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20 Pumpkin Carving Ideas to Inspire You this Halloween

Get out those power tools and carving kits! It's time to create your best Halloween pumpkin ever.

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pumpkin Jenn Huls/Shutterstock

Carve Just the Skin

While it’s common practice to cut completely through the pumpkin to create a design, we love this unique technique, which could be your favorite new pumpkin carving idea. The carver removed just the skin to create a 3-D face that’s scary and impressive! With a masterpiece like this, don’t just throw it out. There are plenty of things to do with a Jack-o-Lantern after Halloween.

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displayLijuan Guo/Shutterstock

Make a Face Using the Stem

Here’s another pumpkin with carving that doesn’t go all the way through. And this one incorporates the pumpkin’s stem into the design. Flip the pumpkin on its side and work around the stem to carve a face, with the stem serving as a large, crazy nose of a funny-looking monster!

(P.S. You can also carve a pumpkin with a pressure washer!)

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carvingDigieva/Shutterstock

Floral Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Is this not the most beautiful pumpkin carving you’ve ever seen? Skip the scary stuff and choose a more romantic route by carving your pumpkin into a beautiful display of flowers. Or go for an easier option and paint your pumpkin with a floral pattern.

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House Elena Belskaya/Shutterstock

Enchanted Fairy Pumpkin House

For the family that prefers something sweet over scary, this is a great addition to your pumpkin carving ideas! Transform a pumpkin into a quaint abode fit for a fairy. Glue some fall leaves to your pumpkin for a festive fall look!

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vanKelleher Photography/Shutterstock

VW Volkswagon Pumpkin

Who says you have to carve a creature? We love the creativity of this Halloween pumpkin carving idea. The Volkswagon Beetle is iconic! Add some glitter to really make this pumpkin shine.

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babyMaria Dryfhout/Shutterstock

Carved Out Pumpkin Costume

If you have a small child, this pumpkin carving idea might be perfect for you this year. Find yourself a big enough pumpkin to comfortably place your little one in and carve out holes near the bottom for their legs. Then, take lots of pictures! Use your power tools to carve your pumpkin quickly.

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eatingTalyaPhoto/Shutterstock

Halloween Pumpkin Eating Small Pumpkin

At first glance, each of these pumpkins offers a simple design. But together, they create a fun scene! We love that a tiny pumpkin was turned into monster food. Use a pumpkin stencil or create your own clever design.

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Smoking Lara Radda/Shutterstock

Man Smoking a Pipe

Now this is one impressive carved pumpkin. While we absolutely love how realistic the lips, eyes, cheeks and chin look, we’re equally impressed with the idea to carve the stem of another pumpkin into a creepy hand, while another small fruit is used as the pipe. This realistic carving would look perfect in a haunted house.

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Carved aimpol buranet/Shutterstock

Ribboned Pumpkin

How beautiful is this ribboned design? It’s a unique pumpkin carving idea, and we’re all about the floral look. Set it next to a fall wreath for a gorgeous floral theme.

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minionSerdyukPhotography/Shutterstock

Minion Pumpkin Carving

Minions are an adorable addition to your pumpkin carving ideas. This one is simple enough for the kids to do. Fall pumpkins are fun for the whole family.

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pumpkinvia darf_nicht_mehr_hochladen/Pixabay.com

Welcome Pumpkin

Keep it simple by welcoming guests with a festive flickering welcome sign. You can be as friendly or scary as you want with your lettering. This glowing message will up your curb appeal all season.

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pumpkin: via pxhere.com

Jail Cell Pumpkin

We love that mini carved pumpkins were incorporated to make the scene of a person inside a jail cell, with parts of the larger pumpkin carved to appear like the person is holding onto the bars! While this pumpkin itself isn’t too creepy, it fit in with truly spooky Halloween decorations.

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owlMichael T Hartman/Shutterstock

Owl Carving

Celebrate autumn — when owls hoot the loudest — by trying your hand at a pumpkin carved to look like an owl! You can make it as simple or detailed as you wish. You can also make owl pumpkins without any pumpkin carving tools.

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moon Michael T Hartman/Shutterstock

Night Sky Pumpkin

Considering your pumpkins will be lit up in the evening, why not create a night sky carving like this one? We love how the crescent was gently carved out of the top layer of the pumpkin’s skin, while the stars were cut all the way through, in different sizes. Pair this pumpkin design with a starry lantern from Target’s Halloween-themed decor collection.

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O'LanternInspired By Maps/Shutterstock

Sunflower Field

Light up the night with a sunflower field made of lit-up carved pumpkins! You can create the entirety of a sunflower, carving the design of a stem with its leaves on the bottom two, and finding a perfectly round pumpkin to top it all off to carve out the head. Want to keep these gorgeous carving around? Prevent squirrels from destroying your pumpkins.

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Pumpkin via maxpixel.net

Statement Pumpkins

Who says pumpkins have to be super detailed or super scary? We love this trio that offers a positive approach to Halloween. Experienced carvers, novice crafters and those in between can all enjoy some Jack-o’-lantern inspiration.

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CarriageOleksandr Lytvynenko/Shutterstock

Carriage Pumpkin

Recreate one of the most iconic Disney movies by staging a doll horse and a doll Cinderella alongside this carriage pumpkin. This is a cute and recognizable way to decorate your yard for Halloween.

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VaderAlex Wer/Solent News/Shutterstock

Star Wars Carving

If you’re a Star Wars fan, then this pumpkin carving idea is for you. May the force be with you!

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catJen duMoulin/Shutterstock

Cat and Crescent Pumpkin

You can’t go wrong with a black cat on Halloween and the crescent moon makes it super-spooky. Bring the cat decor indoors for a year-round feline theme.

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VampireMarina Grau/Shutterstock

Baby Vampire Pumpkin Carving Idea

If you’ve only got little pumpkins, you can still make them scary. All you need are some fangs!

Buy fangs now on Amazon.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com