It’s almost time to carve jack-o’-lanterns — especially Pittsburgh-themed jack-o’-lanterns.
Maybe you grew up with a neighbor who always carved the Steelers logo in his pumpkin. Now, you can do that too, and you can even take your designs a step further.
First, we mulled which iconic images would both represent Pittsburgh (and be carveble on a pumpkin).
Then, we enlisted the help of “Pumpkin King of the Plains” a.k.a Kevin J. Beaty, who works for our sister site Denverite, and he kindly offered his graphic design expertise for these hallmark Pittsburgh images with an artistic spin.
Scroll all the way down for high-res downloads of the patterns.
If you make one of these creations (or your own Pittsburgh-themed pumpkin), we want to see it! Tag us on Instagram or Twitter at @theinclinepgh or email us, so we can share your creations as Halloween approaches. And don’t forget to check off “carve a jack-o’-lantern” on your Incline fall BINGO board.
Before you start carving, here are a few tips and tricks courtesy of Kevin the jack-o’-lantern expert:
- Pick the best in the patch. To be clear, though, this isn’t necessarily a super-sized specimen. Look for a flat side to facilitate ease of carving. Here’s our guide to Pittsburgh’s pick-your-own-pumpkin farms.
- Scoop the goop. While you’re cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin, give an extra scrape to the wall you’ll be carving. “Especially if you’re going for the more complicated designs below, you don’t want to mess with more than an inch of pumpkin depth,” Beaty advised. “Just be careful not to scrape too far that the design won’t hold up.”
- Make a design plan. As the old adage states, “measure twice, cut once,” and it applies to jack-o’-lantern design, too. For the easier patterns, print them out, tape them onto the pumpkin and then using something sharp to poke holes through the paper. When you’re done, you’ll have a good roadmap for slicing your design. For the harder ones, Beaty suggests cutting the design out with an X-Acto knife, taping the white sections to the pumpkin, then tracing onto the pumpkin with a marker. Very important: These illustrations are designed to cut out the black space; imagine those areas aglow with candle light.
- Find the right tools. The carving kits you can find at the grocery store actually work pretty well. A paring knife will get some broader patterns done, while the thin little saws maneuver around tight corners. And be careful, obviously.
- Do the hard part first. It’s good life advice and great jack-o’-lantern advice. Begin with the smallest, most intricate areas while you still have a lot of pumpkin to work with. It’s tough to cut out a detailed section if your canvas is already flimsy.
Now, onto the designs:
Download our designs
Click here to download high-res versions of any or all of these. They’ll be available until Nov. 1. And remember — these illustrations are designed to cut out the black space.