Concrete Pumpkins

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About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

Having just discovered how fun and easy it is to work with concrete, Steph thought a plastic pumpkin would make a great concrete mold.The advantage for those of us living in warm to hot autumn weather is a concrete pumpkin will not rot and can be left out all October. Win!

Supplies:

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials

Materials/Tools

  • $1 plastic pumpkin
  • Plastic cup (we used a red Solo cup)
  • Concrete, cement, or mortar (we used Quikrete and Sakrete brand)
  • Pam or a generic cooking spray or a silicone spray
  • Water
  • Trowel or mixing spoon (we used a kid’s sand shovel)
  • Scissors, utility knife
  • Face mask, disposable gloves

Step 3: Wear Mask and Gloves

Concrete/cement products create lots of fine dust—you don’t want to breathe that stuff in and the product is very drying to your hands—protect them with gloves.

Step 4: Cut Handle Off

Step 5: Spray Cooking Spray on Cup and Pumpkin

This will help the plastic release from the concrete once it’s cured.

Step 6: Mix Concrete and Water

Mix up the concrete, cement, or mortar. For the orange pumpkin, we used concrete in which we sifted out the rocks. We used mortar for the other two. Slowly add water to the concrete and mix until all is well mixed. Err on the side of too little water than too much. You want a mixture about the consistency of brownie batter.

Step 7: Add Concrete Mix to Pumpkin

Step 8: Remove Air Bubbles

Gently tap pumpkin on the ground or table to bring air bubbles to the surface—continue mixing up concrete and adding to the pumpkin until nearly even with the top.

Step 9: Place Cup in Center

Center the cup and push down into the center of the pumpkin opening. Remove any excess concrete that oozes out the top sides.

Step 10: Cover With Plastic Wrap and Place Heavy Object on Top

Step 11: Let Cure for 20+ Hours

Step 12: Remove Cup and Pumpkin Using Utility Knife

Step 13: Decorate Your Pumpkin

Orange Pumpkin: stained with DecoArt Color stain. This pumpkin does double duty as a plant pot. That’s an oregano plant that makes the fun hair.

Waxed Pumpkin: This had a concrete terra cotta colorant added to the concrete/water mix. We dripped three colors of candles onto it. It does double duty as a candle holder.

Blue Pumpkin: This guy was painted with Rust-Oleum Lagoon spray paint and his face is painted with DecoArt Chalky finish paint. It does double duty as a non-candy holder to bring awareness of those little ones that have food allergies.

Step 14: Enjoy!

We love how our thee concrete pumpkins turned out!

For more projects please visit MotherDaughterProjects.com!

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18 Discussions

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The Papier Boy

2 years ago

I unmolded mine today. A few notes to others trying this...

I used mortar mix, which seems good because there is no rocks in it.

The cups can and will collapse as the concrete cures. I suggest stuffing some rags inside before you cover and put weight on top. This will help the cups keep their shape.

Particularly in the "cool" autumn climates, allow to cure much longer than 20 hours before unmolding. 48 hours would be my suggestion. Otherwise, the concrete will still be relatively soft and you'll gouge it with your scissors/utility knife as you cut off the plastic. If you can't wait, just be really carefull.

Most of these plastic pumpkins have small holes in the bottom. So there may be a puddle of water under them after the sit for a while to cure. So don't let them cure on your priceless heirloom dresser or your newly finished hardwood floors.

They'll probably have to sit for a week before painting.

I'm looking forward to finishing them next weekend.

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SherrieD5

2 years ago

Mine was an epic failure. I bought quick set concrere and it started setting before we could get in the pumpkins. Just thought i wpuld share so no one else made the same mistake. Will try again later.

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mlawing

2 years ago

Saw this on Quikrete's facebook page. Great project!

1 reply
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DIY for Homeownersmlawing

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks so much! Yes, they shared our video and we have seen some great response! :)

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wold630

2 years ago

I would have never guessed these were made out of concrete when I first saw the photo. They look great!

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njdev95av

2 years ago

Very nice project. Just an FYI if using different colors for your pumpkin, https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.V-6gvzKZORs. The teal colored pumpkins mean you have non-food items for trick or treaters. We get several kids with allergies at our house, so we have a teal pumpkin outside. Just thought you should know.

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DIY for Homeownersnjdev95av

Reply 2 years ago

Yes, we have a gluten and peanut allergy in our family. We set out a non-food teal pumpkin in support (we didn't have the non-food items yet when we made these but will for halloween!)

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jeffjenn

2 years ago

Which mix do you feel was the best, the concrete or mortar?

1 reply
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DIY for Homeownersjeffjenn

Reply 2 years ago

I would say the mortar just because you don't have any rocks you have to sift out of the mix.

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Swansong

2 years ago

This is a great idea! Especially if you live somewhere really windy, you won't have to worry about your pumpkin being knocked over. :)

1 reply
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Gears of War 2004

2 years ago

wow nice ill try but with a baby hope I can lol , this is so ey I thought it was hard to make them . Thank you for a cool idea

1 reply