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 goopy mess — carving a cool pumpkin is actually downright difficult, and if you’re trying to involve the grandkids, things get tougher. But we’ve got a trick to keep crafts easy and spooky this year through our collection of the best scary pumpkin carving stencils.
Jack-o-lantern 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 cool, easy stencils and adjust the scale of your pumpkin printout for a bigger or smaller gourd. 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 (Buy on Amazon, $7.00) to poke holes along the outline of your design, then get to cutting.
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 with these jack-o-lantern templates, you’ll be left with the most eye-catching pumpkins 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 lantern stencil is calling your name — or calling out to your grandchildren? Check out all seven below.
And make sure to get yourself a good carving kit! We used Pumpkin Masters’ kit in our video (Buy on Amazon, $8.78). It made the entire process easy as (pumpkin) pie.
Wolf Pumpkin Stencil
This scary-yet-simple wolf pumpkin stencil features a regal canine howling at the moon. It’s time let your wild side roam.
Witch Hat Pumpkin Stencil
Want something a little cuter? This classic witch pumpkin stencil brings the seasonal fun without getting too scary.
Spider Pumpkin Stencil
Now this pumpkin stencil spider is the ultimate in creepy and cool — just as long as all the real spiders don’t get any ideas about taking up residence on our porch.
Owl Pumpkin Stencil
Whoooo could say no to this festive decoration? This owl pumpkin stencil has its eyes on you for the holiday.
Ghost Pumpkin Stencil: How to Carve a Ghost Pumpkin
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
Forget black cats and bad luck. This cat pumpkin will bring plenty of festive fortune.
Bat Pumpkin Stencil
The clean, easy lines on this bat pumpkin stencil 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.
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