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I feel like I’m a little behind this year (maybe because it still feels like summer here in Knoxville, Tenn.?!), but I just picked up my first pumpkin of the season. It’s a smaller pumpkin since I’m lacking in both square footage and outdoor space and is the perfect colorful addition to my windowsill. Now comes the annual question: do I want to carve, paint or both? I’m prone to picking up a paintbrush and going to town, but I have plenty of friends that enjoy the mess and tradition that comes with carving. What’s your favorite way to decorate pumpkins?

Well, for all you traditionalists out there, we have some modern “carving” ideas, plus beginner and advanced templates you can print right from home for free.

Halloween Decorating, Entertaining + Craft Ideas >>

Cookie-Cutter Pumpkin Carving With Kids

Let tiny crafters create glowing pumpkin patterns with ease. Simply use cookie cutters and a rubber mallet to carve out fun shapes. Get the step-by-step instructions >> 

How to Make a Pretty Fretwork Pumpkin

Still not positive you want to take on traditional pumpkin carving? Give this technique a try. Use two different-sized drill bits to add a modern design to your pumpkin. Get the step-by-step instructions >> 

Dolly Parton Pumpkin-Carving Template

Halloween has gone country over at our sister site, Great American Country (GAC). Ready to show off your skills? Try carving one of 25 singing superstars from Dolly Parton and Elvis to Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton.

Beginner Pumpkin-Carving Templates

Try your hand at one of these 22 templates created specifically for beginning pumpkin carvers. Printable Templates >>

Advanced Pumpkin-Carving Templates

Think you’re ready for something a little more advanced? These patterns are ideal for more skilled carvers. Printable Templates >>

Never carved a pumpkin before? That’s OK! We’re here to help:


DIY, Holidays

13 Responses

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Kayla KittsKayla is a special projects editor at HGTV.com and a co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. Kayla is an overbearing cat mom with a love for vintage-modern furniture, artisan cocktails, organizing all...


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