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How to Create a Simple Pumpkin for Halloween and Fall

Simple Concrete Pumpkins

A few years ago, I saw this cute craft idea and knew I was going to need to give it a try!  I saw it on LittleThings.com and it looked so easy and really, really cute.  They had taken a Halloween jack-o-lantern treat bucket and filled it with concrete.  The result was this cute pumpkin/jack-o-lantern to sit on your front stoop.  If you turned it one way, it was the jack-o-lantern face and if you turned it around, it looked like a concrete pumpkin for fall.  So, of course, I ran right out and picked up some Halloween treat buckets.  And then they sat there.  And sat there.  Finally this year, I said to myself, those treat buckets are either going to make pumpkins or I’m giving them away!  So, I made simple concrete pumpkins!

On LittleThings.com they give you a brief explanation on how to make them.  They used concrete, peat moss and perlite.  The peat moss and perlite are supposed to make them a little lighter so they’re not just solid concrete.  I picked up all three at my favorite Menards.  Then they recommended using some concrete color to add a tint of orange to the concrete mixture.

Simple Concrete Pumpkins

But I was too cheap to pay for concrete color so instead, I found online that some people used latex paint to tint concrete.  I picked up a sample for a few dollars and decided that was the route I was going to go.  The first thing they told me to do was spray the inside of the pumpkin with a lot of cooking spray and cover the hole on the bottom.  I used duct tape for the bottom.  My one mistake was having the dogs outside with me when I was doing this.  And spraying both pumpkins at the beginning.  By the time, I got to the second one, Hailey had licked it clean.  Darn rascal!

The one problem I had with the post on Little Things was that I didn’t see where it said exactly how much of the mixture I was going to need.  But I suppose that depended on how big your treat bucket was.  They did say that you would mix 2 cups concrete mix to 1 cup peat moss and 1 cup perlite.  And as soon as I added the water, I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  So, I quickly turned that batch into a double batch.  I added some paint to tint it white and scooped it into the first pumpkin.  This amount filled it almost halfway.  So, then, I made triple batch and ended up with a little leftover.  I rounded off the top of the concrete and added an old railroad spike for the stem.

The second one I started with the leftover from the first and just mixed it into the next batch.  I tried hard to keep the 2 batches for one pumpkin close to the same color but since I was mixing them separately, I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out.  Can you really tell where one batch ended and the other started?  I also bounced the treat bucket on the ground to try to settle the concrete evenly.  The second pumpkin, I think I added more water than the first since the spike started to sink when I put it in.  But that was fine, I just pulled it back out of the concrete, rinsed it off and put it back in after the concrete had set for about a half hour.

Simple Concrete Pumpkins

I ended up basically making 2 batches totaling 9 cups of concrete and 4.5 cups of peat moss and perlite.  I don’t think I could have pulled off a full batch on my own.  The half batches were about all I could handle.  My arm was getting tired by the time I was finishing up the last half batch.  And I think a full batch would have just been too much for me in my contractor bucket.

As you can see, one is a little whiter than the other.  I used a whole sample can of white latex for the one on the right and some from a quart of white latex that I had already for the one on the left.  I didn’t realize that I had the quart until I realized that I was going to need more for the second pumpkin.  Then I checked and found the quart.  I suppose if you wanted it to be tinted orange, you could probably use an orange latex but I really wanted mine to be tinted white.

Simple Concrete Pumpkins

And I love how the railroad spike looks in the concrete, don’t you?  I decided when I was making them that I was going to use the leftovers for some fun planters for next year.  We’ll see when I get that one done!  Haha

Have you ever worked with concrete?  This was my first time and it was way easier than I expected!  I wish I could find some little pumpkin treat buckets but I haven’t seen any so I’m just sticking with the one for now.

Happy Halloween in a couple weeks!

Simple Concrete Pumpkins

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