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Ultimate List of the Best Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Resources 2017

I’ve scoured the internet for the best pumpkin carving ideas and resources for 2017 so you don’t have to.

Halloween is only a few days a way so you still have time to make your neighbors jealous of your awesome pumpkin carving. (Also, because Halloween is a few days away, some places are actually selling their pumpkins for a lower price)

I made this post after sitting down yesterday with a pumpkin and realizing I knew next to nothing about pumpkin carving. After about two hours of trial and error, I was finally able to create a pumpkin of myself. My son made a pretty decent face, then decided to stab it a bunch of times and call it a cyclops. My significant other, the smarter of us three, used a stencil to create Rick from the cartoon Rick and Morty:

pumpkin carving ideas

I didn’t even realize that they made stencils for pumpkin carving!

There are probably quite a few people out there just like me, oh so ignorant in the art of pumpkin carving. Don’t fret though! I made a nice big list of resources and ideas so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the internet like I did.


Before we get started on the our pumpkin carving learning experience, I just want to say that in my personal opinion these cheap kits are garbage and will only slow you down:

pumpkin carving ideas

A big metal spoon and different sized knives work much better. These kits do have an advantage though when you’re working with kids. You don’t exactly want the little ones to lose a finger a few days before Halloween. Don’t expect to make something cool in less than an hour using the flimsy little dull saw though.

If you want to go all out, there are much better pumpkin carving kits available online. This one is $12 on Amazon:

pumpkin carving ideas

Here’s another with a few more tools and a carrying case for around $20:

pumpkin carving ideas

Here’s one with tons of different chisels for 8 bucks:

pumpkin carving ideas

It may be too late to order these for Halloween 2017, but they all can be ordered through Amazon prime. Or just do like I did and use a few different sized knives and a flat head screwdriver. If you or your significant other are into woodworking, there might be a few chisels laying about.

Pumpkin preparation

Before we get into pumpkin carving ideas, we gotta get down and dirty first.

Find a comfortable area and lay some newspaper or garbage bags down. We like to carve out pumpkins outside because we’re not big fans of the smell. As my son says, “it smells like a dog threw up inside this pumpkin”.

Scrape the sides with a spoon or whatever kind of scraper came with your carving kit. Don’t be scared, reach your hand down in there and pull all the guts out.

We like to save the seeds to roast in the oven with some seasoning and eat later. They make a really good snack for the next couple of weeks following Halloween.


This whole pumpkin carving thing can be done a heck of a lot easier using a printed out stencil. If you’re not a fan of stencils and want to free hand it like me, I used a dry erase marker before cutting.

Using a stencil is pretty easy. Tape it to your pumpkin and using an ice pick, knife, or pretty much anything that can stab, poke the outline of your stencil into the pumpkin. Take the stencil off and saw/ cut from dot to dot until you have your masterpiece.

Here is a great big list of resources where you can find your perfect pumpkin carving idea: – Hundreds of stencils ranging from traditional styles to movies and cartoons. Completely free and super easy to print out. My favorite stencils on their website are of course the video game ones: – Over 700 free stencils of various designs.

pumpkin carving ideas – Disney has their own pumpkin carving templates of popular Disney characters.– Hundreds of free templates.

If you can’t find what you need from these websites then you have some very specific tastes that I can’t help you with.

Other pumpkin carving resources

6 pumpkin carving tips from the guy who can sculpt an entire ‘Star Trek’ scene

1,697 Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils, Patterns, and Ideas

461 best Pumpkin Carving Ideas images on Pinterest

25 weird and wacky jack-o’-lanterns to carve for Halloween

53 Best Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Designs for 2017 – This is the best list of ideas and techniques that I have found online. It’s also on one page and not an annoying slideshow.


My favorite pumpkin carvings

In my search for the best pumpkin carving resources on the internet, I came across quite a few pumpkin carving ideas that I would love to share with everyone.

A post shared by alidamakes (@alidamakes) on

A post shared by Brent Hood (@hoodowl) on

This one is pretty cool, I just don’t have the patience to glue a few hundred pieces of candy corn onto a pumpkin.

A few years ago, a guy named Nathan Pryor turned a pumpkin into Tetris. You read correctly, he made a pumpkin into a fully working Tetris game that uses the stem as the controls. You can read about how he did it here. Nathan said it took him over 12 hours of work to complete this awesome interactive “Pumpktris”

A post shared by Alyssa F. (@fpmccartney) on

That sure is a weird looking pumpkin.

We still have this small pumpkin my wife carved 3 years ago.

Well, that’s horrifying. I know what I’m going to do with the pumpkin I carved of myself…

Wow such pumpkin

Much Halloween, very wow.

Pumpkin Brontosaurus

There’s no telling how much this one cost.

My Minion Pumpkin

This pumpkin gave me nightmares last night and I made the damn thing.

A pumpkin that will haunt my dreams forever.

nightmare pumpkin

The effects of meth on a pumpkin

Peter Peter pumpkin leader

A pumpkin drinks and it knows things.

Final thoughts

Pumpkin carving is a great tradition to start with the family (or by yourself). There are literally thousands of ideas online. I hope that I could give you a good starting place for your pumpkin adventure!

If there is anything that I missed or anything that you would like to add to the list, please let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page. 

If you enjoyed this article, please do me a favor and like my Facebook page.


Cody Garrett

Cody Garrett is a father and real estate agent for Keller Willaims Western Upstate in Anderson, South Carolina. Follow him at