Portrait Pumpkin Carving App

Based on the process I use each year to carve pumpkins from portraits, originally described here, I have created an application for generating pumpkin patterns.

Portrait Pumpkin App

Click here to run the App


  • Upload your own portrait by clicking on the “Choose File” button at the top of the page.
  • Try to choose photos that have only the face. Try to choose photos with lighting from the sides or top. Front lighting tends to make patterns that are impossible to carve.
  • Adjust the sliders as required create a good pumpkin. Be careful to make sure that you don’t create any patterns that are impossible to carve, such as making an island of flesh in the middle of a hole.
  • Increasing the blur can help to smooth the edges, making them easier to carve.
  • Rotate and scale the image as required
  • If you know the height of your pumpkin, adjust the Pumpkin Size slide to match. This will ensure the final PDF printout will be the correct size
  • When you have a good looking pumpkin click the Save button to download a PDF.
  • Print it on Letter Size (8.5″ x 11″) paper. You can print it on other sizes of paper but you may have to adjust the “Pumpkin Size” slider

The pattern printout should look something like the image below. The goal is to remove the pumpkin flesh where there are dark areas and remove only the skip where there are light areas.

There are many guides available online for how to use a stencil or template when carving your pumpkins.

Printed carving pattern

  • Tape the paper to the pumpkin and poke holes along the edges to mark them.
  • Remove the tape and cut out the dark areas
  • Remove only the skin over the light grey areas

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