Friday, September 21, 2018

Part 1 Concrete Pumpkin Flower Pots

Part Two The Reveal of the Concrete Pumpkin Flower Pots

If you are coming here from the website Hometalk, welcome.  You can follow Gear Acres through a reader or Google+.  My posts are generally on how to fix something or how to make something.  We are currently restoring a 1926 home so feel free to follow along.

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 by Quikrete.  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 that because it stayed fluffy and didn'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 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.

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 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.  

The next day I stopped at my local nursery because they had mum plants on sale.  I was really hoping to only spend 10 bucks or less on the two plants.  I found two plants in the smaller size that would work with the size of my pumpkin pots.  They were regularly priced at $4.99 but marked down to $3.99 each.  Eight bucks for 2 plants plus the $2.12 for the pots would mean that this project would come in at around 10 bucks.

This particular nursery chain offers reward bucks once or twice a year based on how much you purchased during the year.  I always use my reward card but I didn't realize that the reward bucks were being paid out that week.  The cashier swiped my card and rang up the two plants and then asked me if I wanted to use my $7.77 rewards bucks on this purchase.  Well of course.  The new total was now 22 cents!  Using those rewards cards do pay off.
The next day I started making my pumpkin pots.  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.  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 basket and the plastic flower pot.  The size of the drainage hole is the same size as a 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 held 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.  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 pumpkin mold concrete cured.  And the last thing you do before you wait 24 hrs for the concrete to set up is to tap the pumpkin with any tool you have on hand or even your hand.  By tapping it helps the mix to fill all voids and get rid of air bubbles.
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.

Materials needed

2 plastic pumpkin baskets $2.12
2 mum plants $.22
dowel already own or you could use a pencil
concrete mix left over mix from another project
My total cost $2.34

Your cost if you pay the sale price for mum plants w/o rewards bucks $8.46
Pumpkins baskets $2.12
1 40lb of Quikrete $4.05 
Pencil in place of the dowel
$8.46 (mums) + $2.12 (2 pumpkin baskets) + $4.05 Quikrete $14.63 Total

Tools needed
Drill motor
Drill bit that is the same size as the dowel/pencil
Utility knife
Needle nose pliers
Hand shovel or scoop
Container to mix concrete 


Part 2 The Reveal of the Concrete Pumpkin Pots

Reuse Repurpose Recycle

1 comment:

  1. That is really creative. I have a bag I need to use up; I am definitely tempted to try this when the plastic halloween buckets are available again.


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