New This Month

Funny-Face Pumpkins

The old triangle-eyed pumpkin has its charm, but for a jack-o'-lantern unlike any other on the block, try our mix-and-match templates.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2012

You've mastered the toothy grin. Maybe you've experimented with eyebrows. But odds are you haven't given your pumpkin a hairdo, an eye patch, or a bow tie. Our templates for mix-and-match features are designed to help you up your Halloween game, providing just the right amount of guidance while leaving plenty of room for creative freedom.

To start, download and print out your favorite templates, and play around with different combinations. Tape your chosen designs to the pumpkin, and start carving. Black areas on the templates indicate where you should cut all the way through, while gray ones mark where to just carve off the skin, allowing light to filter through moodily and giving your jack-o'-lantern even more depth of character.

Carving How-To

Download these and other pumpkin templates. You can shrink or enlarge them to suit your pumpkin's size.

Tools and Materials

Keyhole saw
Plaster scraper or fleshing tool
Masking tape
Sharp awl, needle tool, or T pin
Miniature saw
Linoleum cutter
Petroleum jelly

  1. Hollow out pumpkin: Using keyhole saw, cut a hole in pumpkin. If using a candle for illumination, cut hole in the top (always put candle in a high-sided glass, and never leave it unattended). If using electric light, make hole in bottom or side so you can hide the cord. Using scraper or fleshing tool, remove flesh, pulp, and seeds.
  2. Print templates on 8 1/2-by-11-inch white paper. Cut out templates, and tape to pumpkin.
  3. Trace design onto pumpkin by poking holes with awl, needle tool, or T pin.
  4. Remove templates, and carve along pattern. Use miniature saw to cut all the way through and linoleum cutter to carve details into just the surface of pumpkin (we generally use #2 and #3 blades for finer details and #5 blades to remove larger sections of skin). Apply petroleum jelly to exposed areas of pumpkin's flesh to prevent them from turning brown.

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