60 Super Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas To Try This Halloween

Apple picking, falling leaves, chunky sweaters, and sipping spiced cider might be hallmarks of the fall season. But nothing says "happy Halloween" quite like carving a pumpkin.

What keeps us carving messy pumpkins year after year? Maybe it's the tasty pumpkin seeds or the fun of choosing a new face or pattern each year, plus the challenge of bringing it to life. Whether you visit a pumpkin patch or a grocery store for your gourd, and keep it simple with a spooky face or go all-in with stencils, paint, and other accessories, carving a jack-o'-lantern is the perfect holiday craft for all ages. Add a candle, and you've got a perfectly spooky decoration for lighting up your front porch for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

Looking for a little inspiration for your next carving? Check out these simple pumpkin carving ideas to try this Halloween. Try one — or several — this season.

A spooky haunted house

If a visit to a haunted house is a must this season, why not carve your very own creepy haunt? Simple squares and rectangles form the doors and windows of your house. A little paint will bring it to life, with shutters, window sills, and maybe a spooky tree or two. You can even give your haunted home a resident ghost or maybe a few creepy crawlers.

Come nightfall, add a candle and let your haunted house glow!

Never Sleep Again

Highlight your love of horror movies — and your savvy trivia knowledge — with this film reference. "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy" was a 2010 documentary that chronicled the making of the Freddy Krueger franchise. While it might not have been particularly scary on its own, it took viewers behind the scenes of one of the most frightening horror franchises ever.

The slash marks across the front and the spooky glow might just be enough to inspire some people to never sleep again.


A simple jack-o'-lantern can become the perfect creative addition to your chips and dip. After carving a face into your pumpkin, be certain to scrub it clean inside and out before adding the guacamole. Make sure to carve the mouth large enough for you to easily add a scoop of guac to it.

This pumpkin snack holder would also be great for holding a pumpkin dip too. Add graham crackers and sliced apples for dipping.

Eye on the prize

Want a pumpkin carving that looks more complicated than it really is? Take on this seeing-eye pumpkin.

First, paint an eye on a smaller pumpkin, adding red veins for a creepy touch. Then, cut a large opening on the top of your second pumpkin, as well as a window on the side in the shape of an eye. Place the smaller pumpkin inside. Add a carved eyebrow above your eye for extra expression. 

Chomping pumpkins

To make this simple yet effective decoration, first start with a larger pumpkin and carve a jack-o'-lantern face with an extra-tall mouth. Then, paint a mini pumpkin and place it inside. This carving design works best with a large, tall pumpkin, all so it's easy to spot the miniature pumpkin inside.

Bonus points for adding a look of shock or maybe an "oh no!" to your mini pumpkin that's about to get chomped!

Furry silhouettes

This pumpkin design is a great choice for honoring your four-legged family member this Halloween!

A simple silhouette makes this carve an easy one for beginners. To make this design easier, start with a picture of your pet's face from the side. Then, use a pencil to draw or trace the shape onto your pumpkin. A wide pumpkin with a relatively flat surface works best. After carving the outline of the silhouette, add a slit to define the ear.

A sharp-toothed monster

If you've ever tried to painstakingly carve individual sharp teeth into a jack-o'-lantern's mouth before, you know it's a challenge. If you want to forgo all that sawing and still give your gourd some spiky chompers, turn to toothpicks instead.

This easy carve features a simple jack-o'-lantern face with a wide, smooth mouth. Then, place toothpicks at different angles to create a jagged finish. These toothpick teeth will become even creepier come nightfall!

Jurassic pumpkins

Decorate your pumpkin with a ghost from the past — the Jurassic past, that is. This spooky pumpkin design takes a bit more carving skills, but add a light and you've got the perfect prehistoric Halloween feature! 

You can make this carve easier by printing and cutting out a tyrannosaurus rex silhouette. Tape it to your pumpkin and carve around it. Got a whole pile of pumpkins? Carve a triceratops, velociraptor, and brachiosaurus, too!

Gnome homes

If your aesthetic this season leans more towards cozy fall vibes rather than spooky scares, trade the haunted house for this adorable carve. 

With the addition of a couple of windows and a rounded door frame, you'll have a perfectly cute gnome home. Add a few fairy garden accents, like a little door and a resident gnome, and you'll have the perfect fall accent for your patio or garden. Instead of replacing the top of your pumpkin, swap it out for a fake or living plant.

Starry nights

If the mere thought of painstakingly carving a face or other design into your pumpkin hurts, then this incredibly easy carve is for you.

Once you've emptied out the inside of your pumpkin, grab a drill and a variety of drill bits. Drill holes of different sizes all over your pumpkin, making sure that each punches all the way through to the inside. Add a light, and you've got a starry night-inspired pumpkin that's perfect for decorating your porch on Halloween. For a unique touch, add a colored light.

Carving snow

If you see the spooky season as one more milestone you have to get through before your favorite time of year finally arrives, this pumpkin design is for you.

While you might not be able to carve snow just yet, you can carve this rad design into your pumpkin. This one is made easier by printing out a stencil and carving around it. You'll need a pumpkin with a wide face and a sharp knife to navigate the smaller details.

Attack of the pumpkins

This is another pumpkin design that looks much more complicated than it actually is! First, carve a worried face onto a large pumpkin. Then, take small pie pumpkins and cut off the bottoms to make them flat. Carve or paint faces into these pumpkins — don't forget the sharp teeth!

Then attach the tiny pumpkins all over the larger pumpkin, using hot glue or small dowel rods. It's the little details that make this carve so great, like the different eyes on the small pumpkins and the shocked eyebrows on the larger pumpkin!

Peloton pride

This jack-o'-lantern might not strike fear in the hearts of trick-or-treaters — except an adult who skipped their workout!

This super simple carve is an easy way to rep your favorite home workout bike. A simple stencil makes for an easy design that's won't take you very long to carve. Use it to celebrate your latest milestone ride or maybe keep you motivated to cycle off all that extra Halloween candy you've been eating!

Celebrate 50 years of ears

Do you have someone in your home who loves Disney's friendly rodent mascots? These Mickey and Minnie Mouse pumpkins are the perfect addition to your décor.

While these carves will be more challenging than some of the others on this list, a stencil can help. If you want something easier, a simple Mickey head silhouette is a great alternative. You can also use paint to recreate these pumpkin designs, though that'll mean losing out on the effect of illuminating them at night for trick-or-treaters.

A gentle reminder

Worried that your spooky décor won't be enough to keep any nosy neighbors away? Want to remind everyone to practice social distancing? Leave them a subtle suggestion with this adorable pumpkin carving.

Simply cut a couple of square windows and a door with a large opening. Then, find a tiny pumpkin and draw or paint on a smiling face. Use one of the windows that you cut out to create the sign.

We are Venom

A Venom-themed monster is taking over your jack-o'-lantern! Start by carving your pumpkin's face. On one side of the mouth, carve squared teeth, and on the other, sharp spikes. Only cut an eye on the pumpkin side, as you'll be painting on the other. 

Then, grab your paints. To create the textured black monster look, use puffy black paint and apply it in layers. This is one pumpkin that's just as creepy in the daylight as it is at night.

Extraterrestrial carving

Worried that your painting skills might not be up to creating the Venom look-alike pumpkin? Try your hand at this alien gourd instead.

Start by painting your entire pumpkin an out-of-this-world shade of green. Once it has dried completely, carve two alien eyes, a thin mouth, and two nose holes. Don't forget to add a battery-powered tea light or candle, as the orange insides of your pumpkin will create the perfect spooky glow come nightfall.

Mummy gourd-est

Another example of a simple carve that looks much cooler thanks to the help of a little paint is this creepy mummy. Start by painting a regular pumpkin white all over. Or, look for a white gourd.

Next, carve your mummy-inspired face. Add some wavy lines to create the folds of your mummy's wrappings. Thanks to the white paint, this is another great pumpkin for using colored tea lights, as it will add great contrast.

A nos-y witch

For this next carving, you'll want to choose a pumpkin with a long stem. It doesn't have to be straight, as any shape will give your pumpkin wonderful character.

Rather than cutting into the side of your pumpkin, you'll carve your eyes and mouth at the top. This design works best if you open your pumpkin from the bottom to remove the innards. If you're going to add a witch's hat, you can also carve a hole underneath that and remove the insides from there.

Pumpkin pots

After carving the pumpkin face of your choice, don't put the lid back on your pumpkin. Instead, insert a small planter.

Don't replant your greenery n the pumpkin, though, or else you'll wind up with a mess as your pumpkin breaks down. While you'll need to choose the right size pot to fit in your pumpkin, you can easily mix it up with different types of plants. Tall grasses give your pumpkin a spiky haircut, while cascading ferns look like curls.

A pumpkin with seasonal allergies

To recreate the full effect of this quirky pumpkin, you'll need to make or purchase some arms that are capable of holding onto a tissue. But if you find just the right ones for the job, this is an easy carve that's certain to bring a laugh this Halloween.

This sneezing pumpkin features small butternut squashes for eyeballs. You'll need to carve holes that the squash will fit in, as well as a round, sneezing mouth. Opt for a cloth handkerchief if you want your tissue to hold up to the elements through Halloween.

Poke pumpkins

Gotta' carve 'em all! If you'll be playing Pokemon Go while your kids go door to door for trick-or-treating, these pumpkins are a must-have on your front porch. With the help of some printed stencils, you can carve any of the 898 Pokemon onto the front of your pumpkin. 

Some Pokemon are certainly easier to carve than others, though. For instance, Gengar is much easier than a more complicated Pokemon, like a Charizard.

Self-care is for gourds, too

Whether you love a little self-care or want to remind your neighbors to wear their face masks, these pumpkins are a funny addition to any Halloween set-up.

Adding a face mask to your pumpkin is easy. Simply carve eyes, then use pins to attach a mask. For the spa face, use paint on the "face" of your pumpkin, leaving behind a mouth and nose. You can paint on a couple of cucumber slices or add fresh ones. A small towel completes the look!

Pumpkin snowman

Stacking three carved jack-o'-lanterns is a great way to create a spooky snowman — no snow required!

How you carve each of the three pumpkins is up to you. Attaching your pumpkins can be a bit tricky, involving dowel rods inserted into the bottom of one pumpkin to attach it to the next. If your pumpkins sit upright and are flat on top, you can leave off the lid of the bottom and middle pumpkin, and nestle the pumpkin above it into the opening to hold it in place.

Spilling pumpkin guts

This messy pumpkin will be a hit with trick-or-treaters! Simply carve your pumpkin face. Then take the insides that you scooped out and arrange them as though they are spilling from the pumpkin's mouth. Keep in mind that the insides of your pumpkin can be tough to clean off surfaces after they've dried out or gotten rained on.

Of course, the one downside of this design is that you're going to be wasting all of those tasty pumpkin seeds just waiting to be roasted.

Whooo's carving?

Looking for a nighttime creature that's a little less spooky? This adorable owl is a good choice.

The simple outline and big eyes make for a pretty easy carve. Remember not to cut it out completely, as this will cause your design to detach from the rest of the pumpkin. Leave the bottom and a few connecting bridges to keep it in place. Add some easy triangles on the owl's body for feathers.

Stitch it up

The basics of this next carve are super easy. Simply carve a classic jack-o'-lantern face. The stitching is a bit trickier.

Running a needle and thread through the thick outer skin of a pumpkin is tough, unless you have a big industrial needle. Luckily, a drill is a simple alternative. Drill holes going around the mouth and eyes of your pumpkin. Then, poke your choice of yarn or twine through the holes to create the look of stitches.

Mike Wazowski

This Instagram-worthy carve — Mike said it himself: "What can I say? The camera loves me!" — is the perfect kid-friendly decoration for your Halloween front porch.

For the pumpkin above, the carver didn't cut all the way through the gourd to create the shape. Instead, they shaved the outer skin of the pumpkin to make it thinner and let the light shine through. You can also use paint to recreate everyone's favorite green monster!

A dapper pumpkin gentleman

From the carved glasses to the addition of the straw fedora, this dapper pumpkin gentleman is a quirky addition to your seasonal décor. If you prefer something a little less spooky and a bit sillier, this is a great choice. Plus, it's a simple carve for anyone who might be questioning their knife skills this Halloween.

Make this design your own by recreating your favorite movie character, changing the hat, or choosing different accessories.

The Child

The only carving you'll need to do here is the opening of the pumpkin pod. Turn your pumpkin on its side, choosing a larger gourd with a rounded middle to leave room for the mini pumpkins you'll be placing inside.

If you can't find a green gourd to create your own Grogu, you can recreate the look with paint. You'll also be painting or drawing on his eyes and mouth. Use green felt or thick construction paper to the ears.

All paws on deck

If a silhouette of your pup's face seems like a tricky carve, this paw print design is a great alternative. With large, simple shapes, this is an easy option for all carvers. It also works on pumpkins of different shapes and sizes.

Do you live in more of a cat-friendly household? A couple of simple tweaks can turn this design into a more feline-inspired print, like adding small triangles for claws.

Tiki gourds

This next carve is a bit more complicated than others on this list. But with simple shapes and more shaving than carving, this design may be easier than you might think.

Start by creating the face, with a mouth, nose holes, and eyes. Then, shave the outer skin to create the designs over the forehead and around the mouth. You can get really creative with this step and customize your tiki gourd with a unique design!

A treat for trick-or-treaters

Looking for a fun and simple way to pass out treats this Halloween? Create your own candy display with this jack-o'-lantern design.

Start by carving a spooky face in your pumpkin. Then, insert suckers into the top. You'll want to push the suckers in far enough that they stand upright, but not so deep that trick-or-treaters have trouble removing them. A pumpkin sucker holder is a great decoration for a Halloween party, too!

Oogie Boogie

The villainous Oogie Boogie from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is the perfect choice for Halloween! It's also an easy project, especially with the help of a stencil.

You'll only need to carve the simple shape of his creepy head in order to get the full effect, though a full-sized Oogie Boogie wouldn't be tough either. Consider swapping in a standard tea light with a green one to reflect this popular character's signature shade.

Pumpkin prison

All you'll need to recreate this spooky scene is a pumpkin, a small dollar store skeleton or two, some wire, and a tealight.

Create the bars of your pumpkin prison by using thin wire that's easy to bend. Cut it to length and insert one end into the bottom of the jail cell opening. Then, insert the other end into the top of the cell. Can't find mini skeletons? You can trap any small Halloween decorations in your pumpkin cells.

A pumpkin snack

To make a jack-o'-lantern chomping down on a smaller one, start with a fairly big pumpkin and carve a mouth that's big enough to fit a smaller pie pumpkin inside one end. You can get creative with your teeth. In the above example, the carver opted to make square teeth, but classic jagged jack-o'-lantern chompers would work, too.

The trickiest part of this carve might be creating the face on your smaller pumpkin. Use a thin, sharp knife or paint the face on instead!

Googly eyed gourd

With a little careful planning, this can be one of the easiest designs you could carve. The mouth of this pumpkin is a simple square. Then, take some pumpkin seeds and cut off one end to create a flat top. Insert the pumpkin seeds into the roof and base of the mouth, pointy side in.

For the eyes, use two small, rounded pumpkins or apples. You can paint them white except for around the stem, which forms the iris and pupil for this googly-eyed gourd.

Show some team spirit

If fall and football season go hand-in-hand in your household, why not show some team spirit with your next carve?

The logo of your favorite team can be easy or complicated, depending on whose team you're on. The Eagles logo, for instance, is pretty straightforward, as would be the logo for the Colts or Broncos. If your favorite team is the Titans, Bengals, or Ravens, you might be better off painting your pumpkins instead!

A toothy lantern

For a silly take on a classic jack-o'-lantern, it might be time to rethink those classic jagged teeth and triangle eyes. With this super simple carve, the artist opted to make a couple of rows of big, square teeth and round, empty eyes. If you want to recreate this look, be sure to grab a pumpkin with thick flesh. That way, you can create the effect of teeth set back in the mouth.

Brace face

This pumpkin carving mixes up the classic jack-o'-lantern with something a little more laugh-inspiring.

The easy addition of some homemade braces makes for a unique and funny look. Simply fold aluminum foil to create your braces, then glue or pin them in place on your pumpkin teeth. The rest of this carve is simple and straightforward. If you're looking for an easy way to make your Halloween décor unique, this is a fantastic choice.

Pumpkin games

Celebrate your love for one of the season's top Netflix shows — or let the neighborhood know that you binged the series — with these super simple carvings. These three basic shapes are fast and easy to carve but have a big effect when displayed together.

Another Squid Games-inspired idea is to carve in the shapes that players had to etch out in the dalgona game challenge. Because carving shapes into the thick outer layer of a pumpkin might be even tougher than breaking a delicate piece of candy, stick to a simple umbrella or star.

A knobby nose

A long witch's nose isn't the only thing that your pumpkin's stem can become. A short, stubby stem can also form a funny nose. The wrinkles around the top of the pumpkin, along with the big, open mouth, make it seem as if this pumpkin is laughing at a great joke.

For this carve, open your pumpkin from the bottom or side to empty out the seeds, leaving the top — your pumpkin's face — intact. Eyes that look like they're half-shut in mid-laugh add to the effect.

A devilish design

This devilish design is perfect for lighting up the night on All Hallow's Eve! A devil figure, complete with a pitchfork, and a smaller ghoul dance the night away beneath a full moon. 

Recreate this particular design on a wide pumpkin with a flat face, to make the larger shape easier to carve. Add a red tea light for an extra spooky effect and keep your eyes peeled for dancing demons this Halloween night.

A glowing cityscape

Proud to live in your city of choice? Or missing your favorite urban environment from wherever you are this fall season? Recreate the skyline of your beloved home city with this unique carving.

Start by tracing the outline of some of your skyline's most iconic buildings. Then, carve away. This is one jack-o'-lantern that will definitely need a good light on the inside to create the full, glowing effect come Halloween night.

You're a Pumpkin Harry

Got a Potterhead in your home? Then this easy Harry Potter pumpkin is a must-carve. The big oversized glasses are what make this one succeed! You'll need to carve the outline of the glasses first, then the head. 

Don't forget to leave the glasses attached to the rest of the pumpkin on either side of the face. And especially don't forget to carve Harry's signature lightening bolt scar on his forehead!

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

If the chilly fall temperatures have you dreaming of warmer summer days, or you're lucky enough to be celebrating the spooky holiday somewhere tropical, this palm tree design is a fun choice for your next carving project.

The stacked ovals are perfect for recreating the texture of your palm tree's trunk. You can even use a drill to make the perfectly circular coconuts that sit at the base of the flowing palm fronds. 

Luke, I am a pumpkin

If you're up for a bit of a challenge (with the help of a stencil), the effect of this glowing villain is a great addition to any holiday porch décor.

Darth Vader's glowing face is sure to strike a little fear into the trick-or-treaters that knock on your door this Halloween. If you're really into "Star Wars", add the Baby Yoga carving from earlier on this list to continue the theme.

Ghoulish special effects

This super simple design starts with a basic jack-o'-lantern. When you're finished carving, toss in a smoke bomb and get your camera ready. You can get creative with different colors of smoke, too, while you're at it. 

Keep in mind that this effect won't last for long and it won't easily show up at night. This makes it a better choice for decorating your Instagram feed than it is for your front porch on Halloween night.

A spooky scene

This spooky jack-o'-lantern utilizes thin, carved outlines to create a glowing, spooky scene. Start with a cartoon haunted house, with a crooked chimney and glowing window. Then, recreate the spooky, glowing, jack-o'-lantern-inspired moon, smiling demonically down on your little haunted home.

This is another carving that's easy to recreate on any pumpkin, including those with an irregular shape. Customize your scene with a spooky cat, a smiling bat, or other Halloween designs.

Hitchhiking ghosts

If you're a big fan of the popular Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disneyworld in Florida or Disneyland in California, this carving idea is a must-have for your home this season. All you'll need is the outline of each of the famous ghosts.

Fans of this cult-favorite ride will instantly recognize these three figures, with their tell-tale raised arms, just waiting to catch a ride with the next unsuspecting rider in their Doom Buggy.

Howling at the moon

You'll definitely want to use a stencil or simply sketch out your howling wolf first before you begin the bulk of your carving. Take care to cut the outer circle last. That way, you'll ensure that you have plenty of space to create your wolf's head. What's more, the circular opening around the wolf's silhouette is just about perfect for evoking the look of the moon that your canine friend is howling at.

There's something in the water

This ominous shark fin is another good choice for those dreaming of a beach vacation while shivering away on a cold Halloween night. It's also a super simple design, requiring just a few basic, jagged cuts.

The shape of the fin and the choppy water underneath are easy to carve. A flickering light will add to the spooky effect of this jack-o'-lantern — you can almost hear the "Jaws" theme starting!

Let in the light

Like the starry night-inspired pumpkin, this next design is easiest to carve with the help of a drill and different-sized bits.

The design of this unique pumpkin brings to mind intricate jewelry or even a sparkling crystal chandelier. And feel free to get creative with your patterns. Once you add the light, this pumpkin will look stunning and intricate, no matter the pattern you create. Use a candle or a tea light with a natural flickering look to make this pumpkin sparkle.

Think outside the pumpkin

You might be surprised to learn that the pumpkins that you typically carve are a type of squash. And if a squash can decorate your home, why not stuffed peppers?

This is perfect for a Halloween-themed dinner. Carve your peppers, then stuff them with fillings like ground beef, rice, or black beans. Replace the top and bake. Be careful not to make the eyes or mouths too wide, as you might wind up losing your filling during baking.

Friendly faces

This adorable family-friendly pumpkin carving design is definitely more cute than spooky. A friendly, cartoon-inspired bat, complete with a smiling face and adorable, oversized ears, and a happy jack-o'-lantern decorate this pumpkin. 

To get the full effect, you'll need a big pumpkin. You'll be reverse carving this design, which means you'll be carving out the simple negative space in this design instead of the characters themselves, allowing you to recreate their smiling faces.

Zero the ghost dog

If Oogie Boogie is too creepy for your taste, or you want to stick to a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme, this Zero carving is perfect.

To make this cute and friendly ghost pup, first, shave down the outer layer of the pumpkin for the head and body to let the light shine through. Then, carve out the collar and nose completely. You could also carve the entire shape to create a silhouette look. 

Welcoming trick-or-treaters

Welcome a slate of eager trick-or-treaters to your home with this text-based pumpkin design.

It will admittedly take a little time and some tracing to carve out the words and shapes on this pumpkin. But if you're up to the slight challenge, this pumpkin really adds to a great holiday aesthetic this spooky season. While the light will help bring it to life at night, it's just as cute during daytime hours, too.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

In this design, a friendly jack-o'-lantern takes the place of friendly Snoopy's signature red dog house. Everyone's favorite cartoon pup is laid out on top, with one of his floppy ears falling over the jack-o'-lantern's smiling face. 

Missing from this carve is Woodstock, who should be resting on Snoopy's stomach. If you're confident in your carving skills, add an outline of the little bird to your own design.

Zombie gourds

Blend the cartoon with the creepy with this quirky zombie pumpkin design. All you need to do is carve out big, round eyes, and an almond-shaped mouth with a few square teeth. Then, grab some paint or markers. Add black stitches around your pumpkin and line the eyes and mouth in red. 

This design is so quick and easy, you could host a mini apocalypse on your front porch with a pile of zombie gourds.

Keep it classic

Ultimately, you can't go wrong with a classic jack-o'-lantern. Whether you pick the largest pumpkin in the patch or a tiny pie pumpkin for your apartment balcony, any type of face can be the perfect spooky addition to your Halloween setup. 

From classic triangle eyes and a jagged mouth to quirky, cartoon-character designs or something else entirely, let your imagination run wild! Of course, a little paint can do the trick, too!