Get ready to carve up some fun with these easy pumpkin carving templates, tips, and tricks. From how to gut a pumpkin to how to carve, these pumpkin carving ideas for kids will make decorating for all those Halloween trick or treaters super exciting! Glowing pumpkins just make me happy! How about you?

easy pumpkin carving ideas

RELATED: For more inspiration, I have another set of free printable pumpkin carving stencils for easy pumpkin carving. You’ll find great DIY pumpkin stencils for a spider, a skull, a haunted house, a black cat, and loads of traditional jack o lantern faces. These easy pumpkin carving ideas will help you create some amazing pumpkins. I also have jack o lantern faces stencils to help you make perfect jack o lanterns for your front porch. From easy pumpkin faces to elaborate designs, our pumpkin templates make the process enjoyable and stress-free.

Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas

What a fun hands-on holiday tradition for the whole family! Do your kids get in on the Halloween decorating? It seems like they are most eager to help with making Halloween pumpkins this year.

Often the hardest part of pumpkin carving is removing the guts of the pumpkin! Well no more! Simply add a paint mixing tool to your power drill (or this attachment) and you have an amazing pumpkin gutter that cuts the carving time down dramatically. How’s that for an easy pumpkin idea?

pumpkin carving tricks pumkin gutter

This simple trick is easiest enough for kids to do, plus pumpkin carving with power tools revs up the fun! Kids love this easy pumpkin carving trick for sure!

First, ensure you are in a workspace that can take a little messy. Outdoors is the best place for carving pumpkins. If you’re carving inside, put your pumpkin on a layer of grocery bags to protect your surface.

All you need to do is cut an opening around the stem at the top, then insert the mixing tool inside and start spinning! We like to open up the back of the pumpkin a bit as well, which definitely makes gutting and putting in lights easier.

Tip: Make sure you cut your lid at a 45-degree angle, so you can replace it without it falling inside your pumpkin!

Pumpkin carving tips how to gut a pumpkin
This is how we remove pumpkin guts! A drill and this special attachment work amazing.

Easy Pumpkin Faces

You really can’t go wrong with a classic jack face: nice round or triangle shaped eyes, a small triangle nose, and then a big toothy grin at the bottom especially for the beginner pumpkin carvers

If you’re drawing your face free-hand, I recommend putting the nose on first, right in the middle. Then when you add the eyes and the mouth, just make sure they aren’t too close to the top or bottom of your pumpkin.

The shapes for beginning pumpkin carving should be quick and simple, and not too small. You want big openings so they’re easier to cut. Bigger eyes, nose, and mouth holes will also make for better light.

Genius Tip Use a dry-erase marker to draw on a design. It can easily be wiped away so no worries about mistakes!

pumpkin carving tricks dry erase marker

RELATED: Our favorite Pumpkin Carving Tools

How to Use Pumpkin Carving Templates

If don’t want to make your own pumpkin face from scratch, use one of these free pumpkin carving patterns.  

You’ll love the time it saves to use our pumpkin carving patterns – and honestly, none of the personality is lost by using a stencil! I have to say, I think a lot of the personality of a jack o lantern comes from the shape, color, and texture of the pumpkin itself.

First download the free templates, and print on white copy paper.

Next, pin free printable pumpkin carving stencil to the front of a pumpkin. Use a thumbtack to punch holes to trace around the template creating an outline on the pumpkin.

easy pumpkin carving

Easy Pumpkin Carving TIPS

What are the best tools to carve a pumpkin? Some people swear by a linoleum cutter, or just use a narrow kitchen knife to cut. You don’t have to get too fancy. But having a sharp tool makes all the difference in the cut (and frustration level)!

Along with small knives bring on the power tools! We used this Dremel tool for easy pumpkin carving! In fact, Dremel even makes a whole Pumpkin Carving Kit. This was a highly satisfying process because the Dremel did most of the work without having to force the cutting.

pumpkin carving tricks Dremel Tool

In no time at all these girls carved up some amazing pumpkins and had so much fun! Look how cute the pumpkins look all aglow on our porch steps! They brighten up our yard and home.

carved pumpkins

What do you carve on a pumpkin?

Will you make a scary jack-o’-lantern or a nice happy face to wish everyone a happy Halloween? I’m partial to silly pumpkin carvings since they bring such a smile to the faces of small children.

How about one of each? You can never have too many pumpkins, I say! One of the most magical parts of Halloween night is walking through the neighborhood and seeing the amazing variety of wonderfully carved pumpkins and Halloween decor.

The most important part of pumpkin carving is expressing your creativity and having a good time. We’ve all had those pumpkins that just don’t want to cooperate with your vision. The best thing to do in those situations is to go with the flow, and let your pumpkin’s personality shine through!

What are your favorite pumpkin faces? Leave a comment and share your best jacks!

RELATED: Our favorite pumpkin carving tools!

Let the pumpkin carving begin! I hope these free pumpkin stencils make it EASY!

I would love to keep you fully stocked with creative ideas, yummy recipes, fun crafts, and loads of free printables. Subscribe to Skip to my Lou to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

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  1. I can never seem to carve a pumpkin and have it look halfway decent. Thanks for the printables, they were so helpful!

  2. Thanks for all these tips and templates! Can’t wait to use them this year – especially the power tools lol!

  3. Thanks Jill, I totally agree. I also let my children help me prepare dinner with knives. I like the opportunity to teach them how to use sharp objects and tools safely. These activities give them plenty of practice under our watchful eye.

  4. Hi Sam,

    We do that so we can just slip the candle in through the back, it makes lighting the candle easier then when you stick your hand through the top.

  5. Dear Bekka,
    I’ve let my twin 3 year olds use full strength power tools including a band saw (with an old blade) and have not had any problems. You can be so cautious with your children that they never learn personal responsibility…my how the pendulum has swung!

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