40+ Pumpkin Carving Ideas You Haven't Tried Yet

These creative picks are a cut above the rest.

Sure, that toothy grin is fun, but how about mixing it up this Halloween with a creative take on the classic jack-o'-lantern — or skip carving altogether and try one of our painted pumpkin ideas instead!

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Swirling Vines

To recreate this soft glow, use a ,  or linoleum cutter to peel away the top layer without puncturing the rind.

What you'll need: lemon zester ($11, ), clay loop set ($7, )

John Kernick
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Elephant

With four minis as feet and a stem as a trunk, transforming pumpkins into a friendly porch elephant is a breeze thanks to and . 

What you'll need: bamboo skewers ($4, )toothpicks ($3, )

Antonis Achilleos
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Pumpkin Lantern

Suspend a hollowed-out pumpkin, stuffed with straw and candles, from a sturdy rope for a lantern effect.

What you'll need: black macrame string ($8, )

The Polohouse
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Hen and Chicks

A little bit of chicken wire brings a mama hen into better relief — a baby pumpkin works perfectly for your "mama" pumpkin's chick.

What you'll need: chicken wire ($24, )

Brian Woodcock
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Flickering Fireplace

Sure, you can pile plain pumpkins in the hearth, but candlelit "flames" look so much hotter (minus the actual heat, of course).

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, ), flameless tea light set ($9, ), adhesive putty ($5, )

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Gobbled Up

Cannibalism gets kind of cute with this predator and its unfortunate prey. Sorry, little guy. It's a pumpkin-eat-pumpkin world out there.

What you'll need: flameless tea lights ($9, )

Antonis Achilleos
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Lit Lanterns

Decorate your jack-o'-lantern with an old school lamp. Your pumpkins will be both pretty and practical when it comes to lighting up the front porch.

What you'll need: awl ($4, ), black paint ($5, )

Dana Gallagher
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Jar of Fireflies

Summer may be over, but you can still catch lightning bugs. Etch out a Mason jar and attach LED lights inside and out. Even better, use the blinking variety and they'll look like the real thing.

What you'll need: LED lights ($8, )

Jennifer Causey
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Evil Witch

A gourd's twisted stem works perfectly as a crooked nose. Plus this project skips the messy step of scooping out the inside.

), moss ($7, ), witch's hat ($7, )

Antonis Achilleos
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Wigged Out

If you're a stickler for a traditional face, give your pumpkin a new 'do with a cheeky plant toupee. Rapunzel or Donald, take your pick.

What you'll need: orange plastic tablecloth ($5, )

Antonis Achilleos
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Polka Dots

Give a pop art-y, modern edge to your typical orange gourd.

What you'll need: white paint ($5, )

WhipperBerry
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Winding Vines

These carved-out designs can work on your porch well after October 31st.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, )

My Home Ideas
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A Pumpkin Town

This would look cute assembled in the yard, but lining a flat surface — say, your buffet, mantel or side table — with faux moss makes this scene work indoors, too.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, ), flameless tea light set ($9, ), adhesive putty ($5, )

John Kernick
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A Royal Scene

Cinderella isn't the only one fit for a pumpkin carriage ride.

What you'll need: drawer pulls ($13, )

Ursi's Blog
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A Personalized Vase

This idea was hot on Pinterest last year: Hollow out your pumpkin, hide a small vase inside and make it burst with fresh blooms. The simple initial gives it an extra-special touch.

What you'll need: small vase ($11, )

High Street Market
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A Thorn In Its Side

When you've got themed dishes to match, a spiky jack-o'-lantern can make a great centerpiece or party platter accent.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, )

Country Living
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Squigglies

On that same matchy-matchy note, take a cue from your favorite home décor and mimic your wallpaper (or tablecloth, table runner or napkin) pattern.

What you'll need: linoleum cutter ($16, )

Country Living
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Abstract Leaves

Leaves may symbolize fall even more than the pumpkin.

What you'll need: linoleum cutter ($16, )

Country Living
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Coyote Scene

This is a much more sophisticated (and seasonal) take on the traditional elementary school project.

), wolf figurine ($24, )moss ($7, )

Trevor Dixon
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Skeleton Hands

Trim the stem on an oblong-shaped pumpkin after carving out a vertical arm, then place a smaller one on top to complete the skeleton's spooky arm.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, ), flameless tea light set ($9, ), adhesive putty ($5, )

John Kernick
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Wood Grain

Scraping off just the surface saves a ton of time when carving a pumpkin — it also allows you to get more creative with your designs without risking ruining the whole thing.

What you'll need: linoleum cutter ($16, )

Steven Randazzo
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Crescent Moon

With a Lite-Brite (remember those?) as his inspiration, the designer punched holes in his pumpkin to create a crescent shape.

What you'll need: awl ($4, ), string lights ($8, )

Dana Gallager
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Humble Abode

This pumpkin house is straight out of a fairytale — complete with a moss-covered roof to match its window sills.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, )moss ($7, )

Finding Home Farms
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Good Enough to Eat

This fun apple design would look perfect on a teacher's (or nutritionist's?) front porch, we think.


What you'll need: red paint ($3, )

ANDREW WOJCIECHOWSKI
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Chevron Style

It's probably everywhere in your house, so why not on your front porch pumpkin too?

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, )

Wit & Whistle
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Autumn Monogram

This takes that same initial idea from before and adds some rustic paint effects.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, ), white paint ($5, ), gray paint ($5, )

The Wonder Forest
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Carved for Ice

This is less decorative, more utilitarian, but we bet it will get guests talking.

What you'll need: serrated knife ($6, )

Cheryl Style
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Subtle Patterns

The other important tool in the carver's arsenal? A with a fat drill bit.

What you'll need: power drill ($50, )

Cheryl Style
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Peekaboo Planter

Bring your garden's last leafy greens to your front porch for a whimsical display.

What you'll need: X-Acto knife ($6, )

Garden Therapy
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Squash Snail

Flip a pumpkin on its side to create the shell of this happy creature. A oblong squash finishes him off.

What you'll need: bamboo skewers ($4, )

Alpha Mom
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