Hundreds of FREE Pumpkin Carving Stencils
INSIDE: Kick your Halloween decor up a notch with the best free pumpkin carving templates.
When I was a kid, my Dad always helped me carve my Halloween pumpkin with the standard triangle eyes and nose. We would clean my pen lines off the finished product with rubbing alcohol. But if you’ve been trick or treating lately, you’ve no doubt seen the elaborate designs so many families are creating today.
I just figured those families were way more artistic than mine was growing up, and then I realized that they’re using pumpkin carving stencils.
You can buy carving templates at your local store — but why pay for them when there are hundreds of pumpkin carving stencils available for free online?! Check out these freebie designs instead and use your savings for a carving kit that you can use year after year.
Where to Find Free Printable Pumpkin Carving Templates
There’s a carving stencil for just about anything you want. You can find a pumpkin pattern for movie characters, animals, silly faces, spooky critters … you name it. Below you’ll find some of the best websites that offer FREE pumpkin carving stencils, patterns, and printables!
Best for: classic Halloween images (witch, haunted house, etc)
At Pumpkin Pile, you will find hundreds of Halloween patterns including movie characters, animals, creepy faces, celebrities, video games and more. They help you know which templates you might feel comfortable using by offering a difficulty rating of 1 – 5 on each stencil.
Best for: ideas for mini pumpkins, Americana Halloween decorations, famous faces, dog breeds, Christian imagery
The Pumpkin Lady website has more than 700 carving templates to choose from. Find patterns for nature, fun Halloween phrases, harvest home, and more. This site also includes instructions and how-to-videos for more detailed explanations.
Best for: college sports logos
You can find just about any possible pumpkin carving template you want at Spookmaster. Read through the tips and instructions to help get you started carving a pumpkin — no matter your skill level. Don’t forget to check out the game ideas for your Halloween party.
Best for: Simple pumpkin faces with personality
These 20 jack o lantern expressions are less intricate, so they might be easier for first-time carvers (or if you don’t have much time to spend carving).
Best for: Baby’s first Halloween
This site has a handful of free printable stencils and hundreds more available for purchase. If you want to buy a download, there are more than 400 pumpkin carving patterns available, including movie monsters, TV terrors and more.
Best for: Family carving
If you are a carving novice, the easy pumpkin templates at HGTV are for you. All of these patterns are simple to follow and cut into your pumpkins. They are great to use to help your child learn how to carve (with parental supervision, of course).
Use a Free Pumpkin Template for Cheap Fall Fun
Our family really enjoys our time together carving pumpkins each year. We’ve done it since our kids were very young and it is something we all look forward each year. (It’s also an affordable seasonal activity, which I always appreciate).
As our kids get older, they can try more complex templates. It’s so cute to watch them learn and get excited as they see their jack-o-lanterns come to life!
Now it’s your turn: Grab a pumpkin carving stencil or two and get your kids and family working together on a family craft project this fall. Happy Halloween!
How to Use a Pumpkin Stencil
- Print the free pumpkin stencils you want to use and set them aside.
- Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin and scoop out the guts and pumpkin seeds.
- Make sure the pumpkin is dry and then tape the stencil to the front. It’s OK to cut around the design so you’re not taping a whole piece of paper to the pumpkin.
- Using a push pin, toothpick or nail (or the specialized tool if you have a carving kit), punch marks on the dots you see on the template. Remove the template.
- Use a carving tool to connect the dots to carve out the intricate design. Some templates might also call for a linoleum cutter — where you don’t cut all the way through the pumpkin — to create a glowy effect. You can get one at any home improvement store or some craft stores.
- Clean all the little bits you just carved out of the pumpkin.
- Illuminate your carved pumpkin by placing tea lights or other candles inside. Use a fire starter to reach into the hole and light things up. Alternatively, you can use a battery-powered flameless candle — be sure it’s the kind that flickers.
- Set your fun pumpkin design outside your door and wait for trick or treaters!
Check out our other festive Halloween ideas, too:
- 40 Fun DIY Halloween Costume Ideas
- ICEE Halloween Costume
- 40 Non-Candy Halloween Treats
- Simple Halloween Lanterns
Originally published in August 2019. Updated in August 2021.