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Free Printable Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Patterns: Tools and Tips

Free Sports and Other Pumpkin Stencils to Print

Free Stephen Curry Stencil to Print

Make a Stephen Curry jack-o'-lantern this year.

Make a Stephen Curry jack-o'-lantern this year.

Jack-o'-Lantern Carving Resources

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween holiday tradition that has been around for many years. Jack-o'-lanterns were originally used to welcome lost loved ones and also to keep not-so-welcome visitors away. These carved pumpkins, gords, and even sometimes turnips were placed on porches with burning pieces of coal inside to light up the night.

Since those days, the whole ritual has shed its supernatural or religious undertones and has became a great holiday tradition for young and old. As you get ready to carve your pumpkin, you might want to use a stencil to create a professional-looking jack-o'-lantern. I will show you not only where to find free printable and downloadable stencils and patterns but also the tools and tips to complete the job.

I scoured the web and came up with the best places to find free patterns and stencils for pumpkin carving. Now you will be the proud owner of the best jack-o'-lantern on the block!

Along with printable and downloadable patterns, I have also included some videos of with tips for carving your jack-o'-lantern. So enjoy, good luck, and Happy Halloween!

Choosing the Right Pumpkin

Pick your pattern or stencil first, and then choose a pumpkin that's the right size. Make sure it's evenly colored and well-rounded.

Pick your pattern or stencil first, and then choose a pumpkin that's the right size. Make sure it's evenly colored and well-rounded.

Choosing a pumpkin is a critical part of your jack-o'-lantern project. If you choose one that's too small, your pattern may not fit. If you choose one that's too big, it may overwhelm your pattern or stencil. So I recommend that you pick your pattern before you get a pumpkin.

When looking for a pumpkin, look for one that is evenly colored and well-rounded. Having an evenly colored pumpkin will help make your pattern stand out and a well-rounded pumpkin will make it much easier to attach your stencil.

Also make sure that your pumpkin hasn't rotted inside or out. Having a pumpkin that has the slightest bit of mold may speed the aging process and your jack-o'-lantern won't last long. Avoid pumpkins with any soft spots or which seem to be leaking from within.

Pumpkin Carving Tools

The place to start is with the tools. You may be a dad, a mom, or an older sibling and you'll be carving with young children. Maybe you're looking to enter a pumpkin in the annual county fall fest. In any case, you want to start with the best tools for completing your jack-o'-lantern.

How your pumpkin looks is completely up to you. You may have a simple project, and items from your kitchen may be just fine. Some projects, however, call for electric carving tools. Dremel is a popular brand of electric carving tool. Watch this video below to see how Dremel tools work. You may even want to bring out an electric drill or other tool. Watch the video below for tips to use electric hand tools to create great jack-o'-lantern designs.

Carving a Pumpkin With Power Tools

Free Baseball Pumpkin Stencil to Print

Use this San Francisco Giants stencil to carve a baseball jack-o'-lantern.

Use this San Francisco Giants stencil to carve a baseball jack-o'-lantern.

Free Football Jack-o'-Lantern Stencil

The Green Bay Packers logo.

The Green Bay Packers logo.

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Vintage Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Stencil to Print

Football and NFL Pumpkin Stencils

Maybe you're looking to show your team spirit (get it . . . spirit?)! Go with your favorite NFL, MLB, or NBA team logo. There are some great team stencils and patterns available by visiting official team sites. Heck, you're in-laws might even be impressed.

Pumpkin Carving Tips

Like the guy in the video above, I like to start by cutting the bottom out of my pumpkin. This not only helps to remove most of the guts and seeds, but also allows for a flat surface for your pumpkin to rest.

  • Be careful not to scrape too deep when cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin. This will help it hold whatever moisture it still has.
  • If you are going to cut out the bottom of your pumpkin, be sure to cut a hole out near the top so that the hot air from your candle can escape. Think of it as a chimney. This will help keep your pumpkin from becoming scorched. Another great thing about this method: It will make your jack-o'-lantern kid- and pet-friendly.
  • Soak your pumpkin in a five-gallon bucket right after carving and leave it for a day or so. This is a good way to lock in the moisture. Some people like to use a bleach water solution. I have not tried the bleach water myself but have read that it works well.
  • Instead of using a traditional candle, use an LED push light. It will light your pumpkin just as well as, if not better than, a candle. You will now have a safe and spooky pumpkin without the worry of harming your children and pets. If you plan to use a LED light, another good tip to make your pumpkin stand out is to attach a sheer piece of black fabric inside the pumpkin on the back of your carving. You can use push pins to attach the fabric without damaging your pumpkin and this will pull the fabric tight against your carving. Make sure the fabric is sheer so that the light from your LED will still show through.
  • To keep your carved pumpkin looking fresh, take some petroleum jelly and spread it over every cut surface of your pumpkin. I'm sure there will be some hard-to-reach places. These spots can be covered by using a cotton swab or even a toothpick covered with petroleum jelly.

Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Kids and Adults

There are a few different places to find free stencils and patterns for your pumpkin. There are so many to choose from, you should have no problem finding something that's right for you.

  • Better Homes and Gardens: This site has 38 free printable stencils it includes a crow, a spider, and a flying witch, a vampire, old-fashioned images, and more. Registration Required
  • This page has 20 different jack-o'-lantern stencils to choose from, ranging from an alien and a cat to a wolf.
  • This site of course offers characters your children know and love from T.V. shows. Print stencils of Dora, Moose, and some of the gang over at Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • That's right the computer giant has joined in on the Halloween fun with some great printable stencils.

Free Vampire Pumpkin Stencil

Extreme Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Patterns

Tip for Your Halloween Party

If you are preparing your Jack-o'-lantern for a Halloween party, don't discard the guts. You can use them for a fun Halloween game.

Take the guts from your pumpkin and place them in a bowl. Get a can of olives and a can of stewed tomatoes and place those in two separate bowls. Then dim the lights and tell a spooky story. Pass the bowls around and tell your guests that the bowls are filled with the insides of a monkey or some other small animal.

  • Pumpkin guts = The guts of a monkey.
  • Olives = Monkey eyeballs.
  • Stewed tomatoes = Brains of a monkey.



Congratulations! on August 23, 2010:

I found this article very informative. Thanks for the great carving ideas and tips.

I found this page so informative that I chose to place a link to it in an article that I wrote. Thanks again for the information and congratulations.

Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on August 19, 2010:

Gets me in the mood for one of my favorite Holidays!

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