Get Autumn-Ready With These Fun Pumpkin Carving Ideas

You know fall is right around the corner when the pumpkin patches start setting up. One of the most enjoyable parts of the season is bringing pumpkins home to carve. But after so many years of doing the classic jack-o-lantern carving, you may be looking for something a little more innovative to try. Pumpkin carvings can be spooky, as is tradition, or they can be silly, funny, or downright adorable. Kick off the holidays with these distinctive carving ideas. We’ll show you how to make anything from a Harry Potter pumpkin to a mouse house to jack-o-lantern plant holders.

Owl Pumpkin

A round pumpkin is carving to look like an owl.
Donna Green/Pinterest
Donna Green/Pinterest

This adorable pumpkin idea is both creative and simple. The artist used clusters of sunflower seeds to create owl feet and ears. They carved two round circles into the pumpkin as the owl’s eyes and then used copper ornaments as pupils

The parts of the pumpkin that were removed to make the eyes were then glued to either side to create little owl wings. They then carved a shallow upside-down triangle as the nose, and a wavelike design on the chest to emulate feathers.

Pumpkin-Eating Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved to look like it's holding a smaller pumpkin in its teeth.
MidSuffolkTIC/Twitter
MidSuffolkTIC/Twitter

This mean-looking pumpkin was created by first carving a large, curving mouth. The trick is to avoid going too deep with carving the mouth so that the teeth can be shaped. The smaller pumpkin would have to be used as a reference for sizing throughout the process.

Once the mouth and the teeth were set, the eyes were carved. One eye is squinting where the mouth comes up, while the other eye is open. The skilled crafter managed to then carve out two ball-shaped pupils. Two holes were then drilled into the small pumpkin for eyes, and then it was placed into the, hopefully, perfectly-sized mouth.

Creepy Smiling Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved with a large smile and beady, crazed eyes.
Facebook
Facebook

This person got innovative by using the stem of the pumpkin as its nose. Usually, the round pumpkins are more sought after, but sometimes the awkwardly shaped ones allow for more creativity.

The artist then carved two shallow eyes into the pumpkin and completed its creepy gaze by painting on small irises and pupils. To match the insane-looking eyes, they brought the corners of the smile way up high to give a look similar to the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

Slink Pumpkin

Two pumpkins are carved to look like to halves of a dog and are joined with a slinky.
Dallas Mahrt/Pinterest
Dallas Mahrt/Pinterest

Fans of the movie Toy Story will appreciate this design. Modeled after the character Slink, these pumpkins are carved to convey the two halves of the beloved character that are attached by a slinky.

A larger pumpkin is used for the front half since that’s the taller and more detailed part. For the sake of simplicity, the artist chose not to carve through to the core of the pumpkin, but rather to remain on the surface. The start and end of a slinky are then poked into each pumpkin to mimic the body of Slink.

Cat And Mouse Pumpkins

A small pumpkin is carved to look like a mouse next to a larger pumpkin made to look like a cat.
CraftsOnFire/Pinterest
CraftsOnFire/Pinterest

Ever since Tom and Jerry, cats and mice have been paired like peanut butter and jelly. In order to make these adorable jack-o-lanterns, the creator simply carved eyes and a nose into each that poke all the way through so that light comes through.

The mouse has carved ears while the cat has a big, carved mouth. One suggestion we would make is to avoid carving the mouth all the way through in order to hide the wiring or the candle inside. The whiskers are shallowly carved and two velvet ears are added to the cat pumpkin.

Fire Pumpkin

Eyes and a smile are carved in the shape of flames.
Fred Rockwood/Flickr
Fred Rockwood/Flickr

This pumpkin utilizes the glow of the candle inside to put a whole new twist on the classic jack-o-lantern. The eyes and mouth are carved into the shape of flames. The carving permeates to the core of the pumpkin for maximum glowing.

As frightening as a jack-o-lantern is on Halloween night, this fire pumpkin takes the cake. Imagine walking door to door at night and seeing this face smiling at you from someone’s front porch. Talk about spooky.

Harry Potter Pumpkin

A set of glasses and a lighting rod-shaped scar are carved into a pumpkin to emulate the face of Harry Potter.
Jessica Ferreira/Pinterest
Jessica Ferreira/Pinterest

If you love Harry Potter, this may be the design for you. The simple design is relatively easy to pull off. Since the character is most distinguished by his glasses and scar, these are the only two components necessary to turn your pumpkin into the beloved wizard.

Some other Harry Potter-inspired pumpkins are detailed illustrations of the character’s face, and for those who are more artistically inclined. However, we think this one suits the theme just fine.

Crazy Hair Pumpkins

A female face and a male face are carved into pumpkins that are then filled with leafy plants.
Danielle Moran/Pinterest
Danielle Moran/Pinterest

This pumpkin carving design serves a dual purpose. Rather than spending money on fancy fall-inspired plant holders, you can just use your carved pumpkins as plant holders. Not only do they spruce up your plant decor, but they also give character to the pumpkins.

Different kinds of plants are used to evoke different hairstyles. You can get creative with this design by creating facial expressions that play on the wild “hair” of the pumpkin. The idea is an eco-friendly way to decorate for the holidays.

Vase Pumpkins

Three pumpkins have circular designs carved into them and one holds a boquet of flowers.
Cammie Jordan/Pinterest
Cammie Jordan/Pinterest

Similar to the previous pumpkin idea, these pumpkins are used to hold flowers. Their designs are similar to those you would find on a vase or a decorative pot. Best of all, they are easy to make.

These designs all were made with a hassle-free tool that allows you to puncture perfect circles into the pumpkin. The circles are then arranged to make whatever design you can think of. Think of it as a pumpkin version of connect-the-dots.

Mouse House Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved to look like a house and has two toy mice on it.
Pumpkin Carving Ideas 2018/Facebook
Pumpkin Carving Ideas 2018/Facebook

These adorable toy mice need a place to live, and where better than your carved pumpkin? Provide trick-or-treaters a relief from all of the spooky Halloween decorations with this lovable mouse house.

Clever as the design is, it’s quite effortless to make. All you need to do is carve out the pumpkins and put in large holes for a door and windows. Collect a few twigs and break them up into pieces, and all you need to do is hot-glue them into place.

Emoji Pumpkins

Four pumpkins are carved to look like various emojis.
Anna Gagnon/Pinterest
Anna Gagnon/Pinterest

Emojis took the happy face to a whole new level, so it makes sense that they would start appearing on jack-o-lanterns. This artist went with what we can assume are a few of their favorite emojis.

The ghost with its tongue out is the only one that fits the Halloween theme per se, but as we’ve seen, you can do anything when it comes to pumpkin carving. Perhaps the most challenging emoji to carve is the dancing lady on the bottom. That’s talent.

Sunflower Pumpkin

A pumpkin has the image of a sunflower carved into it.
Kellie Raven-Crisafi/Twitter
Kellie Raven-Crisafi/Twitter

This artist clearly knew what they were doing. As simple as a flower design may sound, the detail and care that went into this sunflower pumpkin comes across. The shape of the petals seems easy enough, as do the holes in the pollen.

However, the different layers of each petal are crafted with care. It might be easy to simply pierce the petals entirely through, but leaving some of the pumpkin in each petal somehow adds to the image’s authenticity.

Inception Pumpkin

An evil pumpkin and a scared tree are carved into a pumpkin.
Cindy Melean/Pinterest
Cindy Melean/Pinterest

It’s strange looking at a jack-o-lantern in a jack-o-lantern. However, it’s also brilliant. The carved pumpkin within the carved pumpkin seems to be scaring the tree on a cloudy Halloween night.

The detailed carving appears to stop just shy of the pumpkin’s core. This leaves a glowing, orange layer that adds mystery to the artistic design. Once the last light has fallen, the image will look like a silhouette against a glowing orange backdrop. If that doesn’t scream autumn spirit, we don’t know what does.

Skeleton Jail Pumpkin

Fake skeletons are placed behind bars in a carved out pumpkin.
Marisa Carter/Pinterest
Marisa Carter/Pinterest

For how clever this design is, it’s practically criminal how easy it is to pull off. All you need to do is carve out the pumpkin and then cut a large square out. The bigger the square, the more will be revealed on the inside.

From there you just need something to emulate bars. Wooden skewers would come in handy since they already have pointed tips. Once your bars are up, you can place little decorative skeletons inside to look like they’re trapped and eager to get out.

Camper Pumpkins

Two pumpkins are placed next to one another and designed to look like a camper.
Debbie Murdock/Pinterest
Debbie Murdock/Pinterest

Here’s a smart way to utilize those long and narrow pumpkins– turn one on its side and make it into a camper. The bottom of a green squash is used to create the wheels. The doors and windows can either be carved out, painted on, or some variation of both.

As for the car, the windshield and windows appear to be carved out, while the door is either traced with a blade or painted one. You could apply the same technique to create a pumpkin train or a pumpkin traffic jam.

VW Microbus Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved to look like a classic Volkswagon Microbus.
Ricardo E/Pinterest
Ricardo E/Pinterest

The Volkswagen Microbus is one of those classic cars that is still widely recognizable today. It’s also a relatively easy car to transform a pumpkin into, thanks to its curved shape and flat front.

This artist didn’t take the easy way out by painting anything on, but rather applied all of the detailing through skillful carving. In order to achieve the two tones, they peeled the pumpkin in certain areas. That must have been challenging to do with the VW symbol!

Brace Face Pumpkin

A carved pumpkin appear to have braces over its giant teeth.
Kika Perales/Twitter
Kika Perales/Twitter

While braces are nothing to be ashamed of, some middle-schoolers feel like they look like this pumpkin when they get their braces on. That’s what makes this carving design so funny and relatable. The oversized teeth embellish the pumpkin’s braces, which are made out of aluminum foil.

The slits for eyes keep the attention on that giant smile. As simple and creative as this design is, the braces would likely be hard to see at night. However, it makes for a funny decoration indoors or under a porch light.

Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage

A large pumpkin is carved to look like a carraige and two small pumpkins are placed as the wheels.
Jessica Poe/Pinterest
Jessica Poe/Pinterest

In the story, Cinderella’s carriage was made out of a pumpkin. Someone took the idea literally. Though the design looks extravagant, it’s one of the easier carvings to do. All you’ll need are two small pumpkins, one color of paint, and some stickers.

The bottoms of the smaller pumpkins are painted to look like wheels and then are leaned up against the larger pumpkin. The larger one is carved out so that a candle can go inside, and a few small windows are cut out. You can find an embellishment from a craft store that will either already have an adhesive or will take well to super-glue.

Carousel Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved to look like a carousel.
Brandi Korte/Flickr
Brandi Korte/Flickr

Be warned, this pumpkin carving is for those willing to dedicate the time. The carousel pumpkin is no easy feat. But if you do take on the challenge of carving out the detailed design, you’ll wish the pumpkin would last forever.

This darling carved pumpkin is sure to get the attention of your neighbors. The design is straightforward, but what makes it so time-consuming is how much of the pumpkin needs to be removed to create the carousel.

Spiderman Pumpkin

A pumpkin is carved so that it appears that Spiderman is climbing over it.
Pumpken/Flickr
Pumpken/Flickr

This Spiderman pumpkin is all about knowing where to carve. Since the design requires very small and concise pieces to be cut, it’s best to use a very sharp and small tool when attempting this design.

Spiderman lovers will love this jack-o-lantern because it looks as though the superhero is climbing over the pumpkin. The light inside illuminates his suit so that Spiderman stands out against the dark of night. While kids will love the idea, it’s probably best that an adult does the actual carving.