Decorating a pumpkin or carving a jack-o-lantern is one of the more exciting aspects of the Halloween season. It’s something you can do before the actual big day arrives that keeps the Halloween spirit alive. Finding the resources to help you create the perfect jack-o-lantern or decorated pumpkin can be daunting.
If you’re an ace at carving, you may need these resources. But what if you’re not? Or what if you want to decorate the pumpkin with younger children? What if you prefer a painted pumpkin to display all season? Or what if you just need some new carving inspiration? Then this Internet resource guide is for you.
I’ve rounded up some websites that will help get your creative juices flowing. Before long you’ll find the pattern or idea that suits you. Maybe more than one will appeal to your cucurbit senses and you’ll have to purchase some extra pumpkins just to satisfy your need for knife!
Simple Carving Designs to Copy
• Pumpkin Carving Gallery – If you have a good eye for size, detail and proportion, you can copy some of these designs yourself from the jack-o-lantern photo gallery. Most are relatively simple but with a unique twist. Check out the “Oh no!” jack-o-lantern that features a surprised expression and two small hands created by tracing a small child’s hands on the front of the pumpkin and then cutting them out for added fright.
• Celebrating Halloween – There are some more intricate patterns here too but many are simple yet interesting. Besides several Jack-o-lantern faces, they offer a cat and a silhouette that are simple yet elegant. All of these patterns are free.
Jack-o-lanterns Requiring Medium Skill
• Family Fun – These jack-o-lanterns combine slightly more sophisticated carving combined with some added props and decorations to achieve fun and spooky looks. “All-stitched-up Jack” has typical eyes but a mouth that looks like a wound that’s been stitched together. Then he’s decorated with white reflective tape to simulate more scars and stitches. Simple and unique.
• Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils – This is a pay site but rather than a flat fee, you pay for just the patterns you want to purchase like Kermit or Miss Piggy, an awesome dragon, celebrities and Frankenstein. Individual prices start as low as .99 each. Each pattern carries a difficulty rating from 1 to 5 so you won’t overstep your skills.
• Zombie Pumpkins – Yes, just for you zombie lovers, a website dedicated to zombie jack-o-lanterns. They offer more than just zombies and their patterns go from medium skill to intricate designs. Check out some of the “Grinning Hacks” or my favorite, Undead Ted.
• Spook Master – Everything from college sports emblems to Mount Rushmore. If it’s traditional spooks you want, choose from more than 150 goblins, witches, bats and more. There are word patterns, animal patterns, even a few for Thanksgiving and Christmas. While there is a section of free patterns, you can have access to all the patterns, hundreds of them for just $5.95.
• Extreme Pumpkins – Some of these patterns are not for the faint of heart. This website promises to take back the art of carving pumpkins from moms and return it to the boys with ugly and scary creations and they aren’t kidding. So if “different” is what your pumpkin is all about then visit this website but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
• The Pumpkin Wizard – There is a fee of $7.95 to access more than 400 patterns but where else can you find Michael Jackson from Thriller or The Creature from the Black Lagoon? If you’re a fan of the Addams family, Gomez and Lurch are here. How about the Simpsons or the gang from Spongebob? There are too many to name but they are definitely cool see and looking costs nothing.
Painted Pumpkin Ideas
• Better Homes and Gardens – These pumpkins are simple yet elegant. They combine paint and other medium to create works of art such as the portrait pumpkin that lets you trace a silhouette onto the pumpkin, paint it back and decorate the border with lace and pearl head pins. The finished product looks like a cameo. Browse through the 20 or so designs, complete with instructions for free.
• Parenting – Perfect for toddlers and young children, these no-carve pumpkins will get the little ones involved in a safe pumpkin activity.
Decorating (with) Pumpkins
• Midwest Living – More than 20 ideas for decorating pumpkins with everything from leaves and flowers to parts of other pumpkins and squash. Use pumpkins to decorate your home. Create a candlelit entry way or use one a vase for fall flowers. Unique decorating ideas abound on this site for free.
• MSNBC and Southern Living – A four-minute video on 7 ideas for decorating with pumpkins, everything for centerpieces, wreaths and even serving dishes made from pumpkins.
Halloween Part Punch Options
Halloween Party Foods with a Ghostly Flair
Halloween Party Foods with a Mummy’s Touch
Top Ten Halloween Movies
Cheap Homemade Halloween Window Decorations
Source: Personal Research