Free and Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Mother and daughters carving pumpkins
Hero Images / Getty Images

If you're looking for easy pumpkin carving ideas this year for Halloween, you'll want to check out these projects that are all about style and uniqueness but are all really easy to create.

Whether you're short on time or just bad at carving pumpkins, these easy pumpkin carving ideas are great for everyone and anyone. They're easy to put together but will stop your neighbors in their tracks.

These pumpkin carving projects are easy enough for the kids to do, but they're also perfect for the busy adult looking for a quick project to sit on their steps this Halloween.

Can't find a pumpkin carving idea here that you like? With this list of ​​1 643 free pumpkin carving templates, you'll be sure to find the one you're looking for.

  • 01 of 12

    Undead Pumpkins by Martha Stewart

    A trio of zombie pumpkins sitting on a table.
    Martha Stewart

    This easy pumpkin carving idea has just 3 steps to get you one of these undead pumpkins that are somehow both frightening and cute at the same time.

    You'll only need to carve big circles for the eyes and a zig-zag mouth. The zombie mouth template that for some reason isn't included but I found a mouth template that should do the trick.

    You'll need a few other supplies for this project, including some plastic eyeballs and a thumbtack or pin.

  • 02 of 12

    Stack O' Lantern from

    A stack of jack o' lanterns.

    Making a standard jack o' lantern is probably as easy as you can get and with this project that's all you do.

    Create a few jack o' lanterns in whatever faces  you like and then stack them on top of each other to create this stack o' lantern from It's easy to create but is amazing looking when you're finished.

    The huge stack in the photo has each pumpkin slid onto a fence post to keep everything upright and sturdy.

  • 03 of 12

    Easy Mummy Pumpkin from Woman's Day

    A white pumpkin carved like a mummy.
    Woman's Day

    Here's an easy pumpkin carving idea that I bet you've never seen before - a mummy pumpkin.

    You'll need to begin by scooping out your pumpkin and then you just cut layers, twist them a bit, and then draw a rough mouth and eyes. Secure your layers with toothpicks and you've got the most unique pumpkin on the block.

  • 04 of 12

    Fanged Pumpkins by Martha Stewart

    Three carved pumpkins with fangs and red eyes.
    Martha Stewart

    These fanged pumpkins by Martha Stewart are super easy and only require you to carve one huge oval mouth.

    You'll also need to plastic vampire teeth to fit inside the mouth and red pins or thumbtacks for the eyes. A hot glue gun is also recommended but if you make the mouth the hole the right size you should be able to just fit in the teeth without any adhesive.

    You could also easily use a craft pumpkin instead of a real one if you prefer.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Pumpkin Eater by Place of My Taste

    A large pumpkin eating a smaller pumpkin.
    Place of My Taste

    I know that if I saw this pumpkin eater by Place of My Taste, I would stop in my tracks to admire it, and honestly maybe fear it a bit.

    You'll just need to carve a face for your pumpkin - a scary one would be best, and then carve out part of it's mouth to fit a smaller pumpkin half inside. Scary and a bit disturbing, huh?

    You can make this project even easier by leaving some of the gunk still in the pumpkin, it really adds to the creepiness.

  • 06 of 12

    Nosey Pumpkins by Martha Stewart

    A pile of carved pumpkins with stems for noses.
    Martha Stewart

    These nosey pumpkins take the classic jack 'o lantern and turn it literally on its side, using the pumpkin stem as a nose.

    This is an incredibly easy pumpkin carving idea because you're really not trying anything new, just the normal jack 'o lantern that you're used to carving. But by turning the pumpkin a different way you're creating a whole new creative twist.

    You'll need your standard carving tools for this one and whichever pumpkin carving template you prefer.

  • 07 of 12

    Peek-a-BOO! Pumpkin from Better Homes and Gardens

    A pumpkin with a creature coming out of the top.
    Better Homes and Gardens

    I think this Peek-a-Boo! easy pumpkin carving idea from Better Homes and Gardens is my favorite on the list. It's just so cute and easy to create.

    You'll just need to cut off the top of the pumpkin, secure the back with toothpicks, and then add some googly eyes and felt hands so it looks like there's a creature peeking out of the pumpkin.

    Included is a template you can use to cut the hands out of felt or paper.

  • 08 of 12

    Drilled Pumpkins by Crafty Nest

    A group of pumpkins carved with a drill.
    Crafty Nest

    If you can't stand those little plastic carving knife kits and have a healthy fear of your kitchen knives, you'll want to check out this drilled pumpkin project by Crafty Nest.

    You'll do all your carving on this project with your drill, and you really just dive in and leave the goop scooping for later. In fact, if you truly wanted to make this project easy you could skip that part all together.

    This easy pumpkin carving tutorial also shows you how to get a horizontal design around your pumpkin. Don't worry though, it's still very easy to do.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Happy Jack o' Lantern Patterns from Better Homes and Gardens

    A group of classic jack o' lanterns.
    Better Homes and Gardens

    Sometimes there's nothing better than a traditional happy jack 'o lantern and since you've been doing them for years, it will be a quick and easy project.

    There are 5 free pumpkin carving stencils that you can download here, transfer to your pumpkin, and then get carving.

    You can also take a tip from the photo and add a hat or another accessory to our pumpkin to make them even more interesting.

  • 10 of 12

    Cookie Cutter Pumpkin by HGTV

    Using a mallet and cookie cutter to cut out a piece of a pumpkin.

    Here's another easy pumpkin carving idea that uses a non-traditional carving tool - cookie cutters.

    These cookie cutter pumpkins by HGTV let you choose your favorite cookie cutter and use a rubber mallet to cut out part of the pumpkin. You'll need to follow-up with a knife but the cookie cutters work as excellent templates.

  • 11 of 12

    Monstrously Cool Pumpkins from Better Homes and Gardens

    Three pumpkins carved and decorated like silly monsters.
    Better Homes and Gardens

    If you have kids these monstrously cool pumpkins from Better Homes and Gardens are a must this Halloween.

    You'll use a combination of carving techniques, gourds, googly eyes, and craft materials to create some monsters out of your pumpkins.

    All the pumpkin carving templates are included to create the monster pumpkins you see here in the picture.

  • 12 of 12

    Creepy Crawly Spider Pumpkin from The Kim Six Fix

    A pumpkin covered in plastic spiders sitting beside a skull.
    The Kim Six Fix

    Here's an easy pumpkin carving idea that doesn't even make you carve! Attach plastic spiders to a real or fake pumpkin and you've got a creepy crawly spider pumpkin.

    You can really glue just about anything to a pumpkin. I think googly eyes would be very creepy and silly.