, it would all be relatively lightweight as well.
6. Tinker Bell with Pixie Dust
Okay, this one is absurdly amazing — both the concept and the presentation. Tinker Bell’s pixie dust actually glows! How cool is that? You might think that something like this with this level of detail would be incredibly hard to reproduce, but it turns out all you really need to make the dust is a drill. Visit the link to find a full tutorial complete with photos for the steps.
7. Amazing No-Carve Pumpkins
Malia over at Yesterday on Tuesday has lots of amazing ideas for no-carve pumpkins. I would share each of them individually, but she has them all together in one nice long post complete with step-by-step instructions and supplies lists for each. So I will likewise just condense them all down here.
This Olaf pumpkin is ridiculously cute!
Here is a spiderweb pumpkin complete with a spider.
The farm pumpkin is unique, unusual, and very cleverly designed.
Here is a great way to showcase your sports fandom!
“Decoupage” is the art of decorating a surface using paper cut-outs. It is a versatile technique and you can use it on just about anything. This pumpkin decorated using decoupage looks just gorgeous!
These miniature pumpkins spell out “BOO!”
Click on the source link below for all the tutorials!
8. Minion Pumpkins
I regularly find great stuff over at Crafty Morning. Today’s find is spectacular — the most awesome no-carve Minion pumpkins ever. Just check out their expressions! I definitely would use faux pumpkins for these so that you can keep them forever. They are way too amazing for just one season.
9. Elegant Floral Arrangement
This one isn’t exactly Halloween-themed, but it is perfect for this time of the year, and you could turn it into something spookier if you wanted. I imagine if you simply went with some darker plants and maybe some cool props and you painted the pumpkin a different color, it would be perfect for your doorstep. As it is, this gorgeous arrangement would look beautiful anywhere in your house.
10. Simple Geometric Drill Patterns
If you are interested in “carving” a pumpkin without ever using a knife, one option which can steer you around sloppy edges and corners is simply using a drill instead. With a drill, you can bore holes in a variety of sizes, creating all kinds of nifty geometrical designs. All of these pumpkins look stunning, and anyone could make them!
11. Fall Flower Arrangement
Previously I shared an idea for a floral arrangement inside a pumpkin as a “vase.” Here is another one — and this one is just as beautiful! I love the addition of the leaves and the pinecones and berries — they all really shout “autumn!”
12. Black and White Glam Pumpkin
This idea comes from the same blog as the one above, A Pumpkin & A Princess. Naturally with a title like that, we should expect more great pumpkin ideas — and here is one which doesn’t require any carving. This one is perfect for Halloween!
13. Frozen Pumpkin
I cannot resist sharing at least one more idea from A Pumpkin & A Princess, this one for a Frozen-themed pumpkin painted a glittery icy blue and adorned with snowflakes, rhinestones and a tiara. This is yet another amazing creation!
14. Lace Openwork Pumpkins
These have to be some of the most amazing-looking pumpkins I have ever seen. The lace designs are so intricate and detailed that there is more space than pumpkin! The tutorial is overly simplistic and doesn’t really teach you everything you need to know in order to do this on your own, but it can at least give you a feel for the supplies and skills you need. I would definitely do this with faux pumpkins if possible — that way you can display your gorgeous work year after year!
15. Actual Lace Pumpkin
Whereas the pumpkins above are cut with a lacy pattern, here is a pumpkin which is decorated using actual lace. It is a very simple idea and something which is a lot easier to do, and the results look fantastic. Be sure to paint your pumpkin white for a high-contrast look like this.
16. Mummy Pumpkin
Here is an adorable mummy pumpkin which would look awesome on your front porch this Halloween season! The carving involved is minimal; you just need to create the mouth. The rest is easy!
17. Simple Printables
Printables are awesome; there is nothing you can’t do with them. If you click the source link below, you will be taken to a page where you can download 20 free pumpkin printables. For the best results, transfer the design manually using a dry-erase marker. Do not use a permanent marker!
18. Owl Gourd
This was designed using a gourd, not a pumpkin, but you could use the same idea to create an owl pumpkin lamp! It looks like a lot of work, but as you can see, all that was used here was a drill. So there is still no carving needed!
19. Stenciled Lace Patterns
Coming back to the idea of lacey pumpkin designs, here is another approach you can take. Get a lace doily, cut the center out of it, and lay it over top of your pumpkin so that it forms a ring-shaped stencil. Use a stencil brush to apply paint, wait for it to dry a bit, and then remove the doily. You will get an awesome design like the one you see in the photo. Visit the link for more detailed steps and a full list of materials!
20. Disney Pumpkin Carving Printable Templates
As you already know, printables are the best thing ever. If you love Disney and you enjoy printables, you will go crazy over this list of more than 60 Disney pumpkin carving templates! Visit the source link to find printables for Disney princesses, villains, and other classic characters.
21. More Than 700 Printable Pumpkin Carving Templates
If you thought that the list of printables above was awesome, you will be amazed by this one. Follow the source link and you will find more than 700 printable designs including:
…; And more!
There is quite literally something for everyone here. Don’t be surprised if you get so excited that you find yourself purchasing extra pumpkins this year just to try more templates!
22. High Contrast Black & White
Black & white pumpkin designs are really in vogue this year. It is easy to see why — just check out these black & white “Trick or Treat” pumpkins with lace, swirl designs and beautiful lettering. The contrast achieved here is stunning; these could catch your eye from a mile away.
23. More Awesome Black & White Pumpkin Designs
Most of the black & white pumpkin designs which I have featured on this list use a pumpkin painted white with black designs or lettering. Here is something a little different — pumpkins painted black with white designs instead. These are firmly in the Halloween-themed vein with spider webs and bones — but they have a lovely elegance to them for a surprisingly polished look. The one with the cords is particularly cool; what an intriguing way to add a little texture.
24. Glossy Black Cats
When I see pumpkins for sale …; about the last thing I am thinking is how sleek and elegant they look. Pumpkins after all are squat and often oddly-shaped. But look how amazingly sleek these gorgeous glossy black cats are! It is almost hard to believe they are made out of pumpkins, even though you can see it clearly. The curves of the pumpkins really do look similar to cat shapes. They are too amazing!
25. Crystal AppliquÃ© Pumpkins
Originally, this was just a faux white pumpkin, totally plain, no ornamentation of any sort. Then Kathy of Life on Lakeshore Drive bought it and got to wondering how she could spruce it up. She found some crystal appliquÃ©s at the craft store — the kind you use for scrapbooking. She added them to her pumpkin along with some faux flowers, and the result is gorgeous!
26. Fabric Pumpkins
These beautiful pumpkins were decorated using nothing more than chalk, Mod Podge and fabrics. The alternating fabrics really have a cool effect, emphasizing the lines of the pumpkins.
27. Owl Pumpkin with Cupcake Liners
Sometimes the simplest everyday materials can be repurposed in unique and imaginative ways for a truly wonderful effect. Such is the case with this owl made out of pumpkins …; and cupcake liners! I can’t imagine having the creativity to think of doing this, but the cupcake liners really are perfect for the eyes and the wings. He looks so cute!
28. Fairy and Birdhouse Pumpkins
From the blog Primitive and Proper comes not one but two awesomely designed pumpkins! I can’t decide which of these is more incredible — the birdhouse or the fairy house. Make sure that you click through to the source link to check out the original blog entry. There you can see all kinds of cool photos of all the details!
29. Ghoul Bus
I love this design because it isn’t just a cool carving (the details are impressive, aren’t they?) — it is also is a really awesome concept. It was exceedingly clever to tack on the gourds on the bottom as wheels!
30. Quilt Motif
This pumpkin features a beautiful traditional quilt motif. If you visit the source link, you will find a printable motif which you can apply to your pumpkin using decoupage (a technique I told you about earlier). Alternatively, you could apply this pattern one rhombus at a time if you had one of those geometric blocks that children play with (you could simply dip it in paint and use it like a stamp).
31. Continuous Image
If you are up for carving several pumpkins, you can create a continuous image across them like this one of a Chinese dragon. While a continuous image across several pumpkins isn’t an original concept (you have probably even seen it in person a few times), it is always eye-catching and instantly grabs attention.
32. Leg-Eating Pumpkin
Here is one that I just fell in love with the moment I saw it. The pumpkin itself is carved with a relatively simple face — so you don’t need to go overboard to do a good job with this. The key is to get a realistic prop of a severed limb — the leg works well because every inch of it is covered with clothing, so the “leg” itself could actually be just about anything that has the right dimensions. The fake blood? That’s leftover hummingbird food. Personally I think this man-eating pumpkin is oddly adorable.
33. Haunted Carousel
This one looks absurdly hard to carve, but if you have the skills for something like this, it would be a really amazing project. Apparently when the wind blew through this pumpkin, it created an illusion that the carousel was spinning.
34. Stained Glass Pumpkin
Here is a simple project for painting a pumpkin with cool geometric designs in the manner of stained glass or abstract art. It’s super simple — you just use tape to create the lines and paint all the spaces in between. Check the link for more detailed instructions!