22 Traditional Pumpkin Carving Ideas

A simple, smiling jack-o'-lantern is a traditional element of Halloween decor. Check out these classic pumpkin carving ideas with a humorous twist.

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Photo By: Philip S. Cardamone

Classic Jack

With a happy four-tooth smile and a triangle nose, this traditional jack-o-'lantern pattern has been around for decades. The simple, minimal carvings are easy to create for beginners, and the classic expression will never get old.

Toothy Grin

This menacing pumpkin is all teeth...icky, yellow, oversized teeth. Yikes! Photo by Kyle Nishioka

Pumpkin Family

Dress up your porch by letting everyone in the family carve their own pumpkin. This set of jack-o'-lanterns evokes spooky elements of Halloween, except for the smiling, stalk-nosed pumpkin in front.

Scream-Worthy Carvings

Carving a face is fun, but words can deliver even more expression and drama. This startled jack-o'-lantern lets his mate do all the screaming. Eek!

What's in a Name

And speaking of words, let trick-or-treaters know just who they're visiting by carving your last name into the pumpkin. Simply print out your name, tape the paper to the pumpkin, and carve out the letters.

Scary Sights

Halloween is the scariest holiday of the year, and these terrified pumpkins can certainly attest to this from their frightful expressions.

Creepy Crawlers

Don't worry; this eight-legged creature is going nowhere. Spook your trick-or-treaters, neighbors and guests with a creepy spider carving sure to send shivers down their spines.

Troubled Teeth

If you want to bring an extra scary element to your simple jack-o'-lantern, use an array of scattered toothpicks as sharp and scraggly teeth.

Fright Night

Are you easily frightened during Halloween festivities? You're not alone. This terrified jack-o'-lantern has been scared stiff.

Pumpkin Pie

Think this symbol isn't scary enough for Halloween? Well, if you're not a math person, this pumpkin is downright terrifying. Photo by Casey Fleser

Spooked Illumination

Light up your late night porch with illuminated jack-o'-lanterns. After carving scary patterns, add candles inside your pumpkins to shine a yellow-orange hue through the carvings.

Fright Night

It looks like this startled jack-o-'lantern has had a few too many scares. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Evil Eyes

Give your pumpkin a menacing expression to add a spooky feel to your porch or garden. Small, demonic horns and an extra-wide smile make this jack-o'-lantern even creepier.

Not-So-Creepy Kitty

A sweet kitten face is a nice change from the more frightening faces of Halloween. Photo by Bernard Markowicz


Perfect for children or those with minimal pumpkin-carving experience, this shouting pumpkin looks like he's ready to make a blaring statement.

Tossed Cookies (and Candy!)

Add a little humor to your carving by imitating this funny scene. It looks like this poor pumpkin's had enough candy for one night.

An Unlikely Team

A classic jack-o-'lantern, a cat silhouette and a spooky Dracula join forces to make this front porch the scariest of them all.

Ghastly Expression

If you're hoping to really scare off Halloween intruders, this jack-o'-lantern can do the trick. The frightful ghost pumpkin uses his menacing eyes and angry grin to safeguard the garden during ghostly times.

Shrinking Scarcity

This small pumpkin was originally carved to show an angry face, but the mouth has dried and shrunken to create a grimaced expression.

Party Pumpkin

Impress your friends and neighbors with this cool tiki-style pumpkin. And keep in mind: it isn't nearly as hard as it looks. Get the step-by-step instructions >>


Combine a face that even a novice carver could achieve with a bolt hammered on each side, and you have yourself a spine-chilling Frankenstein.

A Frankenstein Fix

Want to take your Frankenstein to the next level? Take it apart and sew it back together for a super creepy effect. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

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