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Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns
Halloween Guide and Ideas


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Halloween Guide and Ideas


Halloween Guide and Ideas




You can carve some truly beautiful and artistic pumpkins freehand, but if you want to create really detailed carvings you'll want to use a stencil. And all you'll need is a couple of extra tools to cut out the patterns.

Below is step by step photo-tutorial on how to carve your pumpkins from a stencil. The pattern we choose is an example of a very simple design, but you can do just about anything. Use your imagination and they'll come to life!

A Carving Saw is essential for carving fine, detailed areas, but can be used for the entire Jack-O-Lantern.

A Transfer Tool is used to transfer your designs onto the face of the pumpkin.

Carving Stencils can be drawn either freehand onto paper or use your computer to make your pattern.

Prepare the pumpkin as you would for basic carving, i.e. cut out the top hole and gut the pumpkin out. Select the paper stencil you want to use and trim the excess paper from it with scissors. Be sure to leave at least a 1/2 inch border for the tape to go on.

Attach the stencil to the face of the pumpkin with tape. Top first, then the bottom and lastly the sides. You may have to crease the stencil to tape the corners, if so, try to make the creases where the pattern will be distorted the least.

Using the Transfer Tool, press the pointed tip into and through the design lines on the paper stencil spaced about a 1/8 of an inch apart. Complex and thin designs might require the dots to be a little closer together.

The tip of the Transfer Tool should be pushed in just enough to go through the paper and the outer skin of the pumpkin, not all the way through the pumpkin.

It's very important that you take your time when transferring the pattern from the stencil. Remember, you're making guide lines for sawing later. Before removing the stencil, look it over very carefully to make sure that all the lines have been transferred clearly.

Once the paper stencil is removed you'll see the outline of the stencils pattern marked on the face of the pumpkin via little dots. Once you remove the stencil be sure to save it in case you need to refer to it while carving.

Using the Carving Saw, push the tip of the saw-blade into a pattern hole and saw through the design lines with short back-and-forth motions. Basically, you're playing "connect the dots".

It's important to remember that these are "saws", not knives. The saw is not used in the same way as a knife. You never cut with it, you saw with it. Take your time and follow the pattern edges carefully.

Always align the saw blade to make the cuts straight into the pumpkin. When making sharp corners, remove the saw and re-insert it at the new angle.

To make removal of the pieces easier you can cut them into smaller section while still in the pumpkin.

Then carefully push out all of the cut pieces with your finger or an un-sharpened pencil.

Once you've removed all of the cut pieces, carefully trim the inside edges of the pumpkin of any excess flesh with the Carving Saw or a small knife. We like to carve the excess off at about a 45 degree angle. This allows more light to come through, showing your design to it's fullest.

Remove any cut pieces that have fallen inside the pumpkin from your carving. Coat the edges with petroleum jelly. (See our pumpkin preserving page)

Your finished pumpkin should look like the one on the right. The silhouette, in this case a cat, should be clearly visible. When picking a design to use, make sure that it will be clear when finished. We tried a tomb stone with hands clawing up, it looked cool but you couldn't tell what the hands were until you looked at it for a while. Adding a lit candle to it made it a bit easier to figure out.

You're all set to add a candle to your Jack 'O Lantern!

For more information visit the Tools of the Trade and Making Your Own Stencils pages in this section.


SpookMaster has the biggest and best selection of pumpkin carving patterns anywhere on the Internet. With literally hundreds of great designs, they are the number one choice when looking for top-rate pumpkin patterns. Best if all is that all of their patterns, templates and stencils are free, that's right, completely free! Just download the patterns you want and print them out.



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