Let’s be honest…I’m lucky if I can get two eyes, a triangle nose, and a mouth carved into our pumpkin each year, but for some truly talented and dedicated pumpkin carvers out there, insanely intricate carvings become a masterful work of art.

If you want to try your hand at this sort of intricate, layered carving, you may want to start with a template you can find online. Just Google whatever you want to carve (Harry Potter, Star Wars, monsters, etc.), and a bunch of choices should pop up. The pros suggest using Exacto knives, clay sculpting tools, and lemon zesters as needed to get those precise layers, scraping every bit of goop out of the pumpkin so the pumpkin is less likely to rot right away, and leaving the vine attached by cutting a hole in the back (instead of the top of the pumpkin) if you don’t want it to dry out right away. Who knew? (And if you want to get even more tips from Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, who did that Starry Starry Night pumpkin below, check out the full article at Mental Floss.)

I think I’ll be sticking with the novice pumpkin carvers this year, and keep working on some shapely eyes. But these 13 pumpkins are something to aspire to.

Related: 16 great ideas for amazing no-carve jack-o-lanterns

Looks like Gizmo is becoming a Gremlin in this Villafane Studio masterpiece.

Gizmo by Villafane Studios

 

Don't mess with this Optimus Prime pumpkin we found at Instructables

Optimus Prime by DoggieDoc83

 

What's this? A Jack Skellington pumpkin!

Jack Skellington by snerk

 

Horton Hears a Boo! in this elephant pumpkin by Villafane Studio.

Elephant by Villafane Studios

 

This Captain America pumpkin is the hero we need.

Captain America (We checked and cannot find the original source for this image but we would love to find out and share the credit!)

 

Hard to believe this flower is actually a pumpkin.

Flower (This is another one, source unknown, but we would love to find out who to credit!)

 

I'll eat this Max and the Wild Things pumpkin up, I love it so!

Max and the Wild Things by www.fantasypumpkins.com

 

This Edna Mode pumpkin by Sparks Fly Design is not cool with capes.

Edna Mode by www.sparksflydesign.com

 

So that's what's inside a Jack-o-lantern!

Two-face (We cannot find the original source for this image but we would love to find out and share the credit!)

 

It's the Great Pumpkin in a pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin (Another source unknown but we would love to know who to credit!)

 

WHO loves this carved owl pumpkin by Villafane Studios?

Owl by Villafane Studios

 

This tiger, tiger by volcanic-glass is burning bright!

Tiger by volcanic-glass

 

It's a Starry, Starry night for Manic Pumpkin Carvers.

Starry Night by Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

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