Updated: August 01, 2022

8 Online Pumpkin Carving & Virtual Decorating Contest Ideas

You found our list of the best ways to do virtual pumpkin carving online.

Online pumpkin carving is a fun, interactive, and creative way to do team building in October. Virtual pumpkin carving competitions and ideas are ways to decorate your gourds together via Zoom.

This experience can be a remote team building activity, a game for a virtual Halloween party or hybrid Halloween event.

This article includes:

  • virtual pumpkin carving classes
  • pumpkin carving games online
  • virtual pumpkin carving contest ideas
  • virtual pumpkin carving apps
  • online pumpkin carving event ideas

Here we go!

List of ways to do virtual pumpkin carving online

From fake pumpkins to carving contests, here are creative ways to virtually decorate pumpkins with remote teams, classmates, family, or friends.

1. Reimburse the cost of real pumpkins

One of the most straightforward online pumpkin carving event ideas is to reimburse participants for the costs of decorating materials. Mailing pumpkins can get pricey, and it is much easier to ask employees to purchase their own gourds and submit the receipt for reimbursement. You can also include a small stipend for supplies like carving kits, sharpies, glitter, candles, and glow in the dark paint. $10 to $20 per participant should be enough to cover these materials.

After gathering supplies, attendees meet up via video call and deck out the pumpkins together. Participants should set the computer or mobile device far from the crafting area and lay down newspaper and plastic to cut down on mess. Wearing gloves also makes for easier cleanup, and can prevent party-goers from getting pumpkin guts all over the screen or keyboard.

2. Order fake pumpkins

Instead of asking guests to purchase a pumpkin from a nearby grocery store or patch, you can order artificial pumpkins, like these craft pumpkins. We recommend putting together a kit with colored sharpies, stickers, googly eyes, gems, and any other decorating supplies your team may use to make their blank pumpkins unique.

This activity is one of the most low-mess, low-stress ways to do virtual pumpkin carving, and is especially good for younger children who cannot safely yield knives.

Plus, your guests will get to enjoy the creations long after Halloween ends. The best part of these pumpkins is that there is no rot!

3. Send logo stencils

Stencils make pumpkin carving easier, and logo stencils help remote teammates show festive company pride while working from home. First, make a pattern of your company’s logo or mascot using an online stencil maker or Canva. Then, send the template to teammates and encourage your staff to carve, paint, or decorate a company-centric pumpkin. Finally, encourage participants to upload pictures of the finished products to a shared gallery, cloud-based photo album, or social media page.

4. Take a virtual pumpkin carving class

Sometimes local farms, craft studios, or event companies host virtual pumpkin carving classes during the holiday season. Enrolling in these courses often means getting a special kit that contains pumpkins, tools, and all the fixings needed to decorate. Participants also receive a Zoom link to a class. At the appropriate time, guests enter the Zoom room, meet the teacher, and learn how to craft next-level Halloween decorations.

The upside to this approach is that it usually requires no work besides signing up for the class, as the event organizers handle the supplies and demonstration.

If this experience is outside of the budget, then you can also host your own virtual pumpkin carving class by having your most artistic team member lead the session, or following an online tutorial.

5. Play an pumpkin carving game online

One of the easiest alternatives to cutting real pumpkins is to play pumpkin carving games online. The best online pumpkin carving game is on ABCYA. Once the screen loads, players can draw designs into the gourd and the program automatically “carves” the pumpkin. If playing via Zoom call, then you can share your screen and take design suggestions from the crowd, or send all participants a link and ask players to share screenshots of the creations at the end of the activity.

You could also draw a pumpkin together by using the video meeting platform’s digital whiteboard function, however this approach requires freehand drawing and art skills.

6. Use a virtual pumpkin carving app

Virtual pumpkin carving apps are another digital answer to pumpkin carving. The first step is to download an app like Pumpkin Carver or Carve a Pumpkin! on a smartphone or tablet. Next, open the app and follow the directions to decorate a digital pumpkin. Feel free to take screenshots to share the creations with classmates, friends, or coworkers.

This activity makes a good online classroom activity for kids, or a fun work from home break.

7. Host a remote pumpkin carving contest


One way to get a group excited about online pumpkin carving is to host a carving contest. Simply announce the competition, relay the rules, set a deadline, then have judges pick and announce a winner. You can hold your contest live during a Zoom call, or allow entrants to upload photo submissions to an online photo album, cloud drive, or form.

Here are a few more virtual pumpkin carving contest ideas:

  1. Set a theme such as superheroes, villains, Halloween around the world, Halloween throughout history, cartoons, or “if we decorated pumpkins for other holidays.”
  2. Invite a “celebrity judge” to pick a winner
  3. Hold a social media contest where the post with the most likes or comments wins the competition
  4. Have participants decorate pumpkins for a nursing home and donate the decorations post-event

Check out more ideas for workplace competitions.

8. Hold a you-are-the-pumpkin costume contest

Instead of decorating pumpkins, guests can decorate themselves. To hold this contest, first send each entrant a plain orange t-shirt, a sharpie, and black felt. Contestants can use these materials and other embellishments to turn themselves into Jack-o-‘lanterns. Once the outfits are complete, teammates can meet up on a Zoom call, take part in a virtual fashion show, and vote for the best human pumpkin costume by using the polling feature. Or, entrants can upload photos to a team album or social media page, and the picture that gets the most engagements wins a prize.

Check out this guide to virtual costume contests for Halloween.

Final Thoughts

There are many inexpensive and non-messy ways to host virtual pumpkin decorating contests. Making online Jack-o’-lanterns is a fun and festive activity that can bring teams closer together and help groups relax and have fun. This experience is a good holiday exercise for adults and children alike, in school, work, or social settings. The activity also provides a way for distanced family members to spend time together during the spooky season.

Next, check out these guides to virtual Fall activities, virtual Christmas activities and virtual team celebrations.

FAQ: Virtual pumpkin carving

Here are answers to common questions about virtual pumpkin carving.

What is virtual pumpkin carving?

Virtual pumpkin carving involves team members meeting up on a video call to decorate pumpkins together. Participants can also carve or paint pumpkins individually and share photos of the results on social media or team photo albums.

What are some good ways to do virtual pumpkin carving online?

Some good ways to do virtual pumpkin carving online include reimbursing for a bring-your-own-pumpkin decorating session, using fake craft pumpkins, holding a remote carving contest, and throwing a Jack-o’lantern costume contest.

How do you host a virtual pumpkin carving contest?

To host a virtual pumpkin carving contest, the first step is to pick a theme. Next, recruit judges. Then, announce the contest, explain the rules, and give participants a deadline. Finally, either meet up on a Zoom call and choose a winner live, or have entrants submit photos via social media or form and announce the winner at a later date.

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Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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