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Carve a Scared Pumpkin

Put a frightfully fun spin on your Halloween decorating this year with the highly animated look of this scared pumpkin. Download our custom templates for this chattering coward—or mix and match other templates to create a pumpkin with an entirely different personality.

Pumpkin carved with a scared face by outdoor gate.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Crafts knife
  • Paring knife
  • Scoop
  • Dremel rotary tool
  • Drill and bit set


  • Pumpkin
  • Painter’s tape

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is a rewarding way to bring the family together while showing off your creativity. With a minimal investment of time and money, you can create spooky Halloween decorations that will delight young and old alike. Download our free pumpkin carving patterns to create this scared pumpkin, complete with chattering teeth!

How to Carve a Scared Pumpkin

Step 1

Scooping out inside of pumpkin with lid.

Cut the top off a pumpkin, making a hole large enough to slide a hand through. Use the lid from a peanut butter or mayonnaise jar to scoop out the inside of the pumpkin. Scrape the inside walls carefully, removing more flesh on the side where the face will go. This will make carving easier.

Good to Know

If the carving pattern might interfere with the top of the pumpkin, you can make the entry hole in the bottom or back instead.

Step 2

Scoring eyes on pumpkin through template.

Download Pumpkin Face Patterns and trim excess paper from around the selected pattern. Cut slits along the edges to help the pattern lay flat, then use painter’s tape to adhere the paper to the pumpkin. Score the face of the pumpkin by tracing the outline of the template with a crafts knife. (Image shows a template for slightly different eyes.)

Step 3

Drilling holes through eyes in pumpkin.

Remove the template and place the pumpkin in a bowl for stability. Drill a small pilot hole for each eye before enlarging the hole with a 3/8-inch drill bit. Carve out the rest of the eye with a paring knife (image shows a slightly different pumpkin design).

Good to Know

The pilot holes safeguard the integrity of the pumpkin walls when using a large drill bit.

Step 4

Drilling starter holes between pumpkin teeth.

Use a small drill bit to drill holes at the base of the mouth in the gaps between teeth. The holes make it easier to excavate portions of the mouth by providing a starting point for carving.

Step 5

Cutting between teeth with crafts knife.

Using the drilled holes as an entry point, carve out the area between teeth with a crafts knife.

Step 6

Deepening the outline around a pumpkin mouth with a paring knife.

Use a paring knife to deepen the outline you initially scored through the template. This will create a crisp line. Now use a curved paring knife to peel a clean edge around the inside of the mouth.

Step 7

Using a Dremel rotary tool to shape teeth.

Change the shape of teeth with a Dremel rotary tool, contouring the edges until you reach the desired shape. You can peel the eyelids the same way.

Step 8

Peeling pumpkin teeth with paring knife.

Optional: If you don’t have a Dremel rotary tool, use a paring knife to peel and shape teeth manually.

With our free stencils and these easy steps, you’ll have a spooky good time carving pumpkins this Halloween!


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