Introduction: Concrete Jack-O'-Lanterns

Picture of Concrete Jack-O'-Lanterns

With Halloween just around the corner, I've decided to try yet another concrete experiment. In my very first ever concrete project, I made a large round concrete planter. So this time around, I've decided to make a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin using concrete.

You can watch the short 2-minute video, or read on!

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here are the tools an materials I used for this project:

Step 2: Mix the Concrete

Picture of Mix the Concrete

For this project I used regular Quikrete concrete.

I started by mixing a small amount of concrete in a bucket. I simply added water and mixed with a trowel until it reached an oatmeal-like consistency. Wet, but chunky ;)

Step 3: Grab Your Stockings

Picture of Grab Your Stockings

To make the pumpkin form, I used a nylon stocking. These are actually knee highs I got from the Dollar Store.

Slowly fill the stocking with concrete by hand. You'll be surprised how much these nylons can actually hold! So go ahead and make it as big or as little as you want. And hey, you can make a few of them in different sizes.

Once you've filled it to the desired size, go ahead and tap, shake, and drop the pouch a few times to get the air bubbles out and compact the concrete.

Step 4: Create a Void

Picture of Create a Void

I want to create a void in my pumpkin so I can put in a candle, a plant, candy, or whatever.

I inserted a small glass candle holder that I first wrapped in a Ziploc bag so it will come out of the concrete easily once dry.

Step 5: Form Your Pumpkin

Picture of Form Your Pumpkin

I used rubber bands to wrap the concrete ball in a pumpkin-like formation. You can use either 4 rubber bands or some string. Working with rubber bands is faster, but I like the greater control you get using string. You can play around with how tight the string will be, and make the pumpkin crevasses as deep or shallow as you'd like.

Step 6: Let It Dry and Unwrap

Picture of Let It Dry and Unwrap

I let the forms dry for about 36 hours, then unwrapped it. The nylon should come off really easily.

The tricky part is getting out that glass candle holder. If you're gentle with it, and wiggle and shake it softly, eventually, it should slide out.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

To finish it off, I used chalkboard spray paint so I'll be able to draw on a chalk face for my Jack-O'-Lantern. I painted another one I made using craft pumpkin paint.

Have some fun with it! Drop in a candle, or use it as a candy bowl. Paint it, or leave it raw. Be creative!

If you haven't already done so, you can watch the step-by-step video

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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Comments

NikyN2 (author)2017-10-20

I would LOVE to do this - but as a hollow-out pumpkin. same as people make candle holders out of a balloon - but in pumpkin shape. then put in a candle, and you have a jack'o'lantern, but made of concrete.

but alas, as a city dweller, I wouldn't know what to do with it!

lbottoni (author)2017-10-19

very nice

TomT41 (author)2017-10-19

For a couple dollars more you could get quick setting concrete mix and do it all in an hour.

hlagas (author)2017-10-19

Do you think a plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin-shaped bucket would work as a mold? They're 88 cents at the local discount store, and would help me make a slightly bigger pumpkin, but I wonder if the concrete would be damaged if I used a box cutter to cut the plastic off after drying?

diymontreal (author)hlagas2017-10-19

Yes, that would work. I have seen this technique used before. I would just cut the top of the plastic bucket at the top (in the back) before "peeling" the pumpkin. or score it the whole way down, just don't go too deep. Should avoid leaving any scoring.

JohnS1060 (author)diymontreal2017-10-19

How about slicing it ahead of time then duct taping it back together? Plus, you could reuse it? Maybe? Spray it with cooking oil spray (Pam) to make it release easier. I don't know if it would leave lines. If you cut in a groove, probably wouldn't be noticeable.

Mark 42 (author)hlagas2017-10-19

Using a plastic pumpkin as a mold would make a good spin-off Instructable!

A box cutter would leave a scratch where the blade came across it, if you pressed too hard, but you can use a sanding block and buff it out. 120 grit should be fine. Clean the dust off, and it should be good to go for painting.

RetBill (author)2017-10-19

Cute idea, lets see those little monsters try to kick this one,,,bwahahaha

bruce.desertrat (author)2017-10-19

Neat!

My first thought "That would piss off the javelinas!"...my local news just ran a story about a suburban neighborhood where they've learned not to stick out real pumpkin jack-o-lanterns, because the local javelinas find them to be a tasty tasty treat, and it's quite a trick when you open your front door and there's a pack of them eating away! (They're pig-like critters about 35-65 lbs and travel in bunches. They can be quite aggressive and they pack 3" fangs; not much messes with them.)

rnorton2 (author)2017-10-19

I like it! simple and cheap.

tlandrum (author)2017-10-19

that is great and a brilliant idea! I bet you could mix some perlite in to make them lighter, but such an elegant way of making a pumpkin!

Juel1013 (author)2017-10-19

I may try to make a few of these but bigger for those kids who like to kick pumpkins in the neighborhood.

seamster (author)2017-10-18

Such a brilliant idea. Very nice, I'm going to have to make a few. Thank you for this! :)

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Bio: DIY Montreal is a do-it-yourself projects website focusing on home decor, furniture, lighting, as well as simple tips & tricks for common household problems. At DIY ... More »
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