I remember gathering my kids together to carve a pumpkin. It was the pre-Internet era and no one was giving away free pumpkin stencils. We had to wing it.

I placed our prized pumpkin on old newspapers as my children argued about the face we should give ole Jack. The boys envisioned a mask of horror; my daughter was thinking Muppet Babies.

Eventually, I made the first slice through the orange flesh. I quickly learned that artwork skills take a dive when your canvas is curved and bumpy. Our finished piece was a little rugged.

Free printable pumpkin stencils

Thank goodness for computers and the artistic team at Totally Promotional! Our staff created free pumpkin carving stencils to make your jack-o-lanterns the best on the block!

Find your favorite template and click on the corresponding link below.

halloween stencils
Template 1 | Template 2 | Template 3 | Template 4 | Template 5 | Template 6 | Template 7 | Template 8 Template 9 | Template 10 | Template 11 | Template 12 | Template 13 | Template 14 | Template 15
Halloween Stencil Pumpkins

How to use pumpkin carving stencils:

You’ll need:

  • Free downloadable Halloween stencils
  • Pumpkin
  • Large spoon
  • Knives, large and small
  • Tape
  • Push pins
  • Marker or pen for tracing (optional)
  • Tea light or LED light



1. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin and remove it— seeds, gunk and all!

step 2

2. Use a spoon to scrape and remove all the “guts” from the pumpkin cavity.

Free Pumpkin Stencil How-to

3. Choose one of the free pumpkin carving patterns and print it. You may need to trim away some of the paper surrounding the pattern, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

How to use free pumpkin stencils

4. Cut a 2-inch or bigger slit on both sides of the “face” so the stencil smoothly fits the pumpkin’s shape. Tape the stencil to the pumpkin at the top and bottom.

step 5

5. Use a push pin to poke holes along the design to create a template on your pumpkin. You can connect the holes with a marker or pen to make the design more visible for carving.

step 6

6. Carefully cut out the black-dotted sections. Smaller knives are recommended for more detailed areas.

Festive Halloween Pumpkins

7. Place a tea light or LED light inside the pumpkin for a haunting Halloween glow!

Preservation tip: After carving your pumpkin, dunk it for 2 minutes in a bucket or tub filled with 3 gallons of water and 3 teaspoons of bleach. Remove the pumpkin and let it air dry. This will prevent your pumpkin from rotting for up to 10 days.

More Halloween stencil ideas

Totally Promotional’s Halloween stencils can also be used for these fun projects:

Halloween Tote
  • Decorating a tote bag.
  • Crafting a trick or treat candy bag.
  • Making your own Halloween-themed table cover.
  • Creating a Halloween picture, poster or backdrop using a combination of stencils and colorful construction paper. This would be a fun preschool or elementary art project!
  • Making a Halloween scene on a wall or bulletin board.
  • Instead of carving, use the stencils to trace an image on your pumpkin and color it with markers or paint. Make it unique by adding props such as twine string for hair!
Halloween Party Favors

Get ready for a fun Halloween bash!

Treat all your ghosts and goblins to a fun favor and a haunting good time!

We have a “spooktacular” selection of Halloween party favors and supplies. You’ll find great deals on frosted cups, foil-stamped coasters, hand sanitizer spray, foil-stamped napkins, Maui sunglasses, neoprene can coolers and more.

Be sure to check out our Pinterest Halloween & Fall Finds board for more great ideas and inspiration!

Happy Halloween!

Customize your own plastic bags for every event!

Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.


  1. Bill Blackbird Reply

    My wife says it is a lot easier to cut the bottom off the pumpkin (on an angle) about the size of a small saucer.
    She claims it makes it easier to clean and place the candle. What are your thoughts about this?
    By the way you have a very nice site.

    • Hello Bill! Thanks for reaching out!
      I’ve never tried cutting the bottom off the pumpkin but it probably is much easier to clean that way. I’m guessing the candle might sit more balanced, too, depending on where the pumpkin is placed. Thanks for sharing this idea!

      And thank you for complimenting our site. Very nice of you! Please come back and visit us anytime and let us know if we can help you in any way.

      Shelley Grieshop
      Totally Promotional

    • Hello Sean!

      I have sent you an email to further explain #5 in the directions for using the stencil. Thanks for getting in touch and let me know if I can help you with anything else.

      Shelley Grieshop
      Totally Promotional

        • If the question is about using the push pins … push a pin along the edge of the stencil design (as shown) and into the pumpkin shell about every inch or so. When you have done this to the entire design, remove the pins and stencil. You’ll be able to see the design via the pin holes so you’ll know where to carve.

          I hope this answers your question! Please let me know if I can do anything else for you.

          Happy Halloween!

          Shelley Grieshop
          Totally Promotional

      • Troy Phillips Reply

        Good morning and Happy Halloween . Could you also send me directions on number 5?
        Thank you,

        • Hi Troy,

          The directions for #5 are in the blog. But in case you missed them, here they are:

          5. Use a push pin to poke holes along the design to create a template on your pumpkin. You can connect the holes with a marker or pen to make the design more visible for carving.

          Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

          Shelley Grieshop
          Totally Promotional

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