10 Pumpkin Carving Ideas
October 05, 2011
Sometimes you need a little inspiration for ideas on how to carve your pumpkin for Halloween. I know I do.
To help everyone out there carve their pumpkin into something that would make the headless horseman proud, we've gathered up 10 Halloween Pumpkin Pictures.
There's not at lot of information below about the exact 'how-to' steps in making these excellent attractions, but even if they just get your creative juices flowing you could find yourself making your own innovative pumpkin creation!
10 Halloween Pumpkin Pictures
1. Re-create a Simple Character's Face
Everyone can carve out the simple triangle eyes, nose, and zig-zag mouth. To try something a little more difficult, go with bigger facial expressions and some characteristics that are a little more involved.
This image of Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas will take some mild planning and patience in execution but it is very doable for even the most basic skilled pumpkin carvers. The eyes are simple and the smile may look intricate but is just a simple pattern repeating over and over. You can do it!
2. Go Batty!
This is a fairly easy idea that ends up with a really fun result. Using a bat image for all the features of the face of your pumpkin is both eye catching and clever.
You'll want to use a smaller knife to make some of the more intricate cuts for the bats which comprise the eyes and nose, but you can always just make your bat wings less 'pointed', as it were (like the bat for the mouth). Just because you're trying something new and daring doesn't mean you have to go all the way. Make minor tweaks and changes to your pumpkin carving if it will make it easier for you. Remember, it's all about having fun!
3. Decrease your Depth
Some of the best pumpkin carvings involve cuts that don't go all the way through to the inside of the pumpkin. You'd think this would be easier overall, but there is a lot to consider when making numerous cuts to the same depth or just far enough that you don't go through.
Our grinning friend here has quite a bit of detail, but again, you can do as much or as little as you'd like. A pumpkin carved in this fashion will likely be eye-catching all on its own. Best of all, you don't have to worry about carving a nose since the stem of the pumpkin plays that role for you.
4. Pumpkin Props
You can spice up traditional carvings by adding a few fun props around your pumpkin. Carving a witch? Give her a small broom. Frankenstein? Stick some bolts in the side.
There are no rules about what makes a great carved pumpkin so do whatever you want! As you can see with the barfing pumpkin, you don't have to look far for props. The pumpkin's own insides create a great effect and a funny sight.
5. Anime Eyes
You can make your pumpkin stand out by giving it a touch of other cultures as well. Japanese animation, or anime, has a style many people enjoy. Best of all, it's no more difficult to make than the pumpkin carving you are already used to, it's just different.
Get inspired by your favorite cartoon characters, anime or otherwise, and put a new look to your pumpkin that can be any emotion you want.
6. Depth and Pumpkin Pieces
As we've already gone over, you don't always have to carve all the way through your pumpkin to make your design. This pumpkin carving seems to be re-creating a character from Where the Wild Things Are. If you look closely, you can see just how deep the cuts went to be the lowest points on the face.
The attention to detail here can be a little daunting but just carving a basic face into a pumpkin as shallow as possible will help you learn what techniques work for creating these sorts of carvings. You can also use discarded pumpkin pieces to help bring your image to life. Some tooth picks should be all you need to hold pumpkin pieces together.
7. Involving other Pumpkins
This sort of idea normally doesn't seem possible, but if you get a big enough pumpkin, you should be able to have it 'interact' with other smaller pumpkins.
The pumpkin carving above is actually pretty simple. The eyes, nose, and mouth are fairly normal cuts and designs. The biggest difference of course is in the large section cut away to fit the smaller pumpkin in the big ones mouth/head.
A good rule of thumb when attempting to make a big carving like this would be to just start out small and slowly cut wider and wider taking time to test to see if/when the smaller pumpkin fits. You can always cut a bigger hole but you can never make it smaller again.
8. Simple Additions can make a Big Difference
Even if you can't expertly carve a pumpkin, to make something look more impressive you sometimes can get away by just building on the basics.
Get creative! Play Dr. Frankenstein and start adding or removing pumpkin features from your idea. The image above may have some great style of cuts going for it, but the addition of the third eye in the middle is what stands out to me. Add eyes or noses or other facial features (scars) to take something simple to another level without having to completley reinvent your carving abilities.
In the same vein as adding facial features to garner a sort of 'shock value' is that idea of just taking any facial feature and making it over the top. A giant smile is always and easy thing to carve into your pumpkin. Make him grin from ear to ear.
Large eyes or a big ol' nose work just as well. You can build the rest of your design around the iconic facial feature you choose.
This won't be a quick pumpkin carving, but you can get some really great results.
10. Intricate Cuts and Attention to Detail
These sort of pumpkin carvings are the ones that people always talk about. They take a skilled hand and no small amount of planning.
These pumpkins look their best when they are lit up. Again, the results all stem from varying the depth of your cuts. If you're careful as you go along, you should be able to create contrasting depth among your cuts so really make your pumpkin's image jump out.
If you are really keen on making a fantastic looking pumpkin, consider picking up a couple from your local pumpkin patch instead of just the one you want to carve. Use the other pumpkins as practice for techniques or to see how your ideas look when you try them out.
No matter what, if you stay positive and stay patient, you're sure to enjoy the way your pumpkin carving turns out. Just look for inspiration and remember that anything goes!