Want to know the secret to amazing carved pumpkins? It’s all about the stencils. When you have a pattern, you can create more interesting Jack-o-lantern faces, and even carve things like bats, witches, or ghouls.
Check out this list of sources for FREE pumpkin-carving stencils. Most are available to download and print from your computer or mobile device.
And if you really want to knock it out of the park, consider making a one-time investment in a set of carving tools — like this set available for $20 on Amazon.
How do stencils work?
- Print the stencil you like at the size you need
- Hollow out your pumpkin and tape your pattern to the outside
- Trace the pattern’s lines by poking holes over them, then remove the paper stencil
- Carve over the holes and you’ll have a jack-o-lantern ready for Halloween!
Check out this video demonstration:
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Where to find free stencils online
Better Homes & Gardens has an extensive catalogue of many free stencils! Choose from classic Jack-o-lantern faces, animals (even a llama!), emojis, slogans, and more. View the stencils.
Real Simple, being true to its name, has a selection of eight patterns that require minimal effort. Choose from a bat, a cat, a witch, a spider, a skull, and others. View the stencils.
Outerplaces.com has a collection of 17 patterns it touts “for a geeky Halloween.” You’ll find stencils for designs that evoke Star Wars, Dr. Who, Pokemon, and more. View the stencils.
Reader’s Digest has compiled a collection of 31 patterns that are whimsical rather than scary. It includes a cat face, a crescent moon with stars, a cupcake, and even messages like Boo! and EEK! View the stencils.
The Pumpkin Lady is a great resource! This site offers hundreds of free templates and patterns in 17 categories. There’s even an Americana category that includes the reminder to VOTE — since Election Day comes up right after Halloween. Other categories include words, animals, symbols, nature, faith, and famous faces. Visit the site.
The Huffington Post offers up 40 patterns to carve, including Hello Kitty and Grumpy Cat. There are also number and letter stencils so you can light up your address or create your own spooky message. View the collection.
Woman’s Day takes a different approach, offering an idea gallery for 50+ ways to decorate a pumpkin creatively — including a hilarious way to turn a white pumpkin into a mummy. These are craftsy ideas, so get your glue gun ready and pull out your fabric stash. View the idea gallery.
Spookmaster has a page full of free patterns for pumpkin carving. You’ll find everything from traditional designs to your favorite sports teams. Visit the page.
Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) rather than Halloween? There are stencils for that too, although they’re a bit challenging because of the detail. Check out this collection of Day of the Dead stencils at WooJr.com.