If you love arts and crafts and want the chance to show people how creative you can be, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween are likely your favorite holidays. Having an excuse to create eye-catching centerpieces, tree-topping ornaments or spooky decorations is great fun and a nice way to spend time with children, friends and family. One of the best annual holiday tasks is, without a doubt making jack-o’-lanterns with pumpkin carving kits.
When carving pumpkins, having the right tools and inspiration gives a huge leg up. While a kitchen knife and dessert spoon perform a perfectly adequate job for the average jack-o’-lantern, if you’re looking to raise your pumpkin carving game or entertain friends and family with a pumpkin carving competition, it’s time to upgrade your tools.
We’ve put together a list of the best pumpkin carving kits, books and tools to help you achieve the best possible jack-o’-lantern. From three-dimensional faces and creepy ghosts to graveyard scenes and Darth Vader’s mask, these kits and templates will teach you how to carve a pumpkin for every preference and skill level.
Grab one of the best pumpkin carving kits, raise your carving game and make sure your house stands out this Halloween with amazing jack-o’-lanterns.
1. Bootiful Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit
This pumpkin carving kit with eight heavy-duty, stainless steel tools comes with a zippered carrying case and has earned 1,200+ positive reviews on Amazon. With pokers, scoops and more, you’ll have everything you need to sculpt and carve the Jack O’ Lantern of your dreams. Buyers were impressed with the durability of the pumpkin carving kit, which isn’t always guaranteed. Compared to flimsier kits that bend, this is a longer-lasting option that’ll survive multiple Halloweens.
2. Chryztal Pumpkin Carving Kit
Although it might not look like anything too out of the ordinary, the craftsmanship and attention to detail on this 10-piece set make it one of the best pumpkin carving kits that you can use year after year, and the reviews are proof. Made from stainless steel, these thicker-than-usual tools have an antirust blade and a high-quality build that’s earned them a #1 bestseller spot in the Kitchen Utility Knives category on Amazon.
3. Shuttle Art Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
This pumpkin carving kit has everything you need to make the scariest pumpkin the world has ever seen. Built with stainless steel and wood and plastic ergonomic handles, this pumpkin carving kit is easy to use and not to mention, quite safe. For pros who know what they’re doing, having this many tools will be a field day, but for people who don’t necessarily know what they’re doing, this could be pretty overwhelming. For beginners (and children), we suggest going with something a little simpler.
4. Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit
BEST FOR KIDS
The Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit comes with everything you need to produce an eye-catching pumpkin this Halloween (except the pumpkin). Inside, you’ll find a book with 12 different patterns to try, three other saws, a scraper scoop and a handy poker. This is a great way to inspire your friends or kids to create something special and make your pumpkin carving kit party a little bit more exciting.
5. Messermeister Pumpkin Carving Kit, Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Halloween Set
You don’t necessarily need many tools to carve the scariest pumpkin on the block. This pumpkin carving kit comes with just three tools to get the job done effectively. This will be the last carving kit you’ll ever buy because the tools are crafted from stainless steel and durable plastic for lifelong use. The kit’s built for both the master carver and kids alike because these tools are optimized for perfectionists but also to be almost accident-free. Though, we recommend you watch any kid trying to do this on their own and don’t suggest anyone under 10 years old play around with it.
6. Halloween Moments Adult and Kid Bundle Pumpkin Carving Kit
BEST FOR FAMILY
Although carving pumpkins can be a bonding activity for families, it can be dangerous for little hands to be around those sharp tools and maneuver them without injuries. Additionally, emptying the pumpkin can be messy. This family-friendly kit makes the pumpkin carving experience safe for everyone. It includes a pumpkin glove scraper to put your kiddo on pumpkin-gutting duty — minus the mess.
7. Chef’n Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
This simple three-in-one piece kit can tackle pumpkins, melons, and more with easy-to-grip handles. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that more substantial pumpkin carving kits do, it makes up for it in quality. With a serrated metal blade, this is a great investment for slashing pumpkin-cutting time in half and tackling other gourd veggies with ease.
8. The Stack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Stacking Kit with Lights
BEST FOR STACKING
Stacking your pumpkins vertically is a great way to up that front door or porch decor without taking up too much space. Along with being photogenic, stacking pumpkins increases sturdiness, reducing the chance that they’ll topple over. Along with carving tools, stackers and a lit light, it also comes with three tea lights, so you can safely illuminate your spooky stack. A unique way to create a memorable Halloween display.
9. Hotop Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
At under $10, this kit offers superb bang for your buck. With five tools made from heavy-duty steel, patterns and a marker for drawing on your pumpkin, this kit provides the best value for those on a budget. Forget flimsy plastic tools from the local dollar store, and invest in this kit for reliable carving year after year. Tools are stored in a sturdy nylon organizer case.
10. Pumpkin Masters Funny Bones Skeleton Pumpkin Carving Kit
If carving a face in your pumpkin doesn’t sound good enough, up the ante with this skeleton bones carving kit with a rib cage pattern by Pumpkin Masters. This turns your Jack O’ Lantern into a mini skeleton, giving pumpkin guts a new meaning since the pumpkin acts as the skeleton’s torso. Just push in the skeleton pieces for easy installation. A great way to blend Halloween-inspired decor with regular fall decor for a creepy effect.
11. WinHill Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
Along with being available in a range of unique colors and styles, this carving kit can be used for occasions beyond Halloween, specifically for pottery and ceramics projects. Its “witch finger” shaped handles made of anti-slip frosted rubber allow for maximum precision and tools stay sharper for longer, providing better longevity than dollar store kits. Just scroll through the glowing reviews on Amazon if you’re having doubts. A must-have for those looking for a different aesthetic on their tools.
12. GoStock Pumpkin Carving Kit
A soft, rubberized grip on these handles makes these tools much more comfortable to grip, giving it a more ergonomic edge than competitors. Besides, you don’t want to slip when you’re holding something sharp. With a total of nine pieces, there’s no design that this durable alternative to flimsy plastic tool sets can’t handle. Customers appreciate that the tools don’t bend easily and that the kit comes with a carrying case that keeps everything organized.
13. Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia Pumpkin Carving Kit
One of the classier pumpkin carving kits that’s built to last a lifetime, this rustic collaboration with Magnolia is functional and comes with a cool storage case, meaning you don’t have to worry about misplacing your tools. Made from wood and metal unlike the usual cheap plastic carvers, this kit includes a garden tool-style carrying case. It comes in at a budget-friendly price point and has earned tons of five-star reviews.
14. Fun World Pumpkin Pro Family Carving Kit Accessory
The “Goop Scoop” scooper on this 20-piece family pumpkin carving kit comes with two different kinds of teeth for maximum scooping power. Ideal for use at Halloween parties, this easy-to-use kit features oversized tools that are easy to grip, as well as markers and paper cutouts for drawing the face on your Jack O’ Lantern.
15. Greenbrier International Pumpkin Decorating Kits
BEST ALTERNATIVE TO CARVING KITS
If you have little ones and don’t want to use sharp tools or just don’t want to go through the effort of carving and cleaning out pumpkin gets, opt for a push-in design instead. With a goofy effect that won’t scare off the neighborhood kids (don’t worry, we also have plenty of scary Halloween decorations to terrify them) this pumpkin decor kit is just as fun to put together and a whole lot less messy.
16. Hyde & EEK! Boutique Silly Eyes Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
Although the carver and poker are on the smaller side and the scooper doesn’t have serrated teeth, the ability to create silly or devilish faces makes it one of the best pumpkin carving kits you can buy online that includes more than just the basic tools. Complete with three pairs of eyes, you can display a ghoulish or friendly trio of pumpkins on any front stoop or lawn.
17. Zulay Serrated 8-inch Bread Knife
Along with a drill, a serrated knife is a popular DIY tool in lieu of the best pumpkin carving kits. Its blade slices easily, and at eight inches long, it provides a more substantial cutting length than tools designed specifically for pumpkin carving. It’s compact, lightweight, and allows you to chisel like a pro. However, you’ll also need a smaller knife that’s simpler to maneuver in tight spaces for smaller details.
18. Home Most LED Pumpkin Lights 2-Pack
Made specifically for your pumpkin, these orange LED battery-operated lights are sold with a 10-key remote control and are suitable for indoor or outdoor usage. With the steady mode, your pumpkin will shine all night long. When you set it to flicker, it has a candle-like effect that gives your pumpkin an eerie, ominous vibe. On other holidays, these lights can be placed in decorative votive holders.
19. Homemory Flameless Candles, 72 Pack
Since regular candles can be a bit of a fire hazard, opt for fake candles. These flameless candles come in a 72-pack, allowing you to light up all the pumpkins you desire and have plenty of candles left over as decorative accents for your living space. Giving off a warm, white light, these LED candles will never burn your pumpkins or get blown out by the wind.
20. Twinkle Star LED Copper String Lights
BEST DIY LIGHTING
An alternative to tea lights and battery-operated lights is an age-old DIY hack: wrapping fairy lights around small mason jars and placing them inside hollowed pumpkins for a glowing effect. You can even wrap the fairy lights directly around the pumpkins, which will illuminate your front step and pyramids in a unique way — just remember to secure the string lights with clear pushpins.
21. Glowmind Ultra Bright Glowsticks, 100-Pack
Remember glowsticks? Glow sticks are a great way to add different colors of light to your pumpkin rather than that classic white light — cracking these is a fun way to get the kids to help light your pumpkins. Sold in a variety of colors, you can toss multiple glow sticks in your pumpkin for a vibrant effect, playing with different color combinations.
22. Realistic Pumpkin Carving
If pumpkin carving is more than just a half an hour activity you do every October, and you’re genuinely looking to impress visitors or get some recognition on social media, this Realistic Pumpkin Carving: 24 Spooky, Scary, and Spine-Chilling Designs is the book you need. Inside, you’ll discover how to create creepy, three-dimensional faces on your pumpkins to genuinely give people the willies. The book includes two step-by-step projects to get you started and an additional 24 patterns once you’re ready to go it alone.
23. Falling in Art Craft Linoleum Block Cutters
The Falling in Art Craft Linoleum Block Cutters is a classy way to etch your pumpkin. This technique involves scraping away the top layer of “skin” on the pumpkin rather than cutting all the way through. These high-quality tools feature beechwood handles and a range of interchangeable blades. Options include a classic knife and several different U-shaped cutters, all made from hardened carbon steel for easy cutting and durability.
24. Black+Decker Max Lithium Drill with Accessories
Bored of having to use up all your elbow grease cutting, gutting and carving your pumpkin? Say goodbye to using physical effort thanks to this Black+Decker Max Lithium Drill with Accessories. This battery-powered drill makes cutting through your pumpkin a cinch and includes a variety of drill bits to aid your pumpkin-crafting work. And while it’s not the most precise tool available on our list, if you’re creating pumpkins on a large scale, using a power drill will save you a good number of man-hours.
25. Comfy Mate 26-Piece Pumpkin Carving Kit
Carving out specific shapes can be difficult when sculpting your pumpkin. They don’t always come out as intended, and you might end up with a butchered pumpkin. Instead, rely on this 26-piece pumpkin carving kit with a range of stencils that kids and adults can use for professional results. They’re sharp enough to punch right into a pumpkin, and you can also use these stainless steel stencils to make cookies or brownies in fun shapes.
How to Carve a Jack-O-Lantern
There are many ways to carve a jack-o-lantern, but this is one of the most straightforward. Opt for a large pumpkin, as this will provide more caving space. If you need more guidance, you can always check out the helpful pumpkin carving tutorials on Youtube.
- Cut off the top at a 45-degree angle to create a lid
- Scrape the insides out with a glove scraper, large spoon or ice cream scooper
- Soak your gutted pumpkin in bleach and water, coating the interior with petroleum to make it last longer
- Use a stencil or draw the patterns with a marker. You can also print an online pattern, poking holes along pattern lines and taping it to the pumpkin.
- Cut using a serrated knife or tools in a pumpkin carving kit. A smaller knife will be needed for smaller details.
- Place your lights inside and display where desired.