Stencils Are the Secret to Amazing Halloween Pumpkins

updated Oct 8, 2018
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

The toothy, triangle-featured jack-o-lantern is a classic for a reason, but perhaps this year you’d like to push your carving farther. Here are a bunch of stencils—emoticons, constellations, demigorgons, porgs, puppers, and more—that will make your pumpkins look amazing, regardless of your skill level.

Pumpkin Carving Stencils

Black Panther Stencil from Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils, $2.95

Pay homage to the superhero movie of the year/decade with this fierce template. There are other Black Panther stencils out there, some for free, but this seems to be the only one that includes his necklace, which is key.

(Image credit: Etsy)

Go classic with this Halloween Trick or Treat message. You can enlarge or reduce the image, depending on your pumpkin size, and then reuse the download year after year.

Sugar Skull Pumpkin Template from Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils, $2.95

Speaking of, if you celebrate Día de los Muertos, this delicate, elaborate stencil is for you. Obviously a white pumpkin is the way to go for this one.

(Image credit: HalloweenCostumes.com)

Geeky Pumpkin Templates from HalloweenCostumes.com

This site has a helpful collection of 17 geeky stencils celebrating Porgs (and “Star Wars” in general), It, Wonderwoman, Baby Groot, Mario, Poppy the Troll, Paw Patrol, the Iron Throne, Rick and Morty, Jack Skellington, Minecraft, Spiderman, and, most importantly, David S. Pumpkins.

(Image credit: HillDesignArt on Etsy)

Downloadable Coco Stencils by HillDesignArt on Etsy, $1.99

The sweetest film of the last year gets its due with these darling stencils. Print one large enough to fill an entire pumpkin, or decorate your pumpkin with a bunch of smaller carvings.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Free, Downloadable Patterns

In addition to the shoppable stencils above, there’s an entire world of free downloadable patterns and templates out there for you to print out and use. Here are some of our favorites:

First you’ll want to check out this thorough pumpkin-carving tutorial, which will help you master any of the looks on this list. HGTV also has 34 beginner-level templates and 28 advanced ones.

Ghost Emoji Pumpkin Stencil by Better Homes & Gardens

Is there a more appropriate emoji for Halloween?!? This little cutie has tons of spooky—but not too spooky—charm, and the stencil is free. This looks cool on a dark pumpkin, but a white one would also work well.

Stranger Things Templates by Huffington Post

HuffPo has free templates for making Eleven, Dustin, Chief Hopper, and everyone’s favorite demigorgon—not shown here, but it might be the best one.

Honor the most important member(s) of your household properly by rendering them in glowing squash. BH&G has free, downloadable stencils of 24 breeds to choose from.

Constellation Pumpkin by Martha Stewart

You could attempt to freestyle the ursas major and minor, or you could just print out this handy template. This magical project is a great excuse to buy a grey or dark green pumpkin.

Speaking of superheroes, here’s a pumpkin inspired by the best-dressed villain in the world of comics. Definitely try to find a dark green pumpkin for this one.

Fire Emoji Pumpkin Stencil by Better Homes & Gardens

If you feel up to it, a bunch of these would look amazing lining a stairway up to a house—or filling a defunct fireplace. The template is free! Those super red-orange pumpkins would be perfect for this one.

Medusa Stencil by Better Homes & Gardens

Basically your pumpkin will become the chopped-off head of Medusa—and this is another carving that would look great on a snake-green pumpkin.