Pumpkin carving ideas are so much better than when we were kids. These 11 Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas will make your house the best Halloween stop this year!
Now that October has arrived, I’m finding myself sort of obsessed with Halloween.
I can’t wait to make a Tootsie Pop Trick or Treat wreath for the door. We use it for treats on Halloween night as well, having little ghouls pull a pop, which they love not realizing the wreath is more than mere décor.
I’m thinking up Halloween food and drink recipes and am excited to pull our storage bins down to spookify our house and porch. These 11 Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas will certainly take your Halloween game up a notch!
We love going to a traditional pumpkin farm in October to get pumpkins for carving as well as to cook from scratch. About four years ago I discovered a sweet farm that has a pumpkin patch and is completely noncommercial.
Pumpkins of every variety are grouped waiting for anxious Halloween decorators to swoop them up and apply their best pumpking carving ideas. The different shapes inspire ideas but nothing like this list of cool pumpkin carving ideas!
Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Despite my holiday fervor, I do get into a bit of a pumpkin carving rut. I’m of the old school triangle-eyes-round-mouth jack-o-lantern styling, partially because of my limited artistic skill in the great orange orb arena.
Over the last few years I’ve seen an incredible odyssey of pumpkin carving prowess online, far exceeding my own. There are a few approaches however that have caught my eye which turn basic pumpkin carving ideas into an eye-catching spectacle. I wanted to share some fantastic examples to perhaps prompt you out of your pumpkin carving box this Halloween!
Don’t forget to save your pumpkin seeds from carving your pumpkins to make the BEST Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
Links to DIY tutorials included for most.
Pumpkin Carving Ideas: Pumpkins with Teeth
Other than two large front teeth, I’ve never carved a toothy Jack-o-Lantern. I can’t take my eyes off these. From jovial whimsical teeth to razor-sharp the-things-nightmares-are-made-of teeth, these pumpkin carving ideas knock it out of the park.
And pumpkins hoping for BETTER teeth, Pumpkins with Braces
Funny Pumpkin Carving Ideas: Vomiting Pumpkins
Vomiting pumpkins have been all the rage over the past few years. How is it a squash spewing seeds can evoke the gag reflex? I find them as repulsive as I do funny.
Pumpkins Vomiting Seeds (I saw one image with the pumpkin vomiting seeds onto the top of a pumpkin pie served at a party….)
Pumpkins Vomiting Guacamole to decorate your Halloween table (and one next to it looking aghast)
Scary Pumpkin Carving Ideas: Cannibal Pumpkins
There are gory pumpkins too (hard to imagine a pumpkin being that, but they are). This Pumpkin Devouring a Bloody Leg, which has been viral on the internet, originates as an entry to a pumpkin carving contest for This Old House in 2010.
There is no tutorial but I think it would be pretty easy to create. Not sure who you’ll get to volunteer their leg however.
I’m fascinated by Cannibal Pumpkins; you know, pumpkins eating other pumpkins?
Another Pumpkin-Eats-Pumpkin idea I love is this large pumpkin savoring a mini carved pumpkin on its grotesquely large tongue.
HOW TO CARVE: Unable to find original carving details, I believe the tongue is a piece of another pumpkin with the outer skin removed with a bit of carving to round the edges, and the rounded side facing down. I love the idea of using colorful ghords as eyes and horns.
Cool Pumpkin Carving Ideas
I spent an hour online trying to track down the DIY instructions of this White Skull Pumpkin inside a Carved Pumpkin with no luck.
HOW TO CARVE: I actually do not think the instructions are posted online but my guess is that the outer pumpkin was carved, cut in half down the front (and back) of the carved face, with another white carved pumpkin inserted inside. The outer pumpkin is positioned to allow the white pumpkin to peek out.
Lastly this simply carved Smoking Jack-o-Lantern with dry ice fog coming out of its mouth is perfect for an eerie porch decoration!
Using Dry Ice for Pumpkin Carving Ideas
TIPS on Using DRY ICE:
Many grocery stores carry dry ice in a special cooler unaccessible to the public (King Soopers is one) call ahead and if they don’t have it inquire about other stores locally who might (yours won’t be their first call).
WHAT TO BRING When Buying Dry Ice:
- Dry ice begins to evaporate as soon as it leaves the cooler. It will be wrapped in paper and plastic but can BURN you.
- Bring a hard sided cooler, an old towel and gloves. Do not handle the dry ice without gloves.
- Wrap the package in the towel and place it in the cooler. This will slow the evaporation.
- It’s best to buy the dry ice as close to when it will be used as possible. If left in a cooler overnight it will evaporate fully.
Getting the Dry Ice to Smoke:
Dry ice ‘smokes’ when put into liquid. Note: because it can burn people, though it’s a cool punch option, be sure to not allow it to get into any servings. For a pumpkin carving ideas:
- With the dry ice wrapped in the towel, use a hammer to break it apart.
- Place a small container of water into the pumpkin with a small piece of dry ice.
If these pumpin carving ideas weren’t enough, while I was searching for fun pumpkin carving ideas I ran into a series of ‘pumpkins giving birth’ online.
Though the graphic nature of squash birthing squash is too much for my holiday sensibilities, it does give a nudge that my old school carvings probably could be boosted with a bit more creativity!
Best Tools for Pumpkin Carving
Not only are pumpkin carving ideas better, but the tools are too. We all remember that knarly long unsharp kitchen knife experience of the knife getting caught midway and wondering if we’d take off our own arm while carving (hey, there’s another pumpkin carving idea instead of the leg in the jack-o-lantern’s mouth).
These tools will let your pumpkin carving ideas come to life much more easily and with precision.
Keyhole Saw: forget the cute pumpkin carving tool sets sold in grocery stores. This bad boy will have you carving like a champ. That toothy grin? They will actually look like teeth. Not for kids!
Scraper: who has spent hours trying to scrape the good out of the pumpkin with a regular large spoon? Raising my hand….Forget it. This serrated scraper makes quick work of the job. If you have a power drill this pumpkin gutter also does the trick. The added benefit? It cleans out winter squash you plan to cook too!
A Power Drill: Perfect for drilling holes.
Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit: this dremel comes with loads of ideas from stenciling a pumpkin to removing the top layer of skin (like the the pumpkin with the big tongue). So much easier than doing it manually.
Chisels: they allow sculpting different features onto the pumpkin or creating an effect by thining the pumpkin without peircing through it.
LED lights with remote: instead of relighting votive candles all night to keep your spooky creating alive, use LED lights instead . No fire hazard, no wind issues and they last a long time.
If you must use a candle, cut a circle out of the bottom of the pumpkin to place the candle underneath it instead of removing the top. The candle can sit on the flat ground and you can lift the pumpkin off instead of reaching into the pumpkin, risking burning yourself (hard to light the candle too) or stablizing the candle on the uneven pumpkin surface.