Pumpkin Pictures for Carving Ideas

Plus Templates for Painting, Tips for Making Jack-o-Lanterns

If you seek new carving ideas before creating this fall's jack-o-lantern, browse through the pumpkin pictures linked to below for inspiration. My photo galleries also offer ideas for those who will be painting their pumpkins this Halloween.

What, your hand isn't steady enough for such work? No problem. Let the patterns (stencils) linked to below serve as your guide. I also present an introductory tutorial on carving pumpkins, as well as an idea for an alternative medium if you want your...MORE work of art to last for more than one Halloween.

  • 01 of 06
    Picture: a bat pumpkin carving (picture) allows you to stick to a suitable Halloween theme.
    The bat pumpkin in this picture allows you to stick to a suitable Halloween theme, yet it's different from the run-of-the-mill jack-o'-lantern. David Beaulieu

    Jack-o-lanterns have long been a favorite type of outdoor Halloween decoration, and the pumpkin pictures in this gallery are sure to get your artistic juices flowing. The photos were taken at the famous pumpkin festival held annually in Keene, NH, where the legendary creativity of New England can be sampled every October. You'll find all sorts of carving ideas here, ranging from Frankenstein faces sure to delight the kids to more tasteful themes to pique the interest of adults.

  • 02 of 06
    A goofy-faced pumpkin painted with Halloween witch colors.
    A goofy-faced pumpkin painted in the purple-green color scheme often used for Halloween witch figures. David Beaulieu

    The pumpkin pictures in this gallery are even more diverse than in the first one. Examples are found here not only of carvings but also of painted pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns ornamented with various decor affixed to them. Who knew there were so many ways to decorate a pumpkin?

  • 03 of 06
    Werewolf pumpkin carving pattern.
    Werewolf pumpkin carving pattern. David Beaulieu

    Enough with the inspiration, you say? You require something a bit more concrete? These printable pumpkin-carving patterns will give you the confidence you need to begin your project. Wouldn't a werewolf or a Medusa jack-o-lantern look good on your porch this fall?

  • 04 of 06
    Skull and crossbones jack o'lantern pattern.
    Skull and crossbones jack o'lantern pattern. David Beaulieu

    This gallery of stencils is similar to that above, except the themes are strictly scary. Want to paint or carve a skull on your pumpkin? How about a devil or a Jason? Or for something totally different, display flying bats on your Halloween jack-o-lantern this year.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Picture of pumpkin face carved in profile.
    Picture of pumpkin face carved in profile. David Beaulieu

    Maybe after browsing the pumpkin pictures in the entries above, you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get carving. But wait! Have you ever carved a jack-o-lantern before?

    While the concept behind the project is easy enough for beginners to grasp in the abstract, unaided, it's like anything else: there are little tricks that it really pays to know. That goes doubly for a project involving a knife, which raises safety issues. Read my tutorial to bring yourself up to speed before picking...MORE up that knife.

  • 06 of 06
    Jack-o-lanterns carved from hard-shell gourds are long-lasting.
    Photo of a jack-o-lantern carved from a hard-shell gourd. David Beaulieu

    But are pumpkins always the optimal medium for your decorating work? No, they're not, especially if it is important to you that your creation last for a long time. Pumpkins rot too readily. When they do so, all your hard work goes down the drain.

    Is there a solution? Is there an alternative that, like pumpkins, you can harvest right out of your own garden? The answer on both counts is yes. Hard-shell gourds could be just the medium that your carving or painting exploits are crying out for....MORE Make a jack-o-lantern with one of these durable gourds and you'll be able to enjoy it year after year. I explain how in the article linked to above.

    Need to make a bigger splash in the yard this Halloween than can be achieved with a jack-o-lantern? Why not make a scarecrow? Consult the following pictures for ideas to that end: