Free and Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Illustration of differently carved pumpkins with tools in front of them

The Spruce / Kelly Miller

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 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 ​​free pumpkin carving templates, you'll be sure to find the one you're looking for.

  • 01 of 12

    Easy Mummy Pumpkin

    A White Pumpkin Carved Like a Mummy

    Woman's Day

    Here's an easy pumpkin carving idea that we bet you've never seen before. It's a mummy pumpkin!

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

    Easy Mummy Pumpkin from Woman's Day

  • 02 of 12


    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.

    Stack-'o-Lantern from Parents

  • 03 of 12

    Fanged Pumpkins

    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.

    Fanged Pumpkins from Martha Stewart

  • 04 of 12

    Pumpkin Eater

    A Large Pumpkin Eating a Smaller Pumpkin

    Place Of My Taste

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

    You'll need to carve a face for your pumpkin, a scary one would be best, and then carve out part of its 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, as it adds to the creepiness.

    Pumpkin Eater from Place Of My Taste

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Nosey Pumpkins

    A Pile of Carved Pumpkins With Stems for Noses

    Woman's Day

    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 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.

    Nosey Pumpkins from Woman's Day

  • 06 of 12

    Peek-a-BOO! Pumpkin

    A Pumpkin With a Creature Coming out of the Top

    Better Homes & Gardens

    This one is just so cute and easy to create.

    You'll 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.

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

  • 07 of 12

    Drilled Pumpkins

    A Group of Pumpkins Carved With a Drill

    The Garden Glove

    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 The Garden Glove.

    You'll do all your carving on this project with your drill, and you just dive in and leave the goop scooping for later. If you genuinely wanted to make this project easy you could skip that part altogether.

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

    Drilled Pumpkins from The Garden Glove

  • 08 of 12

    Happy Jack o' Lantern Patterns

    A Group of Classic Jack O' Lanterns

    Better Homes & 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 five 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.

    Happy Jack o' Lantern Patterns from Better Homes & Gardens

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Cookie Cutter Pumpkin

    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 great templates.

    Cookie Cutter Pumpkin from HGTV

  • 10 of 12

    Monstrously Cool Pumpkins

    Three Pumpkins Carved and Decorated Like Silly Monsters

    Better Homes & 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.

    Monstrously Cool Pumpkins from Better Homes & Gardens

  • 11 of 12

    Creepy Crawly Spider Pumpkin

    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 glue just about anything to a pumpkin. We think googly eyes would be very creepy and silly.

    Creepy Crawly Spider Pumpkin from The Kim Six Fix

  • 12 of 12

    Undead Pumpkins

    A Trio of Zombie Pumpkins Sitting on a Table

    Woman's Day

    This easy pumpkin carving idea has just three 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 is for some reason not included but this 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.

    Undead Pumpkins from Woman's Day