Are you ready to make a Jack o’Lantern? Start the process by selecting one of these pumpkin carving templates. With a pumpkin stencil, you won’t have the same boring pumpkin that you see every year. Instead, you can carve a pumpkin that is the talk of the town. There are plenty of free and paid stencils available through the links below. And when Halloween rolls around, I promise you that I will put up some printable stencils of my own for you here as well.
PAID PUMPKIN CARVING STENCILS
Zombie Pumpkins has 275 pumpkin carving patterns including movie monsters, television towers and rock gods. There are a few free templates. The cost for access to 2 patterns is just $2, while access to print all 275+ patterns is $10.
SpookMaster offers a one time fee subscription to over 300 pumpkin patterns. As of July 2012, they aren’t offering new subscriptions currently so I can’t tell you how much it costs. The subscription page says it will be open closer to Halloween 2012. Among the selection of the usual Halloween themes, there are patterns for sports teams, animals and people, including President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Carving Pumpkins offers over 1200 pumpkin carving templates for $7.95. A small portion of the stencils are available for free.
The Pumpkin Lady has over 500 printable pumpkin stencils. They are prices at $1.49 per pattern with discounts available for purchases of 4, 8 or 20+ Halloween templates.
FREE PUMPKIN CARVING PATTERNS
Martha Stewart has grouped her favorite Halloween Pumpkin templates into a few different categories and offers them for free printing. Be sure that you don’t miss any from this slideshow of patterns. In addition to the printable stencil, there are also instructions for how to carve the Jack o’ Lantern from the pattern.
Pumpkin Pike has hundreds of free Halloween pumpkin patterns. Each stencil also has a challenge rating so that you know how hard (or easy) it is to successfully transfer the template to your pumpkin.
HGTV has 39 pumpkin carving templates. They are divided into 22 beginner patterns and 17 patterns for pumpkin carvers who have skills.
History.com has 24 free patterns. They range from simple Halloween templates for the beginner to complex patterns from history such as George Washington, Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell.
Cyberhaunt has 20 free templates for you to use to carve your Jack o’ Lantern.
eHow has 40 templates that you can download for free and use to carve your pumpkin. Most are Halloween or Fall themed.
DecoDir has 20 printable Halloween stencils for you to use on your pumpkin.
The World Wildlife Fund offers you Halloween stencils for endangered species. You can easily increase awareness about environmental issues and have a great Jack ‘o Lantern!
Reader’s Digest has a selection of 12 pumpkin carving stencils that look to be easy enough that a beginning carver could do them successfully.
Midwest Living offers 10 free pumpkin stencils with themes from the Midwest such as a lighthouse, barn, deer and more.
Pumpkin Masters offers 4 free pumpkin carving patterns to the general public. It also offers free patterns exclusively to their Facebook fans.
Better Homes & Gardens has a nice collection of printable pumpkin stencils, if you can stand the annoying advertisements in the middle of their slideshows. I had to abandon my attempt to count the number of patterns available due to them.
At Halloween every year, there are also free pumpkin templates released based on what has been in the news that year. While I don’t have access to Halloween 2012 patterns yet, you might be interested to choose from one of the templates related to celebrities, religion, geeks, Star Wars, or Angry Birds.
PRINTABLE PUMPKIN STENCILS FOR KIDS
HOW TO USE A PUMPKIN CARVING TEMPLATE
You didn’t think that I was going to leave you high and dry with a template and nothing else, did you? Until I researched this section, I had no idea it was so easy to carve an amazing pumpkin. Here are two guides to the process. After you have printed your stencil to the appropriate size for the pumpkin, transfer the template to the pumpkin using graphite, tracing paper or punching holes through the paper and pumpkin with a push pin or transfer tool. Here’s a video showing the whole process of pumpkin carving:
MAKE YOUR OWN PUMPKIN STENCIL USING PHOTOSHOP
How-To Geek has a great tutorial on how to create a pumpkin carving stencil in Photoshop. It seems pretty easy from a macro perspective. Convert the image to black and white, clean up any parts of the image that will be too tough to carve, and then invert the colors to print it using less ink. I will definitely be using this tutorial to make some stencils this October. If you don’t own Photoshop or want software specifically designed for making stencils, try Carving Technologies or the Pumpkinshop Carving Program.
If you are a more advanced carver, but don’t do Photoshop, you can also take ordinary stencils and try to transfer them onto your pumpkin.