Which pumpkin carving design will you choose? Spooky or sweet?
Which pumpkin carving design will you choose? Spooky or sweet?

Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Stencils for Halloween

If your family pulled out the Halloween decorations well before the first pumpkin spice latte sip of 2020, then we're sure you're looking for great pumpkin carving ideas by now, too.

The cornerstone of any great Halloween display—the jack-o-lantern—is always one of our favorite things to do with kids in the fall, right after the apple picking and a pumpkin patch outing. Pumpkin carving is one of those rare activities that every member of the family can enjoy equally. Little kids love the mess, big kids love the chance to wield a knife, and parents love to show off our creative skills. Pumpkin carving with your family is also one of the "lowest risk Halloween activities" per the CDC's Guidelines.

We’ve rounded up more than 15 of our favorite pumpkin carving stencils, all of which include a link to the FREE pumpkin carving design. With a little practice and plenty of options, we're sure you'll find the pumpkin design that captures your family's Halloween vibe, from Baby's First Halloween sweetness to Cyclops to superhero character themes. So read on to step up your Halloween fun (and game).

Click through to the link for each FREE pumpkin carving idea and stencil.

The simple shapes of this Scaredy Cat design make it just right for younger kids. 

Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas

If you love Halloween, but lack the knife skills or just want to let a younger kid get into this year's pumpkin carving fun, then these simple stencils are for you.

1. Scaredy Cat

Cats and Halloween go hand in hand. This adorably spooked cat from the Pumpkin Lady (who, by the way, has over 900 free pumpkin carving templates on her website) looks intricate but is easy enough for young kids to master.

2. Cyclops

This goofy cyclops from DLTK Crafts for Kids puts a hilarious twist on your classic jack-o-lantern face. Perfect for novice carvers.

3. If the Shoe Fits

 Add some witchy goodness to your pumpkin with these unmistakable witch shoes from the Pumpkin Lady. This fun design features easy shapes for your littlest pumpkin carvers.

RELATED: 25 Halloween Games for Kids

Boo! Says the Ready or Not. 

Scary Pumpkin Carving Designs

For those who embrace the darker side of Halloween, these templates will have the neighborhood kids spooked (in the best possible way).

4. Jack Nightmare

Conjure up some King of "Halloween Town" goodness with this Jack Skellington of Nightmare Before Christmas template from Pumpkin Pile.

5. Ready or Not

Beware of the skeleton lurking inside your pumpkin with this creepy template.

6. Evil Clown

Your neighbors will cross to the other side of the street when you light up this scary clown pumpkin from Pumpkin Stencils.

RELATED: 15 Halloween Activities to Try Instead of Trick-or-Treating

Celebrate your new arrival with a special pumpkin carving! 

Fun and Silly Pumpkin Stencils

If you come down on the lighter side of Halloween festivities then these fun and silly carving templates will be right up your alley.

7. Owl Stencils

Your Halloween will be a hoot when you turn your pumpkin into a feathered friend with these owl templates from Woo, Jr. Stencils range from basic to intricate.

8. Baby’s First Halloween

Welcome a new addition to your Halloween tradition with this sweet "1st Halloween" template from the Pumpkin Lady.

9. Candy This Way

Let all the trick or treaters know that you’ve got the goods with this sweet Pumpkin Lady candy template.

Stack three pumpkins to make the perfect Olaf! Photo courtesy of Disney

Character and Superhero Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Of course, if you have kids, or you’re a kid at heart, these character-themed templates will be hard to resist, from superheroes to Disney's most lovable characters.  

10. Black Panther

You’ll have Wakanda forever with these intricate Black Panther designs from Woo! Jr. Marvel pumpkin stencils and themes are sure to win over the kids!

11. Olaf

You will not be able to stop smiling with this three-pumpkin Olaf creation hanging out on your front porch, courtesy of Disney Family.

12. Toy Story Aliens

Kids will be asking you to "take me to your candy" when they see you're out of this world Toy Story alien pumpkin from Disney Family.

13. Pikachu

Pika! Pika! Your pumpkin is already the perfect shape to carve into a Pikachu. 

14. Baby Yoda

That cute little creature from the popular Mandalorian series will look perfect on your front stoop this year. 

2020 Pumpkin Carving Ideas

15. Healthcare Heroes

 Say "thank you" to real heroes of 2020 with one of these Heathcare Worker stencils from Parkview Health. 

16. Coronavirus

Perhaps the biggest villain of 2020 is Coronavirus. You can choose to carve the basic outline or "evil coronavirus" with these stencils from Dot Com Women. 

Whichever pumpkin carving design you choose, don't forget to involve the kids. Scoop out the seeds and roast them together, and save a few smaller gourds from the pumpkin patch for pumpkin painting later. Happy Halloween from Mommy Poppins!

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the Pumpkin Lady

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