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This collection of 10 pumpkin stencils has easy-to-cut designs. Download templates for carving a skeleton, pumpkin, haunted house, spider and more!

Kids: Please make sure you get a parent or adult to help you with this activity.

Choosing Your Pumpkin

Choose your stencil before you go shopping so you can get a pumpkin that is best suited for that particular design. Don't buy pumpkins with nicks or bruises (they don't last very long). Try to avoid carrying your pumpkin by the stem, two things can happen, a broken stem and a bruised pumpkin, neither are good.

Pumpkin Carving Tools

  • a large spoon
  • a sharp serrated knife
  • a pin or nail
  • a paring knife

Carving Your Pumpkin

  • 1Start by spreading sheets of newspaper around the area you plan to work. This will reduce mess and make cleanup easy.
  • 2Print one of our stencils, or draw your own. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin. Using the nail or needle, punch holes through the paper, into the pumpkin, following the lines of the stencil.
  • 3Use the serrated knife to cut a circle out of either the top or the bottom of the pumpkin, depending on the look you want. Opening the top gives the jack-o'-lantern a traditional look with a convenient lid for the candle. Opening the bottom creates a flat surface to steady the pumpkin and keeps the top neat and uncut.
  • 4Scoop out the insides. Don't forget to save the seeds to roast.
  • 5After the insides have been adequately scooped, use the large spoon the scrape sides of your pumpkin smooth. The sides should be about one inch thick.
  • 6This is the really fun part! Use your paring knife to cut along the dotted lines you have made with the pin or nail.
  • 7Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin to vent the heat from your candle.
  • 8Place a candle inside your pumpkin. Carefully light it - and watch your design come to life! Do not leave a lit candle unattended.