If you haven’t already bought your pumpkins for Friday night then head to the shops quickly – if yours are anything like ours the cream of the crop will already have been picked and you’ll have to delve very deeply into the displays to find a plump orange one – but if you’re carving it anyway then a few imperfections could be hidden by, or even enhance, your design and there’s plenty of printable inspiration available to help you create an eclectic display this year…

EtsyPumpkinsOn Make: Haley Pierson-Cox, a “DIY gal in granny glasses”, highlights the Etsy blog’s How-Tuesday: Download and Carve Jack-o’-Lantern project where it has teamed up with three artists and illustrators – Leah Goren, Bryce Wymer and Ashley Pahl – “to design original, exclusive and totally awesome illustrations that you can easily trace and carve onto your pumpkin” describing the template as “your foolproof guide to Pumpkin Greatness”.

NatureDetectivesPumpkinsIf Etsy’s cat face appeals to your animal-loving children then they might also like to try Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives Pumpkin Carving Stencils – “printable templates to help turn ordinary pumpkins into hair-raising Halloween lanterns!” – which include a bat, spider, tawny owl and badger.

OlafPumpkinSome of us don’t even like to think about Christmas until after Halloween at the very earliest but I have a few colleagues who equally vehemently disagree.  Why not combine both Halloween and a wintry feel by creating your own jack-o’-lantern inspired by the lovable snowman from Disney’s Frozen? “The great thing about this version of Olaf?  He won’t melt” (but he might just be for Halloween and not for Christmas…).

MinionPumpkinOr, for a no carve option (although some drilling is involved), why not download Party Delights Despicable Me inspired printables and create yourself a pumpkin patch of Minions?  I definitely fall into the category of a “big kid who’d like their own minion!”

PumpkinWorldVisionLike the artistic side of pumpkin carving more than the spooky side?  Then why not help World Vision “turn a night of fear into a night of hope“?   The world’s largest international children’s charity is this year asking people to show the children of Syria that they have not been forgotten by carving a heart into your pumpkin as a symbol of hope, sharing the message of hope with your social networks and donating £5 by text.  Its downloadable Night of Hope resources include four sheets of heart templates of varying sizes and a page of carving tips as well as bunting for further decoration and five recipes to serve up to your pumpkin party guests.

Pumpkin200If you’re looking for something more traditional, or perhaps even wackier, then there’s lots more designs to choose from.

WWNN rounds up of some of the best pumpkin carving patterns, stencils and templates from its partner sites and Corey from Family Fresh Meals has compiled 200+ Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils including “something for everyone.  There are classic Halloween favourites, princesses, Disney movies, angry birds, geeky favs, unicorns, superheroes, pop culture, etc… it’s all here!”  Once you’re done carving Corey also provides her favourite pumpkin seed recipe for you to try too so you remember that whilst a pumpkin’s outside provides an excellent blank canvas, it’s insides can be very tasty too.

PumpkinStarWarsAnd if that still isn’t enough then head to Fun Finds for Families.  Pumpkin carving is one of Alissa’s favorite autumn family activities – “The kids’ eyes light up when they see how a design comes alive” – and she certainly proves her point by compiling a list which links to more than 725 (725+!) free pumpkin stencils including cute, geeky, traditional, pop culture, face, cat and Star Wars templates (no lightsaber required!).

PumpkinAwardsAnd, if your carving is as competitive as it is creative, then don’t miss Holly and Nat’s Printable Pumpkin Carving Awards on My Sisiter’s Suitcase.  As well as award medals including most adorable pumpkin to scariest, most original, traditional or silliest face, the sister also provide “a set of blank awards so you can get creative, funny, or outright sarcastic in your award titles”.

Do you love finding printables on the internet? Do you have particular favourites? Or have you featured some on your own blog? Email karen.malpass@inkfactory.com with your links and we may be able to feature them in a future post.

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