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.
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.
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.
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!
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