Denver-themed jack-o-lantern designs for Halloween!

Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite

October 08, 2021, 10:16 a.m.

Have a good fall everyone. We thought that those of you who are into the (dark) arts like us would appreciate some very Denver jack-o-lantern ideas. This year, we’ve got four new designs, a timely take on an old classic, and a whole bunch of winners from scary seasons of yore.

If you are sculpting one of these designs or creating your own very Denver decoupage, please send a photo to [email protected] and we can publish it in our newsletter!

First of all, a manual:

  1. Pick a good pumpkin. We love gourds with flat sides which make beautiful canvases to carve.
  2. Cut it out! Cut a hole in the top, then remove the insides. Ice cream scoops or large spoons clean it up really well. We also recommend removing some extra flesh from the side you’ll be carving – thicker pumpkin walls are much more difficult to cut cleanly, especially with intricate patterns.
  3. Print the design. The black areas are what you are going to remove from the pumpkin.
  4. The trickiest part is transferring the design to the pumpkin. For simpler images, you can try gluing the print onto the pumpkin and punching holes around the lines with a toothpick, which will show you where to cut later. For more complicated pictures, you can cut out the figures with scissors or an X-Acto knife, then glue the pieces to the pumpkin and trace along the edges with a marker. If you’re really good at it, try it freehand with a marker!
  5. Get your tools. We really love those serrated knives that come with some inexpensive jack-o-lantern kits. They are efficient and narrow enough to maneuver elegantly.
  6. Cut out the black areas. It’s a good idea to start with the more complex places; if you cut out too much and then try to squeeze out a small area, you risk breaking your pumpkin wall.
  7. Pay attention to the back of your cuts. You are carving a three-dimensional surface and you may need to tilt your knife to make sure the pumpkin in the flesh on the back doesn’t block incoming light.

Here are our 2021 models:

A city covered in forest fire smoke. Scary, right?

This design debuted in 2017, but it seemed only fair to improve this cityscape given our recent clashes with the effects of climate change. Stick dry ice or smoke bomb in the pumpkin to get your Denver lantern up to date.

DENVER-JACK-O-LANTERN-WIDER-KEVINJBEATY-07-SMOKE

The La Raza park kiosk.

This longtime center of Denver Chicano life was officially renamed this year. This is one of the easiest designs here. Flowers are optional, but a nice touch if you can pull them out.

211007 JACK O LANTERNES-02b

Robo Mike, who is alive and well.

There was a time this year when people panicked that this iconic 16th Street Mall figure was no longer among the living. It turned out that was not true. To celebrate, why not pay tribute to him this Halloween?

Robo Mike (is very much alive).

One of the weird things we saw in Meow Wolf.

This is a character from Meow Wolf’s Pizza Palace Playground, which was created by Everything is Terrible. This is absolutely the right track for this scary season.

A character from Meow Wolf's Pizza Palace Playground, created by Everything is Terrible.

Casa Bonita + South Park.

Since the most popular metro Restaurant experience was recently purchased by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, we thought it was appropriate to celebrate with this scene from Eric Cartman’s visit to Black Bart’s Cave. (Scroll down for the famous bell tower of Casa Bonita.)

Cartman visits Black Bart's cave!

Here are a few oldies that are still goodies:

Mustang, the DIA sculpture also known as “Blucifer”.

Cut out Blucifer in your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon also known as “Chuck Nazty”.

Carve Charlie Blackmon into your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

Union Station!

Cut out Union Station in your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

Union station less complicated.

Cut out Union Station in your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

An urban rabbit, one of our favorite species in the city. (We actually made this one a few years ago.)

Carve an urban Denver bunny into your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

The Wells Fargo Building, also known as the “Cash Register Building”.

Sculpt the "checkout building" in your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

A Denver Griffin. (Griffins are one thing here, believe it or not.)

Carve a Denver Griffin into your pumpkin!  (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite) Halloween pumpkin;  Halloween;  pumpkin;  Arts and crafts;  truth;  kevinjbeaty;

One of Governor Jared Polis’ famous blue sneakers. (Use a blue light with this one.)

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

Nikola Jokić, Nuggets player and NBA MVP 2020-2021.

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

A scary scooter!

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

Count goose-u-la. Terrible!

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

The central branch of the Denver Public Library. (This one is super tough, I don’t know what we were thinking.)

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

The bell tower of Casa Bonita, as promised. Bonus points if you turn the light inside pink!

(Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

About Tracy G. Larimore

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