Classic Pumpkin/Jack-o-Lantern Templates

I used to think the world was full of awesome pumpkin carvers. That was before I discovered the secret of pumpkin stencils!

Using a pumpkin stencil to carve a jack-o-lantern is easy as (pumpkin) pie. Simply print out the template, tape it to the front of a pumpkin, and start carving. Even if you don’t think you are a particularly good carver, you will be amazed at the results.

Although many arts and crafts stores sell books of pumpkin carving templates, there are literally millions of free ones available on the internet, with everything from video game characters to classic horror villains out there. Don’t be fooled by websites that try to charge you; there are hundreds and hundreds of free sites out there to choose from. Just search for “pumpkin carving” followed by the words “stencil”, “template”, or “pattern” and you will find thousands to choose from. Like any project, some templates are more advanced than others, and any of them can be easily scaled down for younger carvers. You can also narrow down your search by tacking on the name of a character you’re looking for.

Here’s one to get you started!

Pumpcast – The Jack-O-Lantern Dreamcast Case

A couple of years ago, a web forum I frequent held a “video game-themed Jack-o-Lantern” contest. I wanted to enter something original and something retro. Thus was born, the Pumpcast.


The Pumpcast consisted of two hollowed out pumpkins. The top one held a small (7″, I think) flat screen. In the bottom one, I “mounted” (as much as one can mount a piece of electronics inside a slimy gourd) a Dreamcast.

In retrospect, I had two regrets regarding the Pumpcast. The first is, I wish I had used an older system — I think the “PumpNES” has a nicer ring to it. My other regret is, I didn’t have time to track down Resident Evil or any other real horror-themed games. Instead I used Godzilla Generations. I have to give myself partial credit for the monster theme, at least.

I didn’t win the contest, but I did set this out on my front porch for Halloween. (I removed the controller, so it was more of a display than an interactive gaming console.)

It took a lot of lemon-scented cleaner to get the pumpkin smell out of that Dreamcast …