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Halloween pumpkin designs that are spooktacular

Halloween Pumpkin Designs Family Carving Halloween Pumpkin On House Steps

On Halloween, it’s not enough to have the great pumpkin — you need to have the greatest pumpkin. The competition is fierce and these Halloween pumpkin designs will make you a winner

Gone are the days you can get away with a few upside-down triangles and chiclet teeth. Nowadays, you practically need a degree in design to display your orange sphere with pride. Originality is important, too. You don’t want to carve a Spooky Swayze the same year everyone else is or pollute the block with one too many POTUS pumpkins.

Want more? See other features on gratitude and thankfulness here!

Luckily, we have you covered with Halloween pumpkin designs and ideas so you can crush your orange dreams.

pumpkins on wooden background with copy space

For the novice

Start out easy. Maybe you are new to this — like an alien ship just dropped you off and you are seeing your first pumpkin. Or perhaps your clumsiness with knives precedes you (you’re typically only trusted with blunt objects). If you aren’t into getting gourdy with it but still want to make sure your porch is lit, here are a few easy-peasy ideas.

Address it

Carve by numbers with this simple design. You will be letting the whole neighborhood know that they are on your lawn. In My Own Style shows you how to number your pumpkins.

Halloween pumpkin designs address jack-o-lantern

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Fill ‘er up

Make a case for a vase. No one says you have to set the thing on fire. If you prefer flowers, you can gut it and fill it with your favorite flowers. This white, on-trend version from A Pumpkin and a Princess begs to be the center of your fall tablescape.

Halloween pumpkin designs DIY faux vase

Ice, ice, baby

Here is a variation on the vase theme, but a bit more practical. This pumpkin doubles as a decanter. Carve this pumpkin out with space for your bottle of bubbly as seen in Everyday Dishes. Fill with cubes, chill the bottle, enjoy.

Halloween pumpkin designs pumpkin ice bucket

Light it up

Want to carve your pumpkin and be done with the whole holiday? This idea is perfect if you want to skip the trick-or-treaters altogether. If you use LED tea lights inside, you can stick lollipops all over these pumpkin lanterns from Design Love Fest.

Just make sure the holes are large enough for the lollipop sticks but not so large the lollipops fall out (or in). Then, turn the lights out and go out on the town, or stay in and go to bed. Now everyone is happy.

Halloween pumpkin designs DIY pumpkin lanterns

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For the comic book fan

You’re going to spend all night answering the door and gifting mini-Snickers to tots dressed as superheroes and villains, so you might as well greet them with their favorite inked characters.

You’re joking

How can you have Halloween without the Joker? Whether you go old school with Jack, get contemporary with Jared or give a tribute to Heath, everyone will be laughing with you. Just call it a joke-r-lantern. Get the pattern here.


If you don’t see a toddler with knives for fingers, then you aren’t having a howling 31st. Rep your Wolverine fandom with this beastly jack-o-lantern.

Spidey sense

All that candy will give you sticky fingers — but not as sticky as Spider-Man’s. Pay tribute to the webbed one with this amazing Spider-Man pumpkin design.

For the movie buff

You can project the silver screen onto your orange canvas with the faces of a few familiar friends from film. The possibilities are endless! Horror movie, throwback ‘80s flick, action pic, sci-fi or children’s fare — pick your fave and carve away.

Only hope

Here’s the droid you are looking for. This R2-D2 from Geekologie is so lifelike you can practically hear him talking (or should we say beeping?) back at C-3P0.

Carve it to scale — just don’t throw your back out lifting it to your porch.


Heeeere’s Johnny! This may not be the face you want peering through your bathroom door, but it is a cool face to see on a Halloween porch.

This Jack Nicholson o’-lantern from The Shining is courtesy of Geeks Of Doom. There’s no tutorial, though, so you’ll have to really use your imagination.

Or, hey, take a cue from Johnny himself and hole up in the Overlook Hotel for creative inspiration.

Halloween pumpkin designs Jack Nicholson pumpkin

Chris Pratt not included

This is a monster of a carving. Pay tribute to the blockbuster Jurassic Park franchise with StoneyKins’ T-Rex pattern.

For the artist who prefers a brush

Want to add an extra layer to your gourd? Put down the scalpel and pick up the brush. You can use your artistic flair and add some color to your round friend to make your neighbors jealous.

Whooo’s there?

Homesthetics painted this owl and gave it a Day of the Dead flair. While there’s technically no tutorial for this, you could start with Better Homes & Gardens’s sugar skull pumpkin stencil and wing it (get it?) from there.

Sporty (pumpkin) spice

Just because it’s a spooky holiday, doesn’t mean you can’t show your hometown pride. Let’s Mingle demonstrates how to paint your pumpkin to look like a football — seams out, of course.

Halloween pumpkin designs DIY football pumpkin

ALSO TRY: How you and your kids can help families in need this Halloween (and all year long)


It may be bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, but if you find these beauties on a doorstep, then you are the lucky one. Made with a few pumpkins put together with hot glue and adorned with ears, this trio from Crafts by Amanda will make your porch pawsome.

Halloween pumpkin designs black cat pumpkins

For the foodie

You’re in for a treat. There is no trick to these pumpkins, as long as you are willing to put a little work into them. Turn your gourd into the illusion of a mouthwatering dish.

Dunking donuts

Homer Simpson would be happy. The DIY Playbook makes sugary confections out of a vegetable — and they look good enough to eat.

Halloween pumpkin designs DIY painted donut pumpkn
DIY donut painted pumpkin from The DIY Playbook #Halloween #DIY #crafts #donuts #foodcrafts #painting

Burger time

Have it your way. This pumpkin is carved and painted to look like a juicy burger, complete with a sesame seed bun and some fries on the side. Courtesy of While Wearing Heels.

For the extra-crafty

Using more than just a knife can create lots of different designs and give you a bit of leeway as far as letting the light in … and out.

Tinker Bell

If you believe this is brilliant, clap your hands. Homesthetics created this portrait of Tinker Bell and her trail of stardust using a combo of a cutting tool and a drill with a very fine drill bit. The result is a thousand points of tiny light.

Cookie cutter

This pumpkin isn’t like all the others, though it will be easier to make. Modern Parents Messy Kids shows you an easy way to mold your masterpiece. Use a cookie cutter as your mold and hammer your shape. No tracing, no knives.

Halloween pumpkin designs cookie cutter pumpkins

Fancy filigree

If you are sick of hacking away at your pumpkin and yearn for the delicate designs you see the pros carving, perhaps you need the gentle touch of a linoleum carver.

From China Village shows how to recreate delicate leaves and floral patterns gently etched into the surface of the pumpkin without cutting through all the way.

Halloween pumpkin designs filigree pumpkin

For the theatrical

Want to make a scene? Add some props to your pumpkin and create a story around the carving. Use costume pieces, figurines, clothing items and more to display your diorama.

Before midnight

This carriage idea won’t last very long — until the stroke of midnight, to be exact. A charming carriage for Cinderella fashioned from a pumpkin by Hallmark is easily created with fancy belt buckles, some wooden dowels and a lamp switch.

Little prick

If you need more dazzle in your life, these little hedgehogs may do the trick. Ashley Hackshaw displays a brilliant idea, which entails gluing decorative glass accents all over your gourds.

Halloween pumpkin designs hedgehog pumpkins

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Mouse house

Normally you wouldn’t want these little creatures stirring in your house, but what do you have to worry about? A swiss cheese pumpkin ensures the cute pumpkin-mouse won’t raid your pantry.

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