Make a cement pumpkin planter for fall!

I inherited my passion for Halloween decorating from my parents.  My dad, raised in the south in a deeply religious family, was not allowed to watch movies or listen to rock music. With such a strict upbringing I imagine Halloween wasn’t celebrated in his home, either. My mother, from Italy, was introduced to Halloween after she married my father and they moved to the United States.  Whether they were making up for their missed childhoods or just enjoying the holiday, my parents went all out for Halloween.

how to make a cement pumpkin planter

My mother is a professional seamstress, so she made almost all of our costumes as we were growing up. One of my favorite handmade costumes was a leopard jumpsuit. (Not going to lie, I wore it long past Halloween!) My father was a skilled carpenter, and he built imaginative decorations for our lawn and front door area. One year he built a fake dungeon wall to close off part of our front porch. He hid behind it, in costume, and scared the bejeezus out of trick or treaters who came to our home.

DIY cement planter for mums

I didn’t acquire my parents’ sewing or building skills, but I did continue their tradition of handmade Halloween decor and costumes.  Halloween is my favorite holiday to craft for because there really are no “rules” or limits.  Whatever you can imagine, you can make it work for Halloween.  For example, one year I decided that instead of traditional monsters I would have creepy toys on display.  I set a play red wagon near the front door with seemingly innocent toys.  Upon closer inspection visitors would realize that some of the plush animals had evil eyes and sharp vampire teeth. My kids hated those “creepy” toys and would not allow them inside the house!

make a cement planter from a pumpkin pail

The only person who might enjoy Halloween decorating more than me is my husband, Andy.  A sizable chunk of our attic houses the Halloween decor collection he has accumulated. Moving monsters, strobe lights, and artificial fog are all employed to create a spooky front lawn scene.  While Andy likes creepier decor, I tend more towards spooky, light hearted Halloween projects.

Cement Pumpkin Planter Supplies

  • Plastic pumpkin pail
  • Craft knife
  • Duct Tape
  • Plastic container or planter
  • Quick set cement mix
  • FolkArt Painted Finishes: Moss

cut pumpkin bucket with razor

Remove the handles and cut the plastic pumpkin in half, using a sharp craft knife.

tape the bucket

Tape the halves back together with duct tape. Be sure to seal the cut edges well with the tape!

mix cement in bucket to make planter

Mix the cement according to the package instructions.  Pour a small amount into the plastic pumpkin, filling it about three-fourths full.

add opening in cement

Push the plastic container into the wet cement.  Fill in the sides of the container with cement, and leave it to dry.

reveal the planter

When the cement has dried, remove the duct tape from the sides of the plastic pumpkin to reveal your design!

To give the planter an aged, moss covered look, I used a texture finish paint.  First blot the dark moss paste over the surface, then blot and blend the lighter moss color in.  Let it dry completely.

how to make a pumpkin planter for fall

This project originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News newspaper.

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