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25 Funny and Scary Pumpkin Carving Ideas

By Life, Family Fun Team


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The spooky season is among us, and that means one thing—it’s time to round up some pumpkin carving ideas!

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Whether you make pumpkin carving a yearly tradition in your house or it’s your first year making a jack-o-lantern, we have a wide mix of ideas for you. It includes spooky ideas, creative ideas, pretty ideas, and more. Some of the ideas are related to Halloween, while some are not related to Halloween at all.

We’ve tried to offer something for everybody’s tastes!


Scared you, didn’t we? We thought we’d start this list off with Halloween’s most famous catchphrase, “Boo”. If you’re new to the world of pumpkin carving, the idea of carving out letters might be intimidating, but it’s not too hard once you get in the hang of things. Even if your letters come out crooked, it’s okay—it gives the pumpkin character. Check it out here.

Star and Moons

Jack-o-lanterns look so pretty in the darkness of the night. This is even more true when they feature a carving of beautiful stars and moons. This is one of the easier patterns on this list, and is a great place for beginners to start.


This pumpkin unicorn is way more majestic than anything that we would ever expect to see carved into a giant fruit. Whether you are creating a pumpkin with your child or you happen to be an adult who is into unicorns, we aren’t judging. You’re going to want to follow this unicorn pumpkin carving example.

Pumpkin Jail

It’s amazing how much you can do with a pumpkin with just a little bit of creativity. Case in point: pumpkin jail. To create this masterpiece, you’re going to need to have two pumpkins (one big and one small), as well as a very exact knife. It’s sure to make all your passersby laugh.

Cross Eyed Ghoul

Ghouls and goblins are an important part of Halloween. It’s the only time of the year where creating gory, scary monsters is not only culturally acceptable but is encouraged! This cross-eyed ghoul is cuter than it is scary, but it’s certainly a conversation starter.

No Carve Witch

If you are doing a craft with very young children, you might be looking for pumpkin carving ideas that don’t involve the use of a knife. Likewise, if you bought a pumpkin but don’t have a carving knife on hand, you might be looking for ideas that you can turn to in a pinch (we don’t recommend that you use a dull knife or a knife that isn’t suited for pumpkin carving because they can pose a hazard). Here is a creative idea of how you can make a witch out of a pumpkin, no carving required.

Skeleton Jail

If you liked pumpkin jail, then you’re going to want to take a look at skeleton jail. Actually, now that we think about it, we suppose that you could take the jail concept and run with it (witch jail, monster jail, ghost jail, etc.). Skeleton jail is particularly cool, though. Check it out here.


As we hinted at before, not all Halloween-themed decorations have to be gory and spooky. Sometimes, the fun of Halloween is just dressing up (or dressing your pumpkin up) as your favorite things. Case in point: this donut pumpkin. It almost looks good enough to have for dessert.


Do you hear the wolves howl at night? Wait a minute; maybe it’s just sounds coming from this realistic wolf-inspired pumpkin. This has got to be one of the coolest pumpkin carvings that we have ever seen (and we’re not crying wolf, either).

Halloween Shops

Is it possible to carve a tiny world into the face of a pumpkin? If this pumpkin carving example is any indication, we say yes. There is something so cozy about this pumpkin—maybe it’s because the presence of a candle on the inside mimics the lighting on the inside of a store.

Aliens Among Us

Do you believe in aliens? Or, actually, should we really be asking if you want to believe? If the answer to either one of these questions is “yes”, you’re going to want to carve some aliens into your pumpkin. Remember, not all aliens have to be scary—maybe we share our galaxy with some friendly distant neighbors. We think that these particular aliens look very friendly indeed.

Squiggly Smile

Not all Halloween pumpkin carvings have to be so complicated. Sometimes, all you need is a friendly smile. This squiggly smile will add a touch of personality to any pumpkin and is a good option for any beginner.


There are a lot of animals that you frequently see on pumpkin carvings—cats, dogs, bats, etc. But how about trying something a bit unexpected? That’s right; we’re talking about carving a fish into your pumpkin. You may think we’re just blowing bubbles, but you can check out some inspiration here.


Okay, so maybe there’s something to be said about carving popular animals, too. Carving an owl into your pumpkin may not be the most original idea out there, but it sure does look cute. The position of this one makes it look like it is caught mid-fligh which makes it extra special.


It may not be the proper season for sunflowers, but they sure do look pretty when carved into your pumpkin. Pay homage to one of nature’s most beautiful (and tallest) flowers by carving your very own sunflower into your pumpkin. Find inspiration here.

Pumpkin Bling

Who says that you have to restrict yourself to only using a knife as a pumpkin decorating tool? Sometimes, our pumpkins just need a little bit of bling. This is another child-friendly knife-free decorating idea that is good for kids (although be prepared for a gigantic mess if you’re making it with little ones).

Autumn Leaves

Halloween takes place in the autumn, and autumn offers a lot of inspiration for different designs. Of course, the most obvious thing to carve is autumn leaves. You can find a cool idea of how to carve autumn leaves into a pumpkin here.

Kitty Cats

Alright, here is finally something for the cat lovers out there. You can make the most adorable pumpkin on the block by using pumpkins to make a small family of kitty cats, as seen here. This is another wonderful no-carve idea. Instead, it’ll just take some paint and glue.


Sometimes we need to look to nature to find the best inspiration for designs. Take this tree, for example—doesn’t it look so cool carved into a pumpkin?

Jar of Fireflies

Fireflies do seem like they would be something out of a fairytale, so it makes sense that they would fit with a Halloween theme. This firefly pumpkin is unique and unexpected and makes clever use of candlelight. It’s not likely that somebody else on your block will have the same idea.

Pumpkin Eyes

We promised you spooky, and here you have. These pumpkin eyes seem to have a way of staring into the soul to the point where it’s unsettling. Do you ever feel like somebody’s watching you? Well, if you didn’t before, you probably do now.

Spiderweb and Spider

Whether or not you’re a fan of spiders, you can’t deny that they make pretty cool designs with their spiderwebs. You can mimic their cool designs by making a pumpkin that is inspired by spiders. Check it out here.


Are you a fan of stargazing? Even if it’s a constellation, you’ll be able to see the constellations on this pumpkin. Talk about celestial beauty.

Metallic Stencils

We’re nearing the end of our list, and it’s time for another no-carve idea. You can recreate the appearance of these beautiful pumpkins using metallic paint and intricate stencils. It’s a lot easier than the end result would reveal.



We’re finishing this list off with a classic design: pumpkin bats! These small bats are easy to carve. You can make the pumpkin your own by adding a few more bats to the design or by carving only one bat in the pumpkin. It’s up to you!

This year, leave something on your porch that your neighbors will admire. Which pumpkin design are you most excited to try out?

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