Time for my annual list of jack-o-lantern carving patterns and resources.
- Zombie Pumpkins is one of the better sets of patterns out there. 207 high quality patterns ranging from original designs to pop culture. There’s the requisite freebies, or $2 gets you any two patterns, or for $10 get access to all of them.
- Pumpkin Lady has some great patterns, including some that are simple designs suitable for kids. Most patterns sell for $1-$3 each, with quantity discounts available. Free patterns change weekly.
- Stoneykins offers thousands of patterns for sale, with 550 new for this year. They have 100 of their patterns for free, or you can join the site for as little as $5 and get them all.
- No list is complete without Pumpkin Masters, the company who made carving patterns popular. Four free patterns this year, or buy their books for more.
- DLTK Crafts for Kids has some simple kid-friendly patterns for free.
- Pumpkin Wizard has nearly 400 patterns, with over 100 new this year. Many are celebrity photos converted to a pattern. These tend to be much harder to carve. Your $7.95 membership gets you access to all of them.
- Spookmasters has 250 downloadable patterns for $5.95. In addition to your standard "faces and scenes" patterns, they have a few dozen college team logos. Their free patterns include a daily freebie. The mystery pattern changes daily.
- Pumpkin Glow specializes in "un-halloween" patterns—no monsters and demons here. Perfect for those that don’t do the traditional Halloween thing but still want to get in on some carving fun.
- Extreme Pumpkins has 48 over-the-top patterns for free. There’s photos and videos of jack-o-lanterns that go way beyond simple carving. We’re talking props, guts, and explosives.
Now that you have the pattern of your dreams, how do you carve it? While you can use a pushpin to transfer the pattern and kitchen tools to carve your pumpkin, you’ll find it faster, safer, and easier to use tools designed for the job.
- Pumpkin Masters has a variety of tool kits available. Their flagship "Pumpkin Carving Kit" includes a tool with a transfer wheel. Just roll the wheel along your pattern to score your pumpkin’s skin.
- Want something more elegant than a collection of plastic tools? Martha Stewart has a line of wood-handled tools designed for pumpkin carving. $35 at Macy’s.
- What carving session is complete without power tools? Get the Dremel pumpkin carver, a battery-operated rotary tool that includes some patterns and bits designed to make your carving go quickly.
(Image via Wikipedia)