Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

Our top tips for carving a Halloween pumpkin using a printed template, plus HGTV-exclusive pumpkin-carving templates.
Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

Our top tips for carving a Halloween pumpkin using a printed template, plus HGTV-exclusive pumpkin-carving templates.

Materials and Tools:

fresh pumpkin 
download templates: Beginner or Advanced
tracing paper
charcoal or graphite pencil
wooden skewer or template wheel
ballpoint pen
tape
carving tools

Steps:

1. Cut a hole in the pumpkin's bottom or back and remove the seeds.

2. Print a template onto copier paper.

3. Next, transfer template to pumpkin.

There are several great options for transferring a template:

Template Wheel

Template Wheel

Another handy tool for transferring a pattern by poking holes is called a template wheel. These are found in many pumpkin-carving kits and make pattern transfer quick and easy.

  • Cover the back of the paper template with graphite by scribbling over the lines with a pencil. Then tape the template with the graphite-scribbled side next to the pumpkin. Trace the template image onto the pumpkin with a ballpoint pen. The pressure from the pen will cause the graphite to transfer onto the pumpkin.
  • Place a sheet of tracing paper between the printed template and pumpkin, and tape both to the pumpkin. Then, trace the template image onto the pumpkin with a ballpoint pen.
  • A third option is to tape the template to the pumpkin then transfer the pattern by repeatedly poking small holes through the template's design with a wooden skewer, nail or other sharp, pointed object. Another handy tool for transferring a pattern by poking holes is called a template wheel. These are found in many pumpkin-carving kits and make pattern transfer quick and easy.

4. Use the newly transferred lines as your carving guide.

When creating a template; think outside the box. Creative ideas include:

  • Using your computer to print out your family's name or a monogram (Image 1).
  • Spelling out a short word by carving one letter into each pumpkin and then placing the pumpkins together.
  • Printing out a family photo and transferring the profile to a pumpkin to create a silhouette (Image 2).
Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

When creating a template, think outside the box. Creative ideas include: Printing out a family photo and transferring the profile to a pumpkin to create a silhouette design.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Pumpkin-Carving Tips and Tools

Tips for selecting the right tools when carving, preserving and illuminating a Halloween pumpkin.

Cookie-Cutter Pumpkin Carving With Kids

Create a high-end look for your jack-o'-lanterns with kid-friendly themes, from planes to stars, flowers and more.

Halloween Jack-o'-Lantern Luminaries

Fill clear buckets with battery-operated tea lights to easily craft kid-safe, fireproof luminaries to light up your Halloween celebrations.

Candy Corn Wreath

Create a festive Halloween wreath for under $5.

Flying Bats

Create a flock of flying bats in minutes.

How to Make a Candy Corn Pinata for Halloween

Halloween swings into action with this candy corn piñata. Party guests large and small will enjoy taking a shot at this treat-filled decoration.

Make a Headless Horseman Figure for Halloween

Give trick-or-treaters a scare by constructing a near lifesize headless horseman door greeter who points the way to the candy.

Fabric-Pattern Painted Pumpkin

Instead of carving a pumpkin this year, leave it whole and embellish it with one of your favorite fabric patterns — damask, trellis or chevron are all great options.

41 Printable (and Free!) Halloween Templates

From printable party invites to cute cupcake, gift bag and party favor embellishments plus pumpkin-carving templates and props for a photo booth, we'll help you get your spook on this Halloween.

Outdoor Halloween Decoration: Banister Owls

Create owl silhouettes from plywood then temporarily attach them to your front porch for a sophisticated (and spooky!) outdoor Halloween decoration.
More from:

Halloween Ideas

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.