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Plastic Pumpkin Pails Transform into Fantastic Jack-O-Lanterns

Classic candy pails will no longer become buckets of sweets anymore since you can repurpose them into fantastic concrete jack-o-lanterns. The plastic pumpkin will turn into a realistic gourd.

Create this DIY pumpkin decor on your front porch without being tired of all the mess of carving. You only need to decorate and display it. After that, the concrete gourd will last a lot longer.

Hence, follow these steps of molding concrete from plastic pumpkin bowls. Enjoy this DIY project with the whole family.

How to Make Concrete Jack-O-Lanterns from Plastic Pumpkin

Materials and Tools to Create the White Artificial Pumpkin

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These are the following tools and materials:

  • Concrete, mortar, or cement
  • Countertop mix
  • Three pieces of green plastic pumpkin pails
  • Water
  • Liquid cement color (optional)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Three colors of candles (optional)
  • A plant (optional)
  • Battery operated tea light (optional)
  • Large plastic buckets
  • Plastic cup
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Plastic tarp
  • Hand trowel
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Large brick
  • paper towel
  • Plastic tarp
  • Old clothing
  • Scissors

Step 1: Prepare the Working Space

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Firstly, you must wear old clothing, a dust mask, and gloves. After that, prepare the working area on the ground. To avoid spilling of wet concrete, cover the space with a plastic tarp.

Step 2: Cut Off the Handles

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Remove the handle of each pumpkin pail by using scissors.

Step 3: Make the Dry Mix of Concrete Pumpkins

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Prepare a large plastic bucket to mix the concrete. You can mix concrete with mortar or cement if desired. Use countertop mix to get the smoothest surface.

You can measure by using the pumpkin pail. Since you want to create three pieces of concrete jack-o-lanterns, pour the dry mixture for all of them at the same time.

Step 4: Add Liquid Cement Color (Optional)

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There is an optional step after preparing the dry mixture. Instead of doing extra steps for painting the whole pumpkin, add the liquid cement color into it.

Step 5: Mix Water and the Dry Concrete Mixture

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Add the water, plain or colored, into the dry mixture. The amount of water depends on the sizes of dry mixtures. Mix until you get the precise consistency, so it is not too thick or thin.

Then the wet is too thin, add more dry concrete to the mixture. On the other hand, if you get a thick texture, you need to add more water. Get a correct consistency when it appears like brownie batter.

If the mixture is too thin, the pumpkin will snap and break into small pieces. Therefore, do not add too much water, but pour a little at a time.

Step 6: Mold into the Plastic Pumpkin

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After getting the proper consistency of wet concrete, load up the pails with the mixture. Utilize a hand trowel to spoon it into the pumpkin.

Pour the wet concrete in a chopping gesture into each plastic pumpkin pail by using a hand trowel. Fill it up, but leave for about 3 cm near the top.

Step 7: Create a Recess in the Center

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Place a cup into the center of plastic pumpkin pails and push it down until forming a recess. Wipe the overflowed wet concrete with paper towels.

The recess will function as a space for fancy fillings to decorate the concrete pumpkin. The decorative accents might be battery-operated tea lights, candles, and plants.

Step 8: Put the Brick on the Top Part

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Place a large brick over the top to avoid pushing the cup out of the plastic pumpkin pail. It prevents any pressure so that you can weight down the glass.

Step 9: Remove Air Bubbles

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Bumping the plastic pumpkin with wet concrete filling to remove the air bubbles. Bounce out them by gently tap on the ground or table.

Do more tapping to get the smoothest surface. Work on all sides using the back part of the hand trowel.

Step 10: Let Cure for 24 Hours

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Set aside the plastic pumpkin and let the wet concrete cure at least 24 hours.

Step 11: Remove Cup and Plastic Pumpkin

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After the concrete dry, peel off the plastic by using a utility knife. Slowly cut it into slices carefully to strip off the outer layer.

Also, remove the cup inside the pail. Cut along inside the edge. Then, pull the cup after breaking it. Smooth the rough edges with sandpaper.

Step 12: Decorate Your Concrete Pumpkin 

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Wait for several days or a week to let the concrete dry. Paint the surface with some harvest hues such as wheat brown, sunset orange, and goldenrod yellow.

Orange pumpkin will function as a planter. Add any plant such as oregano in the recessed area inside the concrete. It will look like a fun hair on the top of the pot.

Moreover, put a battery operated tea light inside the concrete pumpkin to create a glow in the dark jack-o-lantern. The soft lamp will blaze on the dusk night.

The other pumpkin will function as a candle holder. You can place three colors of candles on the jack-o-lantern from the plastic pumpkin.

Tips for Casting the Concrete Pumpkin

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Use cooking spray on the cup and pumpkin while creating the recess in the center of the bucket. It will help the plastic release easily from the concrete.

Don’t forget to add drainage holes if you use the concrete pumpkin as a planter. Drill some holes in the bottom after removing the plastic. Do as soon as possible since this time will be easy.

DIY concrete pumpkins take 28 days to cure, so if you wait until several days, the drilling process will be more difficult. Then, to add drainage holes, you need a masonry bit.

Using a countertop mix will give the smoothest surface to the concrete. On the other hand, there will be a few holes when you skip this process. Don’t worry! They add a character to your pumpkin.

Are you ready for the next project? If you plan to create multiple concretes from plastic pumpkins, use a wheelbarrow to mix the materials and utilize a hoe to stir it.

Thus, your concrete jack-o-lanterns from plastic pumpkin pails will not rot. With the artificial versions, no more worry about protecting the pumpkins from pillaging squirrels.

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