Decorate your house this Halloween with our simple pumpkin carving ideas. Fill your home with flickering lights, spine-chilling shadows, ghostly faces or sweet, seasonal creatures. Host your own family carving competition and see who can create the most spooky pumpkin.


For even more inspiration for ghoulish gourds, check out our printable pumpkin carving templates. Set yourself a challenge and try our haunted house motif or a daring Dalek.

Make sure you use up your pumpkin innards with our roasted pumpkin seeds recipe and our top 10 ways to use up leftover pumpkin.

Before you're elbow-deep in pumpkin, check out our video on how to carve a pumpkin for more expert techniques and tips or read our guide on carving pumpkins in four easy steps:

Easy Halloween pumpkin carving ideas

You don't need any special equipment for this fun family activity, just a serrated knife or pumpkin carving kit that includes a knife and scoop.

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All our pumpkins were hulled as normal, with a circular lid cut out of the top to make it easier to insert tealights. Try drawing the design on with a pencil first, so you can rub it out if you make a mistake – pen ink can smudge and make the pumpkin look messy. We used a serrated knife to carve the designs.

1. Cat pumpkin

Pumpkin with carved cat face
Photo credit: Melissa Reynolds-James

Complete your witchy aesthetic with a cute cat cut-out for your Halloween table. We love the look of the chunky whiskers and expressive eyes. Cut out triangular orange peel ears, then scrape the flesh from the underside of the peel. Use halved cocktail sticks to secure the ears to the top of the pumpkin.

2. Owl pumpkin

Pumpkin with owl carving
Photo credit: Melissa Reynolds-James

Give a hoot about Halloween and show your love for this spooky season with our owl pumpkin design. Carve small arrowheads down the middle for a feathery effect on your owl's stomach, then cut orange peels into feet to add the final finishing touch to this brilliant Halloween bird.

3. Little pumpkin, big pumpkin

Little pumpkin inside big pumpkin
Photo credit: Melissa Reynolds-James

Keep it classic with a scary pumpkin face, then add a fun twist with a mini pumpkin surprise sat inside. Use different-coloured pumpkins if possible to get a seriously eye-catching display. To carve the face on the smaller squash inside the bigger pumpkin, use the eye remover on a potato peeler – it will help you get precise scoops.

4. Laughing pumpkin

Laughing pumpkin face
Photo credit: Melissa Reynolds-James

Who said Halloween needs to be solely scary? We can't resist this goofy pumpkin face, complete with gap-toothed smile. This is a simple design for kids to have a crack at, but looks no less effective once it's all lit up.

5. Scary thoughts pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with boo carving

Capture the scary Halloween spirit with a creepy word or phrase. Try ‘boo,’ ‘eeek,’ ‘spooky,’ ‘happy Halloween’ or ‘trick or treat.’ Try printing your word in your favourite font on a word document, then using that as a stencil to trace with. Outline the word in marker, then carve with a small knife.

6. Polka dots pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with polka dots

This polka dot pumpkin is incredibly easy, its stunning to look at. The simple design is effective and eye-catching for a more subtle look. Carve out small dots and circles using small knives and skewers or make things easier with an electric drill. You can use a ruler to make sure the dots are evenly spaced out.

7. Bat pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with bat carving

What’s more fitting for Halloween than a spooky bat? Draw a simple bat shape, using clip art for inspiration. You can either carve the bat out directly or carve around it and make a silhouette.

8. Haunted house pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with haunted house carving

Design the haunted house of your dreams with this spooky pumpkin idea. Let your imagination wild by adding floors, windows, doors and more details. It’s a great classic design that will set your doorstep apart.

9. Furry friend pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with dog carving

Devote your pumpkin to your favourite furry friend with this design idea. Print out a picture of your pet, trace onto your pumpkin and get to work using tiny knives and tools to capture small details. Try this with your dog, cat, or even a fish.

10. Happy messages pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin with be kind and flower carvings

Add some positivity to your Halloween celebration with this inspirational pumpkin design. Carve a nice message accompanied by any flowers, peace signs or happy faces for a more optimistic Halloween message.

Enjoyed these fun pumpkin ideas? Try our top Halloween recipes and activities...

Our best ever pumpkin soup recipes
Top 10 easy Halloween baking ideas
9 things you can carve for Halloween that aren't pumpkins
How to make candy apples
Top 5 Halloween cocktail recipes


What's your favourite pumpkin design? Leave a comment below...

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