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31 Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils to Take Your Jack-o’-Lantern to the Next Level

There's nothing like a light-filled jack-o'-lantern to put that finishing touch on your homemade Halloween decorations, and it’s much easier to create memorable designs when you start with a template.

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Spooky chevrons

Want to make a serious style statement? This contemporary pumpkin carving stencil from Remodelando la Casa will earn you the envy of your neighbours!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Boo!

Ghosts may be scary, but pumpkin carving stencils don’t have to be! This calligraphy stencil from Style Me Pretty Living lends your Jack-o’-Lantern a touch of elegance.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Sweet stuff

Halloween is all about tricks and treats—with an emphasis on treats. This adorable pumpkin carving pattern (plus a full instructional video) from Lindsay Ann Bakes will add a sweet touch to any porch.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Wink, wink!

Here’s a pumpkin carving stencil your neighbours will LOL over: a friendly winking-face emoji! And best of all? This text-worthy pumpkin pattern is simple enough for beginners to carve.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Find out what you should be for Halloween based on your zodiac sign.

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Who, me?

Goofy, sure, but this wacky pumpkin face is simple enough for kids to help you carve.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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The cat’s meow

This purr-fectly cute pumpkin carving stencil is one you can tackle in no time at all. Tip: You can skip the whiskers if your knife skills aren’t up to scratch.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Pumpkin

Casper the Friendly Ghost

Although this spooked spectre looks simple, the curving lines can be a challenge for the small set. This Jack-o’-Lantern is best left to the grown-ups!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Starry night

You and Van Gogh: This stencil offers a cool, twinkly evening scene that’s different than the usual Jack-o’-Lantern. Feel free to mix up where the stars go, based on where your pumpkin’s flattest (easiest to carve). Tip: Break out the power drill to make quick work of all of those constellations!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Check out 13 creepy Canada facts most people don’t know.

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Pumpkin

Hiss!

This reverse-silhouette of a frightened feline looks impressive—and requires an impressive talent with carving tools, to boot. You’ll need a steady hand and a fine knife to make sure that the cat’s feet and tail don’t separate from the base. (Tip: If you slip, you can always reattach the severed pumpkin pieces with toothpicks!)

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Rest in pieces

You won’t be able to achieve the “RIP” lettering, but the silhouette of the tombstone is more than enoguh to conjure up this ghoulish graveyard vignette.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Learn about the creepy events that actually happened on Halloween.

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Eeek!

Spooked by the creepy costumes of those trick-or-treaters? This template from Style Me Pretty Living takes the word right out of your mouth!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

These ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world will also leave you gasping!

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Goofy grin

Watch for the eyes and teeth when you’re carving out this pumpkin template: The squares and circles are tricky if your knife is larger. Switch to a smaller blade for the detail work if needed.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Try your hand at these fiendishly tricky Halloween riddles!

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Devilish fun

With its fine, curving lines, this pumpkin carving stencil is best tackled by a grown-up with a steady hand. Use a sharp, thin knife blade to trim away all the curls.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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Very villainous

Between the glaring eyes and devilish grin, this Jack-o’-Lantern looks as though he’s plotting a diabolical scheme!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Can you guess the Disney villain by their last words?

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Owl play

Whoo-whoo wants to make a creative Jack-o’-Lantern this year? You do—with the help of this easy perching owl stencil.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

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A well-groomed gourd

Arched eyebrows put a quirky twist on a traditional Jack-o’-Lantern design. Start with the eyebrows first, then work your way down.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Find out the real reason Halloween colours are orange and black.

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Pumpkin

Happy Jack

If you’re a little rusty in your pumpkin carving skills, try cutting out the entire triangle for eyes and half-circle for the mouth; you can always add cubed teeth later, and spear them in place with toothpicks. How’s that for a Halloween hack?

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Check out another genius dollar store Halloween hack!

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Calling all witches

Conjuring up this wicked Jack-o’-Lantern is a job best done in stages. Start slowly by lightly tracing the outline of the witch with your knife; then go around again and cut deeper into the pumpkin.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Here’s what people used to carve for Halloween before pumpkins.

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Haunted house

This silly, almost human house will cast creepy shadows on the wall. If you’re unsure of your pumpkin carving skills, you can skip the extra cuts for the roof and simplify the entire template.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

These real life haunted house mysteries continue to baffle researchers.

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Ghastly ghost

Pumpkin carving pros are welcome to take this stencil to the next level by adding an open-mouth scream to this startled-looking spectre!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Check out these easy Halloween crafts you can make with your grandkids.

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Creepy crawly

If you suffer from arachnophobia, this pumpkin carving stencil is best avoided! Trace the outline of the spider’s body with your knife, then use a thinner, sharp knife to etch out all eight legs.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Here’s what to do with your pumpkins after Halloween.

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Gone batty

Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you can repeat this trio of bats several times over. Encircle the entire pumpkin to create a luminaria effect when lit!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Pressed for time? Don’t miss these fantastic last-minute Halloween costume ideas.

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No bones about it

Watch for the tiny pieces between the skull top and bottom and the bridge of the nose—you’ll want to use a smaller paring knife and carve the pumpkin carefully in those connecting spaces.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Here are some great things to do on Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sweet treat

What a treat! A pumpkin carving template that’s sure to please any kid; just watch for the spacing between scoops, which can be hard for beginners to get right.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Here’s why we celebrate Halloween in the first place.

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Eerie tree

Not all pumpkin carving stencils are set in stone. Once you get the base down, you can go free-form with the branches, letting the surface of your pumpkin be your guide.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Don’t miss this hilarious roundup of the best Halloween costumes for dogs.

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Ominous raven

This creepy bird pattern can also be replicated multiple times around the pumpkin, making for a very spooky decoration à la Hitchcock’s The Birds. (It’s incredibly eerie when lit!)

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

In the mood for a spooky movie marathon? Check out the best scary movies on Netflix right now.

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All the candy

Trick or treat! Whether you love or loathe candy corn, there’s no denying it’s one of the most iconic symbols of Halloween.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Find out what a blue moon on Halloween means for your zodiac sign.

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Boo moons

Do we have to spell it out for you? This pumpkin carving template makes for one silly Jack-o’-Lantern.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Need to tickle a skeleton’s funny bone? Try one of these corny Halloween jokes.

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Joy ride

Got little ones who love cars? This Jack-o’-Lantern template ought to drive them wild!

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

These fun photos perfectly capture Halloween in Canada.

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A little nutty

Fall is in the air with this festive pumpkin template, which is easy to knock out in minutes.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Looking for more inspiration? Don’t miss this gallery of creative pumpkin carving ideas!

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My lips are sealed

As far as pumpkin carving stencils go, this one is probably the simplest. Although the overall effect is impressive, all it takes is a few simple, straight cuts to your pumpkin.

Download this pumpkin carving stencil.

Once you’ve downloaded your pumpkin carving stencil, check out these tricks for the best Jack-o’-Lanterns ever.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest