It's that time of year again: You grab not much more than a kitchen knife to rip into your pumpkin-patch pick with little to no idea of how it will turn out. With a deep breath and a prayer, you get to carving, because plain pumpkins are basic.
Since you're anything but, we've harvested a crop of chic ideas to inspire you to give your gourds some life this Halloween. From classic carvings to modern patterns, and even wedding-friendly designs, these 14 chic pumpkin carving ideas are about to make your house the talk of spooky season. And no, you won't need much more than a kitchen knife to execute some of our favorites.
Go With the Classic Jack-O'-Lantern
Whether it's a happy face, a scary face, or a surprised face, the classic jack-o'-lantern can be surprisingly chic. Consider using a stencil to make your carving look extra neat, and create multiples in a variety of sizes and colors to create a cluster of carvings. We especially love when porches feature gobs of gourds billowing down the front steps.
DIY a Fall Flower Vase
Cut the tops off and remove the insides, and voilá, you have yourself a fall-appropriate flower vase. Try a trio of mini gourds for a runner-style centerpiece or opt for a giant pumpkin to create a single arrangement.
We suggest autumn blooms like sunflowers and chrysanthemums for a beautiful fall setting.
Give Your Jack-o'-Lantern Braces
We've seen jack-o'-lanterns with all types of faces in the past, including funny faces with teeth etched in the mouth. But we love how cute and comical the pumpkin on the right looks with braces handcrafted out of tin foil.
Take on a Theme
Whether you're hosting a fantasy halloween party or you're going with the fiction genre for your fall book club, celebrating the theme with your carvings is always a good idea. If you're up for the challenge, you can even include your friends or family to help create a storyline of sorts with a variety of on-theme images.
Make It Glam
If you're looking for something to pair with your glam home décor, look no further than these stylishly dressed gourds. Up the chic factor of your ordinary jack-o'-lanterns with the help of pearl embellishments and gold leafing. Consider also picking up rhinestones, studs, and glitter on your next craft-store run to make your pumpkins even flashier.
Bring a Fairytale to Life
You already know how the story goes, but with the help of your own pumpkin-patch pick, you two can make an ordinary gourd come to life. Use traditional carving techniques and some fanciful chiseling to create a carriage straight out of the pages of a fairytale.
Make a Floral Halo
If you're looking for a creative way to show off your garden's fall florals, this simple design will make for the perfect dinner centerpiece of porch decoration. Cut a pumpkin in half horizontally, secure a block of floral foam right in the middle, and arrange your blooms in a halo design around your gourd. It's fast, easy to create, and makes a major impact.
Skip the Centerpiece
Perfect for all your fall dinner parties, a pumpkin embellished in a floral carving is just what you need to pose as an on-theme centerpiece. This could take a certain level of skill and time, so YouTube a few tutorials and plan ahead. Keep a few on hand, in case you need backup, and tackle this carving a day or two ahead of your event.
Create a Mandala
Make your pumpkin carving project more of a meditative art session. Carve away at your gourde, creating patterns of leaves, petals, swirls, and dots. Set an intention and visualize it as you take your time to be creative and artistic.
We love a good monogram—towels, robes, stationery, you name it—and a pumpkin is just another place to plaster on your initials. Use a single gourd to carve your initials in or spread each letter over a composition of pumpkins.
Be specific about the font you use to pair well with your home décor and seasonal style.
Go Geo With Your Gourd
Geometric shapes are super easy to create (even easier when you use simple cookie cutters as a stencil) and look super clean on the side of a pumpkin. Get creative with the composition like this jack-o'-lantern that utilizes a star and a moon as the eyes. We think a simple pattern all the way around would make quite the impact too.
Give It a Polka-Dot Print
The thing about pumpkins is it should be designed to look just as good during the day as it does at night. This polka-dot print with varying dot sizes resembles a darling eyelet fabric in the day, but lit up at night, it looks as magical as a star-filled night sky.
And if you're wondering how to get such perfect holes all the way around, this look is created with the help of a drill. Pick your drill bit size and go to town creating your polka-dot print.
Make It a Wedding Staple
Perfect for fall weddings, a simple "Mr." and "Mrs." carved into the side of a couple of pumpkins is fun and kitschy as it is Instagrammable and on-theme. Just think of all the photos you'll take and how cute they'll look on your sweetheart table.
Carve Out a Chic Pattern
These super chic pumpkins, featuring a diamond pattern carved throughout, are sure to look beautiful on your mantel for years to come. That's right, years. Don't let your hard work go to waste in a mere weeks when you pick up a set of carvable faux pumpkins at a craft store. Finally, up the glam factor by covering the inside with shiny gold leaf and illuminate it with battery-powered candles.