Military Spouse Central has thought up a fantastic way to celebrate this spooky time of year- carve Military-themed pumpkins!

Since a favorite fall activity is carving pumpkins, it is good to know there is a way to make even your Halloween decorations patriotic. Blogger Samantha Reeves shows the different options for carving military themes into pumpkins, whether it’s just with one of your drawings, or with some of the free stencils provided below.

She also offers some tips for keeping your pumpkin looking great for as long as possible, including these:

1. Go big. The larger the pumpkin, the larger your design can be.

2. Angle your knife. Cutting the top off on a slant will help keep the lid on.

3. Don’t scoop out too much. Keep the “walls” of the pumpkin at 1″ for stability.

4. Use a stencil. Keep track of your design as you go along.

5. A little tape will take you far. You design will turn out neater if you keep your stencil in one place.

6. Think small. Even large designs will benefit from pinprick holes that guide your knife blade in the right direction.

7. Use the right tool. No carving knife? Use a long serrated one instead.

8. Slow and steady. Stay safe and neat by carving slowly and away from yourself.

9. Make it last. Your pumpkin will last longer if you spray the cut edges with a 1 part bleach to 8 parts water solution.

10. Be creative. Find your inspiration and have fun making it a Halloween reality.

Click here for these templates:

  • Army Pumpkin Template
  • Navy Pumpkin Template
  • U.S.M.C Pumpkin Template
  • Air Force Pumpkin Template
  • Coast Guard Pumpkin Template
  • American Flag and Soldier Pumpkin Template
  • Wounded Warrior Project Pumpkin Template
  • POW MIA Pumpkin Template

After carving your military pumpkins, keep the fun going with some of SpouseLink’s 10 fall recipe ideas for Military families!

More Halloween Costume Ideas:

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