Carve a Pumpkin with Stencil and Plastic Wrap

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Have you ever used plastic wrap when you’re carving a pumpkin? Check out how to do it.

two carved minecraft pumpkins and a carved panda pumpkin

If you’ve never used plastic wrap to carve a pumpkin, you have to try. After you find a pumpkin stencil that you like, print, wet and stick. Read on for all of the details. I’ve also included a Free Pumpkin Stencil Printable with over 20 silhouette shapes to carve onto your pumpkin.

Do you want more Halloween fun? This Halloween Activity Packet will make your Halloween Spooktacular. It includes over 25 Printable Activities.

Halloween Activity Packet
Halloween Activity Pack – Get it Now

Step 1: Gather all of your pumpkin carving supplies

pumpkin, plastic wrap, knife, and printout for carving
You will need a pumpkin, knife, plastic wrap and a silhouette printout

Here’s your pumpkin carving supply list (This post contains affiliate links to the products mentioned. Read my disclosure policy for more information):

Pumpkin masters carving kit
Pumpkin Masters Kit
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Step 2: Cut the top off and hollow out your pumpkin

taking the top off a pumpkin
cut the top off your pumpkin

If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin before, you know the drill. The first thing you have to do is get the top off your pumpkin and get all of those pumpkin guts out.

pulling out the pumpkin seeds

If you’re adventurous, save some of the seeds to cook and eat later.

Step 3: Find an easy silhouette printout

I have a Free Pumpkin Stencil Printable full of silhouettes that are easy to print. If you like any of them, just print the page that you want to carve on your pumpkin and you’re ready for the next step.

pages of pumpkin stencils pdf
Chose from over 20 stencils in my Free Pumpkin Stencil Printable

If you would like to find your own pumpkin design, just do a google image search for terms like “Halloween silhouette’, “easy cat silhouette” or the one we used was “Minecraft creeper silhouette”. Here’s a list of some searches that give good results:

  • jack o’lantern silhouette
  • halloween silhouette  
  • animal silhouette
  • dinosaur silhouette
  • princess silhouette
  • harry potter silhouette

You get the idea, use your imagination you can find almost anything. Just know that whatever is in black is what you will be carving out. So make sure that you steer you kids towards easy to do images.

Once you find the silhouette image that you like, you will need to print it. Here are the steps I take to print an image I find on the web:

  1. Find the image you want
  2. Right click on the image
  3. Click “Copy image”
  4. Open a blank MS Word Document
  5. Once you’re in the document, Right click and click “Paste”
  6. You may need to re-size your image by dragging one of the corners
  7. When you’re happy with the size, Go To “File” and select “Print”
  8. Click on the large “Print” square
  9. And you’re finished

Here’s a short video explaining the steps above (I’m not a Giants fan, it’s just the best/shortest video I could find):

Step 4: Apply the pattern to the pumpkin

Ok, this is the fun and crazy step. You’re going to apply the pattern to the pumpkin so you can easily cut out the shape.

First, wet your silhouette printout. I know, crazy right?! Yes, take the paper to the sink and get it wet. The wet paper sticks to the pumpkin and conforms to the round pumpkin shape. This was a game changer when I learned this step.

get pumpkin pattern wet
wet your paper pattern so it will stick to your pumpkin

Take your printout and apply it to the pumpkin while wet. Try to get it as smooth as possible, but be careful, the paper can rip easily. This is definitely a step for the grown-ups.

wet paper design on pumpkin
smooth the wet paper design onto your pumpkin. Don’t worry too much about wrinkles.

Second, while the paper is still wet, cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. This will hold it in place while you cut. We wrapped our pumpkins twice but later discovered, one layer of plastic wrap works best.

pumpkin wrapped in plastic wrap
Secure your design on the pumpkin with plastic wrap. Tip: we discovered that one layer of plastic wrap works best.

Step 5: Carve your pumpkin

Cut right through the plastic wrap and cut out all of the black parts of your silhouette. It’s best to start in the middle of the design and with the smallest shapes first. We also found that when you cut from top to bottom, that seemed to work best.

carve pumpkin through plastic wrap
Cut right through the plastic wrap to carve your pumpkin.

There may come a point when the plastic wrap doesn’t stay on or your paper tears. That’s ok, just try to patch it over with more plastic wrap. Also, this is why simple (less intricate) designs work best.

halfway through carving pumpkin
You can adjust the plastic wrap as you cut. Cutting straight down works great.

Step 6: Clean off your pumpkin and enjoy

When you’re finished you will need to clean off the remainder of the paper pattern and plastic wrap. Then scrape out any remaining pumpkin pieces from the inside. Add your candle and enjoy.

minecraft creeper pumpkin
Enjoy your pumpkin

And you’re finished

Your Jack O Lanterns are sure to be a hit this Halloween. And with a little bit of grown-up help it’s easy for most kids.

two carved minecraft pumpkins and a carved panda pumpkin

More Halloween Crafts

If you liked this pumpkin carving activity, check out some of my Halloween Crafts:

As always, I try to make my crafts fast, easy & inexpensive. Enjoy.

Download the Free Pumpkin Stencil Printable
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