One of the first memories my husband and I made as a couple was carving out pumpkins for Halloween. It’s now a fun family tradition and in the last 16 years we have carved out a whole lot of pumpkins! My kids are getting older (pre-teen/teenage) and they’ve been asking for some more trendy designs to carve.
I guess giving them a sharpie and letting them scribble a design isn’t cutting it anymore. LOL
I made these 15 Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils to print with trendy emojis, unicorns, Harry Potter and traditional Halloween designs!
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There is a little something for everyone to enjoy here and they range from beginner designs to intermediate designs. My oldest daughter has always been on the artsy creative side and she requested a beautiful unicorn. Of course I obliged. She did all the carving herself.
It was so easy with the stencil and it took her maybe 15 minutes to carve it from start to finish. See my helpful tips for using the stencils below.
My second to oldest requested a laughing with tears emoji. She one of those people that once they start laughing they can’t stop… so this emoji totally fits her personality. She did need help with some of the carving on this one and I think it turned out so cute! The emojis would also be cute if you used several of them all around the pumpkin since they don’t light up as brightly as the unicorn.
We will be making a lot more of these to light up the porch on Halloween night to greet the trick-or-treaters. We have a long porch and so I think having a lot of carved pumpkins will be fun! I always make sure to use battery operated lights inside the pumpkins and they work out just fine. I like using the battery powered better than the traditional candles so that there is a reduced risk of starting a fire. They also last a little longer than tea-lights and I don’t have to worry about the wind snuffing them out all night.
Here are my best pumpkin carving tips and tricks:
- Use the proper pumpkin carving tools. For many years I thought I could get by with just a kitchen knife, but it was hard to make all the designs. Ever since I tried the pumpkin carving tools I knew I would never go back. The ones made for pumpkins are the perfect size to get those intricate details that a regular ole knife just can’t get. They are a little thinner and have a wide serrated edge on them. Get the carving tools that I use on amazon (affiliate). The second important tool is the actual stencil. Make sure you are using designs meant for pumpkins like these Pumpkin Carving Stencils.
- Cut the top off first and then scrape out the inside. Get rid of the seeds and strings that are inside the pumpkin so that you can preserve the pumpkin a little longer and also have a clean resting spot for your light.
- Large Pumpkin
To carve a design there are a few options.
- The first option is to use a marker and freehand draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then carve it out using your design as the guide.
- The second option is to use a print out like the ones I am providing below and then cut around the printed design to make a stencil. Tape the stencil on your pumpkin and then use a marker to trace the design.
- The third option (and my preferred way) is to use a small poking tool (some are provided in the pumpkin carving kits) or anything that will pole small holes like a toothpick. Tape the printed design onto the pumpkin and trace the design using small holes poked into the pumpkin. Use this as your guide when carving.
- Some designs have areas that need to be left intact, but can be scraped enough that they will still glow. In the designs below I have made some areas gray so that you can see where to scrape instead of carve. If you still want to carve those parts then that's fine too, but make sure that you leave some of the areas connected so that the design will remain intact. For example; a circle outline for the emoji face would fall right through if you carved the full circle, but if you keep a few areas intact it will not fall through.
- For beginners; start with an empty space design like the unicorn. For intermediate or advanced carvers feel free to try out the more intricate designs like the emojis that take a little more planning.
Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting.
The pumpkin seeds are an awesome snack when salted, seasoned and roasted. Just place the cleaned seeds onto a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and whatever other seasonings you like. Then bake at 400 degrees F for around 10 minutes. Stir the seeds and bake for another 10 minutes or until the seeds are lightly browned.
To get access to all 15 Free Pumpkin Carving Printables just fill out the form below to become a VIP subscriber. All VIPs get free access to all the printables in the printable library. I add new printables every month so be sure to subscribe!
Here is the list of designs included in the download:
- Laughing Face Emoji
- Spooky House
- Smile Emoji
- Jack-O-Lantern Face
- Poop Emoji
- Harry Potter
- Heart Eye Emoji
- Mickey Mouse
- Stressed Emoji
- Tongue Sticking out Emoji
- Squinting Emoji
- Sunglasses and Mustache
If you LOVE this tutorial then please give us a five star review below! I’d also love to hear about your own pumpkin carving traditions, tips and tricks!