Happy autumn, everyone. We thought those of you who practice the (dark) arts, like us, would appreciate some very Denver jack-o-lantern ideas. This year, we have four brand new designs, a timely take on an old classic and a whole bunch of winners from scary seasons of yore.
If you carve any of these templates, or make your own very Denver cut-out, please send a photo to email@example.com and we may feature it in our newsletter!
First, a how-to:
- Choose a good pumpkin. We like gourds with flat sides that make for nice carving canvasses.
- Carve it out! Cut a hole in the top and then scoop out the innards. Ice cream scoops or large spoons really clean it out nicely. We also recommend scraping some extra flesh out from the side you’ll carve – thicker pumpkin walls are much tougher to cut cleanly, especially with intricate designs.
- Print out the design. The black areas are what you’ll remove from the pumpkin.
- The trickiest part is transferring the design to the pumpkin. For the simpler images, you can try taping the print-out to the pumpkin and punching some holes around the lines with a toothpick, which will show you where to cut later. For more complicated images, you might want to cut out the figures with scissors or an X-Acto knife, then tape the pieces to the pumpkin and trace along the edges with a marker. If you’re really good, try free-handing it with a marker!
- Get your tools. We really like those serrated knives that come with cheap jack-o-lantern kits. They’re effective and narrow enough to maneuver gracefully.
- Cut out the black areas. It’s a good idea to start with the most intricate places first; if you cut too much out and then try to pop out a small area, you risk breaking your pumpkin’s wall.
- Be mindful of the back side of your cuts. You’re carving a three-dimensional surface, and you may need to angle your knife to make sure pumpkin in the flesh in the back doesn’t block incoming light.
Here are our 2021 designs:
A city covered in wildfire smoke. Spooky, right?
This design debuted in 2017, but it seemed right to enhance this cityscape given our recent run-ins with the effects of climate change. Stick some dry ice or a smoke bomb in the pumpkin to bring your Denver jack-o-lantern up to date on current events.
The La Raza Park kiosko.
This long-time center of Denver’s Chicano life was officially renamed this year. It’s one of the easier designs here. The flowers are optional, but a nice touch if you can pull them off.
Robo Mike, who is very much alive.
There was a moment this year when people panicked that this iconic character of the 16th Street Mall was no longer with the living. It turned out not to be true. To celebrate, why not pay tribute to him this Halloween?
One of the weird things we saw at Meow Wolf.
This is a character in Meow Wolf’s Pizza Palace Playground, which was created by Everything is Terrible. It’s absolutely the right lane for this spooky season.
Casa Bonita + South Park.
Given that the metro’s most beloved
restaurant experience was recently purchased by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, we figured it was appropriate to celebrate with this scene from Eric Cartman’s visit to Black Bart’s Cave. (Scroll down for Casa Bonita’s famous steeple.)
Here are some oldies that are still goodies:
Mustang, the DIA sculpture also known as “Blucifer.”
Charlie Blackmon, the Colorado Rockies outfielder also known as “Chuck Nazty.”
Union Station less complicated.
An urban bunny, one of our most favorite species in the city. (We actually did this one a few years back.)
The Wells Fargo building, also known as the “cash register building.”
A Denver griffin. (Griffins are a thing here, believe it or not.)
One of Governor Jared Polis’ famous blue sneakers. (Use a blue light with this one.)
Nikola Jokić, Nuggets baller and 2020-2021 NBA MVP.
A scary scooter!
Count goose-u-la. Terrifying!
The Denver Public Library’s central branch. (This one is super hard, I don’t know what we were thinking.)
Casa Bonita’s steeple, as promised. Bonus points if you make the light inside pink!