Introduction: Concrete Pumpkins

Picture of Concrete Pumpkins

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!

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Cut Handle Off

Step 5: Spray Cooking Spray on Cup and Pumpkin

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Add Concrete Mix to Pumpkin

Step 8: Remove Air Bubbles

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Cover With Plastic Wrap and Place Heavy Object on Top

Step 11: Let Cure for 20+ Hours

Picture of Let Cure for 20+ Hours

Step 12: Remove Cup and Pumpkin Using Utility Knife

Picture of Remove Cup and Pumpkin Using Utility Knife

Step 13: Decorate Your Pumpkin

Picture of 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!

Picture of Enjoy!

We love how our thee concrete pumpkins turned out!

For more projects please visit MotherDaughterProjects.com!

Comments

The Papier Boy made it! (author)2016-10-24

thanks for the inspiration.

Wow great job! Looks awesome :)

The Papier Boy (author)2016-10-09

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.

SherrieD5 (author)2016-10-08

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.

mlawing (author)2016-10-03

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

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

lynnekz (author)2016-10-01

How much does this weigh?

probably 10-12 lb

wold630 (author)2016-09-30

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

Thanks!

njdev95av (author)2016-09-30

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.

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!)

zap1998 (author)2016-09-30

This is a cool instructable.

Thank you!

jeffjenn (author)2016-09-29

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

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

Swansong (author)2016-09-29

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

For sure!

Gears of War 2004 (author)2016-09-29

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

You're welcome! It's a fun/easy project :)

About This Instructable

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Bio: We're homeowners sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.
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