You don’t need to be a natural-born artist to carve amazing Halloween pumpkins! Here are 10 geeky video game pumpkin stencils and instructions on how to carve them like an expert.
How to carve a pumpkin
Step 1: Gut your pumpkin and collect your supplies
Make sure you have:
Step 2: Tape the stencil to the pumpkin
This part is a little awkward, but stick (ha!) with me here.
Start by taping the top of the stencil to the pumpkin. Now’s a good time to double-check that it’s on straight. Do your best to get the stencil as flat as possible – or if not flat, that you fold the edge of the lines to fit the pumpkin so the lines “connect.” (This won’t be perfect, and that’s OK.)
Step 3: Punch holes around the stencil
Grab your little hole punching device and carefully make perforations along all the lines in the stencil. This will be your guide and will help you make clean cuts the first time.
The closer together your punched holes are, the easier it will be later!
Step 4: Peel off the stencil
But if you can’t see them perfectly, the next step will fix this.
Step 5: Cover your stencil perforations in flour
Time to make a mess! Put your pumpkin on top of newspaper, grab a handful of flour, tilt your pumpkin back, and generously rub the flour over the stencil perforations.
Dust off the excess flour. Now you’ll see a white dotted line for cutting.
Step 6: Carve away!
Carefully saw your large knife along the large parts of the stencil. No worries if you veer off the path – you won’t be able to see askew carved lines in the final product.
Now grab your smaller knife and trim out the finer details of the stencil. This requires patience and a gentle hand.
Carefully pop out the stencil cuts, pushing from the inside of the pumpkin.
Step 7: Clean up the messy areas
Think about how the inside light will hit the carved-out area – sometimes the pumpkin meat around the edges will obscure the light.
Trim out the inside areas so the light comes through clear.
Step 8: Give the pumpkin a final wipe-down with a damp cloth and light it up
Candles are the good old standby, but LED lights are even better. They last a long time and can come in a variety of colors.
Now impress trick-or-treaters / your kids / your cat with your geeky talent!
Geeky Video Game Pumpkin Stencils
Just like games, there’s a pumpkin stencil here for every skill level. The easier stencils are blockier with less detail, the challenging ones have lots of fine detail.
To print your stencil:
CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY!
Legend of Zelda Shield Stencil
Storm Trooper Stencil
Rubik’s Cube Stencil
OK, this isn’t a video game per se, but it IS the classic game! Caution: cut out each square along the edge of white, not down the center of the black lines. (Or else you’ll have an empty cube and confused trick-or-treaters.)
Princess Peach Stencil
Portal Cake Stencil
The pumpkin spice cake is a lie. Note: cut out the actual lines around the cake (or else you’re just cutting out a big hole in your pumpkin, similar to the Rubik’s Cube example). Cut on the edge of the white down the outside cake lines instead of directly down the black line itself.
Pacman Ghost Stencil
Mario 1up Mushroom Stencil
Fairway Gopher Stencil
Gutsy McDivot, the tricky gopher from Big Fish Games’s addictive Fairway, was too cute to pass up. Careful carving around the nose – you might need to get creative to keep the pumpkin parts attached, such as bypassing the whiskers.
Minecraft Creeper Stencil
Felix T. Fish Stencil
Please share your pumpkin creations with me – I’m excited to see them come to life! Which stencils would you like to see next time?