29 Creative Halloween Jack-o'-Lanterns and Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Break away from tradition this Halloween by integrating some humor and creativity into your pumpkin carving and decorating. These unexpected jack-o'-lanterns are sure to spice up your seasonal porch decor.

Photo By: unknown ©Layla Palmer

Photo By: unknown ©Layla Palmer

Photo By: unknown ©Layla Palmer

©Layla Palmer

©Marian Parsons

©Layla Palmer

©Layla Palmer

©Janell Beals

Photo By: Fabio Bianchini - Rome, Italy

Photo By: unknown

©Marian Parsons

Photo By: Sergej Petrakov

©Layla Palmer

Spooky Skull

This creepy skull jack o' lantern may look like a difficult undertaking, but our step-by-step instructions will have you looking like a pro in no time.


Give your jack-o'-lantern a military edge by turning him into a rough-and-tough drill sergeant. Slice a pumpkin in half to serve as his military helmet, and increase his intimidation factor by adding a less-than-thrilled scoff.

"A" for Effort

Find a pumpkin with one flat side, and add your personal flair by branding it with your initial. Halloween never felt so sophisticated. Get the instructions here.

Nom, Nom, Nom

Even the largest pumpkins get hungry. Carve a sad or scared facial expression into a miniature pumpkin, place it in the mouth of a larger pumpkin and watch as the little one meets his fate.

Owl on Duty

"Hoo" wouldn't want to come home to this sweet face sitting on your doorstep? And with hardly any carving, this adorable owl pumpkin could not be easier. Learn how to make your own here.

Jungle Fever

What do monkeys and Halloween have in common? Absolutely nothing, but that doesn't mean you can't turn your pumpkin into a terrifying gorilla with extra-large teeth and a smoldering expression.

Big Happy Family

Carrot noses aren't just for snowmen anymore. A great project for the kids, this sweet family only requires a few simple steps. Find the full instructions here.

White Cat

Cat lovers will appreciate this white-pumpkin cat carving. Replicate cats' stunning eyes by inserting marbles in the eye cutouts, while stiff plant stems work perfectly as whiskers. With very little carving, this animal is a wonderful idea for pumpkin-carving beginners.

Very Superstitious

And speaking of kitties, make trick-or-treaters think twice before crossing these black cats' paths. And since there's no carving required, these pumpkins are sure to last through the season's festivities. Learn to make your own here.

Pretty, Creepy

Mix glamor and fright with a set of pretty glittered pumpkins. Spider and web designs give these pumpkins an eerie edge. Get the instructions here.

Tattoo Artist

For those with an artistic edge, this pumpkin-carving idea is just for you. This goofy jack-o'-lantern is covered in shallow carvings that showcase the pumpkin's light-orange interior, giving it a contest-worthy tattooed look.

A Modern Twist

Give your pumpkin a pretty, modern look with this swirly, all-white design. Simply follow the instructions here.

Spooky Spider

Creepy crawlers and spiders are notable characters during Halloween festivities, so it only makes sense to create a friendly arachnid jack-o'-lantern. Extra-long black pipe cleaners pinned to the pumpkin create the look of fuzzy spider legs.

All Treats Here

Let your pumpkin work double duty as fabulous fall decor and a totally adorable candy dish. Real or faux, this pumpkin is sure to bring a smile to a trick-or-treater's face. Learn to make one here.

Fiesta Time

If your pumpkin-carving skills aren't up to par, you can always decorate one with colorful veggies and flowering plants to create the same effect. This Jamaican-inspired pumpkin has snap-pea eyebrows, a red-pepper mouth, olive earrings and purple flowers as a crazy head of hair.

Spellbinding Creation

What says Halloween more than a wicked witch? You can use a real or faux pumpkin to create this ghastly masterpiece. Follow the instructions here.

Merry Halloween

Keep The Nightmare Before Christmas in mind when trying to make sense of this Christmas-tree pumpkin carving. Only two months apart, Halloween and Christmas can easily collide for a truly unique jack-o'-lantern pattern.

Textile Chic

Add a touch of class to your pumpkin this year with a fabric embellishment. Demask? Chevron? Toile? The options are endless! Just follow the simple steps found here.


If carved eyes just won't do, golf balls make excellent replacements. Use a black marker to add pupils to the golf balls, giving your innocent jack-o'-lantern a crazy-eyed look.

Stylish Accents

Ribbon, paint and a nail head trim give this group of gourds a decidedly fashionable look. Follow these instructions to make your own.

Halloween Beauty

Enhance your garden or centerpiece setup with beautifully carved pumpkins in various shades and sizes. Floral-inspired carvings veer away from traditional Halloween style and can be used early into the fall season as an inspirational decorative element.

Sophisticated Silhouette

This poised pumpkin may seem out of reach, but you may be surprised how doable it really is. Simply follow the instructions here.

Angry Jack

If you're looking to bring a cartoon spin to your pumpkin, use Sharpie markers to draw an angry facial expression and other colorful details. Stick small skewers with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves out of the pumpkin's head if he's especially steaming angry.

Under Wraps

Decoupage is back in a big way. Even the gourds are getting into it! These faux pumpkins covered in trendy fabric almost look good enough to showcase year round. Learn to make your own here.

Silly Scarecrow

No garden or crop field is complete without a scarecrow of some sort. This tribal pumpkin figure may not scare away pests, but he's certainly safeguarding this territory with all his might.


These adorable mini pumpkins look like they've seen their fair share of ghosts and ghouls. Learn to create your own fearful gourds here.


Halloween wouldn't be complete without a decrepit witch ready to cast spells with vengeance. A non-ripe pumpkin with a sickly green hue is perfect for the witch's face. The towering, cone-shaped succulent arrangement serves as the witch's black hat, while other greenery creates the straggly hair, rotten teeth and pointy nose.

A Seasonal Star

Creative house number pumpkins make the most of gorgeous fall blooms and add an unexpected textural element to your pumpkin decor. Copy the look with directions found here.

Happy Face

Deliver holiday cheer to everyone who steps on your porch by carving an inviting and adorable pumpkin with an "ear-to-ear" smile and dimples.

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