10 Brilliant Pumpkin Carving Ideas to Light Up Your Home This Halloween

These gourd-eous (and easy!) pumpkin carving ideas will bring the fun this spooky season.


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Halloween is almost upon us, and nothing screams spooky season more than a glowing jack-o'-lantern lighting up your front porch or stoop. No-carve pumpkin ideas are always a fun way to get into the holiday spirit, but if you’re a purist, then nothing makes you howl quite like a carved gourd. Feeling a bit intimidated when it comes to grabbing a knife? Don’t be! Brush up on your pumpkin carving basics, then take inspiration from the easy pumpkin carving ideas below for a frightfully festive Halloween display. 

01 of 10

A Gaggle of Gourds

A cluster of jack-o-lanterns in an entryway.

Dana Dore

Everything is better in multiples—especially charming and cheeky jack-o'-lanterns! For a display that wows (and won’t take you all afternoon), pile a collection of traditionally carved pumpkins into a corner of your home or front porch. Here, creator Dana Dore relied on pumpkins of different sizes (and a few bonus candles) to bring an eerie glow to the entry of her New Jersey home.

02 of 10

A Pawsome Tribute

A dog next to a pumpkin carved with a paw print sitting on a porch.

Hiland Langhans

Even furry friends deserve to get in on the Halloween fun! Nod to your love for your favorite four-legged bestie with a pumpkin carved in their likeness. Skip the complicated pet portrait and instead opt for a simple pawprint, like Alta’s pet parent, Hiland, did here

03 of 10

Cute Confection

A pumpkin with a cupcake carved on it.

Lindsay Ann

If you like your pumpkin like you like your treats, skip the tricks in lieu of this bakery-inspired confection from creator Lindsay Ann. Made using a simple stencil and a few different carving techniques (both of which you can find on her site), it’s a sweet way to nod to the real star of the Halloween season—sugar.

04 of 10

Season's Greetings

A pumpkin on a front porch carved with the home's address.

Diane Henkle

If there’s ever a time to ensure your front porch looks extra welcoming, fall is it. Are skeletons and ghosts not your style? No worries! Opt for a sophisticated pumpkin “house number” instead with this idea from creator Diane Henkler of In My Own Style. She used a faux gourd (which will last well into November) to carve her home’s address, placing the finished product atop a metal urn for a grown-up look that’s just seasonal enough.

05 of 10

Work of Art

A take on Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude 2 carved into a pumpkin.

Maniac Pumpkins

Need a bit of inspiration for your next masterpiece? Look to artistic icons and famous artwork to get those creative juices flowing. Here, the pumpkin pros as Maniac Pumpkin Carvers recreated the likeness of Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude 2 onto a pumpkin for a modern and oh-so-chic take on a display-worthy design.

06 of 10

Tools of the Trade

A pumpkin drilled full of holes gives off a sparkly effect.

Alison Murray

We have good news: This sparkly dotted pumpkin was achieved with absolutely zero hand cramps involved. How, you ask? Creator Alison Murray of Dream a Little Bigger relied on drill bits of various sizes to create this glowing masterpiece reminiscent of the sparkling night sky. It’s a great solution if your knife skills are lacking or you want a pumpkin project that will take under 30 minutes.

07 of 10

Wild Animals

Circus-themed pumpkin surrounded by plastic animals.

Amanda Kingloff

For an easy pumpkin carving idea that kiddos can get in on, too, look no further than this circus-themed menagerie dreamed up by Amanda Kingloff of Project Kid. A simple rectangular cut-out in the front of the pumpkin creates a cheeky display for plastic animals (or cars, or superheroes!) so their favorite can be on display all Halloween long.

08 of 10

Mane Attraction

Pumpkin carved like a lion's face mid-roar.


Caught mid-roar, this fierce lion will beckon trick o’ treaters to visit your porch—if they dare. To make this fluffy feline, creator Courtney of @Posh.Palmer used a combination of small gourds (for the ears and mouth) plus faux orange blooms for a full, magical mane.

09 of 10

Mystical Monogram

A monogrammed pumpkin.

Sarah Stillwell

For a pumpkin with major preppy appeal, look no further than this monogrammed gourd by creator Sarah Stillwell of The Amateur Apron. Looking to kick your creation up another notch? Finish the stem of your pumpkin with a plaid ribbon that would make Rory Gilmore jealous.

10 of 10

Classic Jack-o'-Lantern

Pumpkins carved with classic jack-o-lantern faces.

Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

Sometimes the quest to carve something totally fresh and unique leaves the most basic (and charming!) ideas neglected. If carving inspiration fails to strike this Halloween season, you can shamelessly default to the classic jack-o'-lantern face—after all, the classics are classic for a reason! With a myriad of expressions to choose from, and only a few easy shapes to master with your knife, you can create the goofy, surprised, or silly gourd of your Halloween nightmares. Pro tip: When opting for a simple carved design, look for pumpkins with a unique shape or quirky stems to ensure they still stand out.

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