Halloween is right around the corner and that means it’s time to show off your pumpkin carving skills. If you want to impress trick-or-treaters with something that’s a little more creative than a standard jack o’ lantern, we’ve come up some of the best — and easiest — pumpkin carving stencils that will transform an ordinary pumpkin into a showpiece.
This year, some of the most popular pumpkin carving patterns including Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, various Star Wars designs, Pokemon, and characters from The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. If those are either too controversial (political pumpkins may not stand a chance!), or not of interest, there are plenty of traditional pumpkin carving stencils available, including your favorite NFL or MLB teams, Disney characters, Batman, Superman, Frankenstein, and more.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you carve your pumpkin into a masterpiece and links to some of the best pumpkin carving stencils. Big perk — most of the patterns are free and you will just need a printer, paper, and carving tools to get the job done. And, of course, you’ll need a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Carving Tips
This may sound like a no-brainer, but make sure you pick a pumpkin that has a stem. According to Mental Floss, picking a pumpkin with a thick, sturdy stem typically indicates that the inner walls will be thick as well — and that makes for better carving.
The Alaska Dispatch News suggests that you don’t gut your pumpkin until you are ready to carve it. A whole, uncarved pumpkin will last as long as 10 days if you store it in a cool, dry place wrapped in a plastic bag.
Once you’re ready to start carving, don’t bother cutting an opening in the stem area — make a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, scoop out the pulp and seeds, and get to work on your jack o’ lantern.
Pumpkin Carving Stencils
Zombie Pumpkins has printable pumpkin carving stencils for The Walking Dead, Frankenstein, Batman, Sugar Skull designs, Darth Vader, Pokemon, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Dr. Who, Harry Potter and many more. There are a number of free patterns and even the exclusive stencils are inexpensive — get 25 patterns for $5 or two patterns for $2.
The official Star Wars website has free carving stencils that will help you transform an ordinary pumpkin into Darth Vader, R2-D2, Yoda, and more.
The Daily Mirror has several free Halloween pumpkin carving stencils including Willy Wonka, Captain America, Stormtrooper, Pikachu, and more.
Pumpkin Pile has a number of political and celebrity pumpkin carving patterns, including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Batman, and many other characters, celebrities and movie stars.
Love Disney? Head over to the Queen of Free where you will find over 100 Disney-themed pumpkin carving stencils including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and your favorite characters from movies including Frozen, Finding Dory, Cinderella, and Snow White.
Pumpkin Glow has hundreds of stencils including Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Snoopy, Captain Hook, The Three Stooges, Snoopy, and Elvis.
Stonykins has dozens of Halloween pumpkin carving patterns from the basic haunted house and witch stencils to politicians, celebrities, and movie-themed patterns.
HGTV has almost three dozen carving patterns that were designed for novice pumpkin carvers. The patterns are very basic — an owl, a bat, a simple haunted house, candy corn, and more — but these are perfect if you just want something slightly more creative than a standard jack o’ lantern.
Need more ideas? Head over to Pinterest, search for “pumpkin carving stencils” and you will find a seemingly endless supply of patterns from beginner to advanced.
[Featured Image by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]