I love everything weird and colorful in this world, and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.
Christian-Themed Pumpkin Carving
Halloween is a holiday often taken over by the scary and ghoulish, but that should not deter Christian families from carving pumpkins. Pumpkin carving is a fun project for all ages, and it can actually be used to promote your family's values and Christian ministry. This year, consider carving a pumpkin that will spread God's Word to those who see it.
This project is also great for church youth groups or Sunday school classes to decorate the church for Halloween.
I have made some Christian-themed templates that you can use as stencils. At the end of the article, I've mentioned some other great sites offering free stencils.
How to Print
If these templates are too small or too big for the pumpkin you have, it's easy to adjust the size when you print them.
On an Apple computer, using Preview, Mac OS's default image-viewing program:
- Right-click on the image and select Save Image As.
- Open the image in your Downloads folder or in the downloads section of your web browser.
- Select File and Print. If you don't see the option to change the scale, select Show Details.
- Here, you can change the orientation and scale of the image to make it bigger or smaller.
In Windows, you can also make some adjustments before printing. If this does not work, you can download GIMP or Photoshop and easily scale images.
This church pumpkin is a great one to make for decorating your church. It would look nice on the steps or on a table inside. If your church passes anything out to trick-or-treaters, it is nice to have something like this shining in the doorway.
Christian Fish (Ichthys)
When I carved this one, I decided not to cut the cross shape all the way through the pumpkin. Instead, I just scraped the outer layer of pumpkin skin from it so it glows more softly than the rest. I love this effect.
Some pumpkins may not be able to support the suspended area inside the fish. This problem is especially likely if you shrink the design to fit a smaller pumpkin. Inserting a toothpick will quickly solve this, or you can amend the design to add more support.
Jesus Is the Light
When cutting this stencil into your pumpkin, start with the figure of Jesus, and cut out the ring of light last. This will give you more stability when you are working.
For the beams and arch of light, you can cut them through the pumpkin or just scrape the hard skin off but leave the flesh. This will allow the light to shine through softly and create an interesting effect.
Christian Outreach Ideas for Halloween
Consider using Halloween as a chance to reach out to the community on behalf of your church. At your home, or even at the church, have special treat bags ready for the trick-or-treaters that can help spread the Word of God. A lot of kids can't have candy or will already be getting enough on Halloween, so consider handing out Halloween candy alternatives instead.
- The American Bible Society makes children's bookmarks that would be great to include with other treats.
- Check your local Bible bookstore for cheap novelty items like pencils and toys that kids might like.
If you do hand out candy, you can also include a Christian message with it. Here are some examples:
Sunday School Lessons Using Pumpkins
- Annie's "Halloween Lesson for Kids" Page
Jack-o-lantern Object Lesson
- How a Christian is like a Pumpkin
"It's like being a pumpkin: God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed,
- Like A Halloween Pumpkin
A Devotion for the Halloween Season
More Patterns by Pumpkinglow
Pumpkinglow offers several UN-Halloween Christian Pumpkin Carving Pattern Stencils for free on their website. The stencils include:
- Christian Fish with Cross (in the photo above)
- Savior of Men
- White Dove
- Flying Dove
- Noah's Ark
- The Last Supper
- Come Unto Me
- Christian Fish Jesus
- Christian Fish Peace
- Christian Fish, What Would Jesus Do?
- Raising the Daughter of Jarius
- Let the Children Come Unto Me
Expertly Carved Religious Pumpkins
Penny Horn on October 30, 2018:
I think this is a better alternative to halloween. Me and people from my church agree that there is notjing wrong with christian pumpkins. This way it doesnt glorify Halloween. God created pumpkins, after spiritual problems i decided that anything remotely witchy was not for me, so i decided to give it up completely. The church i had joined held a light party and a Christian pumpkin carving competition. I was delighted, because God created the world and everything in it to glorify him, & theres no reason we shouldnt have fun with His creation, but in the right way.i done some pretty awesome christian carvings and did one for our local church, everyones eyes popped out when i took it in because its a church of england church, but they agreed with the idea. What we need is a change from dark to light. Halloween scares children, and old people get scared of people coming to the front door, it was a worry for me with my elderly parents. What we need is a good autumn celebration with the spirit of God at the centre.
DorkablyDesigned on October 28, 2013:
Definitely doing this! SO AWESOME!
klbhokie on October 22, 2013:
This is such a great idea. I really like the Christian fish and cross stencil. What a great way to glorify God.
Mommie-Moola on October 11, 2013:
These are good options for kids that might otherwise miss out on celebrating Halloween.
Rick King from Charleston, SC on September 29, 2013:
Great idea to inject a little more light into the darkness of Halloween. Its good for people to know that there are other fun options as well.
anonymous on September 28, 2013:
I was looking for a wholesome alternative to celebrating Halloween with my young grandchildren and found some of the ideas here to be helpful. Thank you!
Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on September 27, 2013:
Just came back to say hello and thanks for the lens. I'm a Christian that doesn't celebrate Halloween, but I do enjoy Fall and I have tons of pumpkins at my disposal. I love the ideas shared here for general Fall decorating, or for displaying an alternative message at Halloween time.
24hourdentist on September 22, 2013:
You could use the Catholic design of Jesus hanging on the cross. Combines Christian symbolism with all the traditional bloody fun of Halloween!
anonymous on September 17, 2013:
I like these ideas. I never seen anything like this. I will be making some of them this year. My landlords are Christian people and I think they will enjoy them.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on September 17, 2013:
I will share this page with our church youth group
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 17, 2013:
Awesome patterns! Sharing this with friends from church.
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on August 28, 2013:
I love these carving patterns and the message they present. A perfect way to light up the world. Thank you!
kiratalley on November 12, 2012:
This is a great idea, we do many "fall festivals" for kids so that they don't have to be on the street and this is a good way to get them involved.
christianstores on November 07, 2012:
Nice, I love all your pumpkin designs! Very nice carvings & creativity!
poorwendy lm on November 04, 2012:
Great lens. I never thought about carving anything but the traditional Halloween decors. These bring up more options in the future.
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on November 01, 2012:
@anonymous: If you have a photo, I'd love to see it!
anonymous on October 31, 2012:
I did the Jesus in the light! It turned out great! Thanks for this:)
lshields lm on October 31, 2012:
Love the Christain carvings great idea, usually don't crave, but if I did it would be with something like this. Great lens
Nightcat on October 31, 2012:
Quick Tip: Carve the Jesus stencil on the front, then a cross in the back. The cross will shine on the wall, assuming there is one behing the pumpkin. Extremely pleased to see some folks make Halloween work for them instead of shutting it down. Blessed. Don't worry, pagan germs don't rub off. ;)
carol18 on October 30, 2012:
I have to say it is really a nice lens, great ideas...
LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on October 30, 2012:
I went to a church school and when some of the girls wanted to put on a party for Halloween we weren't allowed to as it was seen as a Pagan celebration.
anonymous on October 29, 2012:
@anonymous: Dude...get over it and stop the legalism. Its the mentality that you have that keep people away from the love of Jesus. Maybe you should rethink some things. I guess you don't celebrate Christmas with a tree either? Just sad...
anonymous on October 29, 2012:
@olmpal: We have been putting Christian messages in our pumpkins for years and have received such positive feedback. It is refreshing. One if our favorite things to do is use 4 pumpkins. We carve a cross into one and then we carve "the Way" into one, "the Truth" into the third, and "the Life" into the fourth. Looks beautiful and is a great way to share the truth of Christ in a fun way.
anonymous on October 29, 2012:
@JLRodriguez: Halloween is just another opportunity just like any other day to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let His light shine in a dark world. We can use concepts that have been added into the tradition of Halloween to convey the truth of Gis love for all of us. It is a very far stretch to say that because a Christian carves a pumpkin and hands out candy to children in Galloween has fully embraced and celebrates the origins of Halloween. We are called to be a Light to the world not turn our backs on the world once Christ saves us.
SecondSally on October 28, 2012:
What a neat idea!
Eileen from Western Cape , South Africa on October 28, 2012:
love the Christian Pumpkin Carving Paterns,
anonymous on October 27, 2012:
Every year we do several detailed pumpkins. In 2010 we did our first Jesus pumpkin. It received the majority of praise and NO negative comments. We plan to always incorporate these designs into our yearly carvings. Thanks! :)
olmpal on October 27, 2012:
That is a different idea and I love the Christian Pumpkin Carving Patterns!
sailor_man on October 27, 2012:
This is one of the most wonderful lenses
anonymous on October 26, 2012:
@JLRodriguez: for me it's the prefect time to share God's love along with candy and christian reading materials.
Howcanigetagirl on October 26, 2012:
This is indeed different...... I've always just carved scary faces (or sometimes happy) into pumpkins.....don't know what my kids would make of this. Interesting lens.
anonymous on October 26, 2012:
@kerbev: Thanks for sharing this page just what we needed. Much appreciated and we make sure Jesus is with us and and in everything we do we would rather see these kinds of pumpkin than blood and gore
treehousebrando1 on October 26, 2012:
Christianity and Halloween are an interesting mix.
Perrin from South Carolina on October 26, 2012:
You've inspired me . . . I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was a kid. My 4 year old son wants to make "a scary Jack-o-lantern" this year, but maybe I can compromise with him by using one of these ideas!
Ian Hutson on October 25, 2012:
Seeing one of these outside a house would truly, truly terrify me.
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 24, 2012:
@JLRodriguez: 73% of Americans identify themselves as Christians (source). Wouldn't it suck if 73% of the houses didn't have candy. Pagans/Wiccans make up less than 1%. How much would the kids enjoy knocking on 100 doors before getting a Kitkat? Christians DO celebrate Halloween. "Christians" aren't the crazy funeral protesters that the media might make them out to be. They are your next door neighbors.
JLRodriguez on October 24, 2012:
I know this question may be a bit controversial but, does it really make sense for Christians to celebrate Halloween? I'll leave the explanation to your imagination.
InSearchOf LM on October 24, 2012:
@anonymous: Well said.
Marc from Edinburgh on October 24, 2012:
@kerbev: I love your comment about ALW making JC a Superstar, not Christians. Brilliant! Do what you like with a pumpkin, it's your pumpkin!
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 22, 2012:
@anonymous: Wrong. True Christians do not judge other Christians.
anonymous on October 22, 2012:
True Christians do not carve pumpkins or take part in spiritualism of Halloween.
JennyBentle on October 22, 2012:
Love some of the ideas that you posted here. I'll share with my children!
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 21, 2012:
@anonymous: PumpkinGlow has one here: http://pumpkinglow.com/images/PDFpatterns/JC.pdf
anonymous on October 21, 2012:
I love these pumpkins...I am looking for a template with Jesus' face on it. My 8 year old wants him on his pumpkin. I have had no luck so far...If you have one I will surely download it. Thanks for the wonderful ideas!!!
anonymous on October 21, 2012:
@kerbev: Amen... tell it like it is!!!
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 20, 2012:
@nicks44: I do mind, because it's rude.
You're right that People do love Halloween. It's a holiday that is nothing like it's original roots - much like many other holidays are. Today Halloween is dressing up, getting candy, and carving pumpkins. Millions of Christian families celebrate Halloween.
I think this is a great idea for a church youth group or Sunday School to do as a fun activity. It's silly for a church to ignore the fact that it's Halloween and that's what the kids are thinking about, so they can use it instead. It is also nice for Christian families who want to share their faith. If you don't like the pumpkin in their window, then walk on to the next house. Why put Jesus into it? Why not?
Also, Christian's didn't make Jesus Christ a superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber did.
Don't sigh at my beliefs and I won't sigh at the lack of yours.
anonymous on October 20, 2012:
That is so awesome and neat -- thank you for sharing!
nicks44 on October 20, 2012:
Now I do hope you won't mind me for saying this, but why do you do this ? I mean Christianity isn't a bloody thing you carve into a damn pumpkin that you use to celebrate a heathen holiday ... Everyone loves Halloween now, I mean at least in the west, but why put Jesus too in it? Isn't it enough they made Him a "superstar" ... *sigh*
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 19, 2012:
@skybluesam1: If you use one, please send me a photo!
skybluesam1 on October 19, 2012:
Thanks for the templates will look forward to using them when I come round to carving my pumpkin :).
anonymous on October 18, 2012:
Thank you for the free templates. God Bless!
DLeighAlexander on October 15, 2012:
Love this lens! You have some super ideas for celebrating a Christ-centered Halloween. I especially like the "Cross of Light" pattern. ~angel blessed
CreativeExpress on October 09, 2012:
I love the fact that you have incorporated Christianity into pumpkin carving. What an awesome idea!
Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on October 06, 2012:
I love these patterns. They're good for the whole harvest season and a wonderful witnessing decoration.
Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on October 05, 2012:
As a Christian, I do not celebrate halloween because of the scary themes. This is a positive way to use th season and an excellent idea for evangelization kab!
LucyMac LM on October 05, 2012:
Some interesting ideas, not for me though
DeboraR on September 28, 2012:
Great lens! I don't carve pumpkins but this makes me want to this year!
ResearchAddict on September 23, 2012:
What a great idea! Thanks
MillBucks on September 18, 2012:
I really enjoyed these Christian carving ideas, thanks for sharing.
pheonix76 from WNY on September 06, 2012:
Seeing as both Halloween and Christianity are based on pagan rituals, I think they should go great together! Nice ideas.
anonymous on August 31, 2012:
I love your lens! Great ideas for a Christ-centered fall activity!
Pastor Cher from United States on August 31, 2012:
I like the alternative choices that you have given. Nice designs.
Shannon from Florida on August 30, 2012:
What a great idea!
bskcom on August 30, 2012:
I love the Christian theme you applied to the pumpkin carving process!
mouse1996 lm on August 29, 2012:
Such a lovely alternative to pumpkin carving. Lovely designs.
Gayle Dowell from Kansas on August 28, 2012:
Great ideas here. I love being able to do something like this for Halloween!
sans300 on November 14, 2011:
Really very interesting. Did not think about this!
Iain84 on November 05, 2011:
Fantastic stuff! Although I found this a little late - there's always room for next year! Thanks
anonymous on October 29, 2011:
We put up a big plastic sheet with "Happy Harvest Day," and carve a cross with light beams on tall pumpkins which show up great in the dark! Usually type up a gospel msg. to go with and dress up. We have over 200 kids in our subdivision which we enjoy. This year I will do your fish & cross, I love it! Thx & luv!
anonymous on October 29, 2011:
Thanks a million for your carving suggestions. Our family love to carve Christian pumpkins and needed new ideas. It's become our family tradition and a testament that the message of Christ can be seen on a day used to celebrate evil.
anonymous on October 25, 2011:
Thank you sooooooooooo much for this post. For years I have looked for a way to connect Christ to our pumpkin (if my husband had his way we wouldn't observe this day at all). We have always made happy pumpkins and all our costumes are happy and friendly characters. Great links to the children's poems as well! What a great way to display the Lord's Light on the darkest night of the year :)
pawpaw911 on October 24, 2011:
Cool idea. Just did some carving with my sons and grandsons. 3 generations carving pumpkins....life don't get much better than that. Nice lens.
happynutritionist on October 20, 2011:
I am a Christian and though have always made a point of keeping my pumpkins smiling, it never occurred to me to do something like this...my children are grown, but the kid at heart may just want to do this sometime for the children that come to the door. I absolutely love this!
Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 20, 2011:
@anonymous: 1 Pumpkin? It seems to me you'd need 7!
anonymous on October 20, 2011:
I have been given the challage of carving a pumpkin in showing some form of the creation for our world. Any ideas on how i can make this happen, any stenciles you guys know of?
Debbie from England on October 17, 2011:
Featured at Halloween Forgotten and blessed by a Squid Angel ;)
Pastor Kay on October 07, 2011:
The church stencil is just great! I'll have to encourage some of these around our church.
KimGiancaterino on October 04, 2011:
What a great idea ... I like the chalice very much!
TZiggy on September 16, 2011:
That is a very interesting concept to put Christian Halloween carvings on a pumpkin. I bet they can really turn out great.
Carol from Arkansas on September 04, 2011:
Great lens. I loved it. We don't celebrate Halloween and have never been sure how to use this American holiday for the glory of God!
AmbrosiaPopsicle on October 30, 2010:
Holy jack o lanterns, perfect! :)
ronpass lm on October 15, 2010:
Fascinating perspective on pumpkin carving - a Christian view.
Mona from Iowa on October 13, 2010:
Some great ideas here for the whose wish to include God in the Halloween celebration. Gotta say it wasn't something I had thought of before. Really great.
encouragingwords on October 11, 2010:
We need more lenses like yours -- featured in Pumpkin Plates to Put You in the Mood for Fall.
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on October 11, 2010:
Thank you for finding a fun alternative for Christians to enjoy with their pumpkins! :D
Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on October 05, 2010:
Love the page! We also love the book The Pumpkin Parable & all the kid's books by Liz Curtis Higgs :) Thumbs up!
BuckHawkcenter on August 23, 2010:
Wonderful ideas for alternative pumpkin carvings! And a good way to remind us who sends us those great pumpkins!