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Jack-O-Lantern Stencils to Make Your Pumpkin Carving as Easy as Pie

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You can't celebrate Halloween without carving a fun, festive pumpkin or two. But when it comes time to make designs beyond the basic triangle eyes and toothy smile, things can get a little, well, messy. And we don't just mean the actual mess that comes with pumpkin carving — like the goop scooping part of the process. Carving a cool pumpkin is actually downright difficult, and if you're trying to involve the grandkids, well, forget it. But we've got a trick to keep crafts easy and eerie this year, and that's our collection of best scary pumpkin carvings stencils.

Stencils are easy to use once you know how. Just prep your pumpkin like you normally would by cutting off the top and cleaning out all the pumpkin guts inside. Then, print out one of these stencils — adjust the scale of the image to print a stencil for a bigger or smaller pumpkin. Once you've got your paper, trim it down to the design, wet it with a little spritz of water, and press it to the front side of your pumpkin. Use carving tools (you can grab some on Amazon) to poke holes along the outline of your design, then get to cutting. Want to see just how easy it is? Check out our ghost stencil in action in our pumpkin carving DIY video.

We came up with seven different pumpkin stencils, both sweet and spooky, to keep your holiday decorations on point this year. It's simple. Just prep your pumpkins, print out these images, tape them to the face of your pumpkin, and cut out all the black. Once you've finished, you'll be left with the most epic jack-o-lanterns on the block. And just in case you really want to get things perfect, we've left plenty of time between now and All Hallow's Eve so you can practice your technique and get it exactly right. So which stencil is calling your name — or calling out to your grandchildren? Check out all seven below.

Make sure to get yourself a good carving kit! We used Pumpkin Masters' kit in our video, which you can get on Amazon for $9.99, and it made the entire process easy as pie.

Wolf Pumpkin Stencil

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This scary stencil features a wolf howling at the moon. It's time let your wild side roam.

Witch Hat Pumpkin Stencil

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Want something a little cuter? This classic witch hat brings the seasonal fun without getting too scary.

Spider Pumpkin Stencil

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Now this is the ultimate in creepy cool. Just as long as all the real spiders don't get any ideas about taking up residence on our porch.

Owl Pumpkin Stencil

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Whoooo could say no to this festive decoration? This owl has its eyes on you for the holiday.

Ghost Pumpkin Stencil: How to Carve a Ghost Pumpkin

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This group of ghosts is the perfect design for you and all the ghouls to do together. Get a whole gang going.

Cat Pumpkin Stencil

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Forget black cats and bad luck. This cat pumpkin will bring plenty of festive fortune.

Bat Pumpkin Stencil

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These clean easy lines are easier to follow than echolocation in the dark. Plus, who doesn't want some bats by the front door? Just make sure to keep this on the ground instead of hanging from the rafters.

Want even more pumpkin stencils free of all the mess and stress? Visit our sister sites to learn how to make cool carvings of everything from Harry Potter pumpkins to the Cheshire Cat!

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