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5 Easy Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Jack O’Lantern Fun

posted: 10/19/15
by: Blythe Copeland
picture of stenciled jack o lanterns
iStock

Carving a pumpkin into a jack o'lantern can seem like a daunting -- if not downright dangerous -- task. (Knives are involved! Pumpkins are slippery!) But if you start with some stencils, you'll have half of your -- pardon the pun -- work cut out for you. Here are five of our favorite sources for pumpkin-carving stencils for designs your whole neighborhood will envy, from intricate movie characters to striking Halloween silhouettes (like spiders, mummies, and ghosts).

1. Kid-Friendly Characters

From your daughter's favorite princesses -- think Rapunzel, Snow White, and Ariel -- to classic characters including Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, and Donald Duck, Disney Family has templates for everyone in your family. Go spooky with vampire Mickey or The Nightmare Before Christmas's Jack Skellington, or accommodate your littlest carvers with Doc McStuffins, Mary Poppins, or the Cheshire Cat.

2. Simple Letters

Carving a pumpkin doesn't have to be complicated: You can make just as big of an impact by lettering a simple "Boo". You can use your own favorite font to create a template and print it -- just make sure you don't fully close the letters, or else you'll lose the center sections that create the O shape -- or look for a pre-designed version with additional details like ghosts or dripping blood.

3. Witch's Brew

For a more intricate carving, try the Witch's Brew template from Pumpkin Masters. With a steaming cauldron, full moon, and spooky witch, getting it right may take some time -- but the finished piece will be a showstopper during Halloween trick-or-treating. Other options include a ghost in a graveyard, a bat silhouetted against the moon, and a howling werewolf.

4. Autumn Leaves

For a pumpkin that won't look dated on November 1 -- or that you can use as a centerpiece all season long -- choose a pattern with an autumn theme instead of one specific to Halloween. This template for four different leaves lets you use the images to create your own layout, putting a personalized spin on a versatile design.

5. Spiders, Mummies, and More

Pumpkin Pile offers hundreds of carving patterns across a dozen categories, including famous celebrities, superheroes, film characters, and classic pumpkin faces. You'll find something for every level of carving expertise -- from a not-too-complicated spider to a detailed mummy.