Did yinz get your carving pumpkins yet?
It’s getting closer to Halloween, and we’re pulling these 11 Pittsburgh-themed jack-o’-lantern patterns out of the archives (plus one new design) to get you ready for the 31st. So get out your carving tools, scoop the guts and goop, and make your jack-o’-lantern glow.
Back in 2018, The Incline enlisted the help of “Pumpkin King of the Plains” a.k.a Kevin J. Beaty, and he kindly offered his graphic design expertise for these hallmark Pittsburgh images with an artistic spin.
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.
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 a list of pumpkin patches in and around Western Pennsylvania.
- 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 otherwise 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 use 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: go to our website to find all 11 designs. To use these patterns, simply right click on the image, select “save as,” and file it on your computer. Resize the image if you need to, print it out, and you’re good to go. Remember that these are designed for you to cut out the black parts.
This one’s new: Boo! In the 412. Sarah Fox / FOR THE INCLINE