Concrete Pumpkin Flower Pot for Autumn and Halloween
Back in the spring of this year, I bought a 40lb bag of Quikrete to make a solar lamp for my entry into the One Bag Wonder contest. I didn't use all the concrete dry mix so I stored it in a plastic storage bin that had a snap on lid. BTW I love storing the mix like this because it stays fluffy and doesn't get hard lumps that high humidity can cause.
I like the look of concrete as a material for outdoor accessories like the solar lamp that I made for the contest. So I have been looking for items that I could use as a mold to make two decorative pumpkin flower pots for two small mum plants to use in my fall decor outside. I specifically wanted pumpkin shaped pots but all the items that are pumpkin shaped on the outside are not pumpkin shaped on the inside and will not work as a mold.
I decided to look at faux pumpkins while I was buying bird food at Walmart. Other shoppers must have thought it was odd that I was concerned with what the inside looked like because most people buy faux pumpkins based on the outside appearance. Then I noticed the plastic pumpkin shaped baskets that kids use to hold their candy when they Trick or Treat. I picked up one and looked inside and oh my gosh it was pumpkin shaped on the inside BUT it also had a jack o'lantern face impressed on one side. Bummer, I wanted a plain pumpkin. I put the pumpkin basket down and walked away.
Then the light bulb finally went off. Just turn the pot around so you can't see the jack o'lantern face. Then the really big light bulb went off and I realized that these pots could be twofers. Both Halloween and Autumn. I could use the jack o'lantern side during the week of Halloween and the other side the rest of the time.
The absolute best part is that there were two different faces and the pumpkin baskets were just a buck each. I would only be out $2.12 if my idea didn't work out.
I test fitted the plastic flower pot that the mums came in because I want to use those pots to form the inside of the pumpkin mold.
The test fit showed that I needed to open up the top of the pumpkin basket so the the plastic flower pot would fit level with the rim. I used large scissors to cut the handle off and to cut the plastic and make the opening bigger.
Once the opening was the correct size I then drilled a drainage hole in both the pumpkin baskets and the plastic flower pots. The size of the drainage hole is the same size as the wooden dowel. This dowel was leftover wooden dowel that I use for plugging holes in wood slats last month.
This dowel will give me a drainage hole in the concrete pot and also will hold the plastic pot in place while the concrete cured. I then taped up the factory drainage holes in the plastic flower pot.
I mixed just enough concrete to fill the bottom of the pumpkin but still expose the dowel so that I could fit the plastic flower pot onto the dowel.
After placing the plastic flower pot onto the wooden dowel I mixed more concrete and started to fill the void between the plastic pumpkin basket and the plastic flower pot.
This part is easier if you have another person move the plastic flower pot to the side so you can pour the concrete mix into the mold. I used a hand spade to scoop up concrete mix and spoon the mix into the pumpkin mold. Then my husband came home and I had him hold the second plastic flower pot to the side so I could pour the concrete mix instead of scooping it.
The plastic pot wanted to float up so I placed a concrete brick to hold down the plastic flower pot while the concrete dried. One last thing before you wait 24 hrs is to tap the outside of the pumpkin to help the mix flow into all the voids and to help release any air bubbles. Don't over tap because this will cause all the aggregate to go to the bottom and all the moisture will go to the top.
24 hours later I started the un molding process. This would mean cutting the plastic basket so I used a utility knife to make the cut down each side of the plastic pumpkin basket. I used the crease in the plastic pumpkin basket as the place to cut because I was hoping to reuse these molds to maybe make more flower pots and this area would be less visible.
After I cut down each side I found that I did not need to cut across the bottom as long as I cut just the transition spot from vertical side cut to horizontal bottom cut. This allowed me to peel the mold off the concrete pumpkin.
Now that the concrete pumpkin pots were out of the molds I tidied up the top edge with sand paper and then left them upside down for another 24 hours to fully cure.
After another 24 hrs, the pots were dry enough to plant with the small mums plants but first I had to remove the plastic flower pot that formed the inside of the concrete pumpkin flower pot and the wooden dowel that formed the drainage hole. I tried lifting the pot straight up and out but ended up folding it in on itself and then lifting up. This left the dowel in the concrete pot and I used a pair of needle nose pliers to grab it and twist and pull up at the same time and it slowly came out. Go slow because the pot is not cured or totally hard at this point.
I let the two pots dry for another 24 hours before planting with the two small mum plants.
The above photo shows the plain pumpkin side. I made the concrete solar lamp behind the mum plant and the instructions can be found here on Hometalk under my profile or on my blog Gear Acres.
Here is one of the two pots in the Halloween position with the jack o'lantern showing. Both pots have a plain side and a carved pumpkin side.
Visit my blog to read about how I purchased the items for two concrete pumpkin flower pots for only $2.34.
Most of these items are things that most people have around their house.
Drill bit that is the same size as the dowel or pencil
Needle nose pliers
Container to mix concrete
Wooden dowel or even a pencil would work
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