*Spoiler Alert* We don’t usually make this many Halloween crafts but we are loving them this year! These festive Jack-O-Lantern concrete planters are easy to make and super fun! The idea came out of The Home Depot’s Garden Club page. While I’ve seen other variations on Pinterest, this was the one that seemed most appealing to try. You can fill them with anything from succulents to candles. Be prepared to get your (gloved) hands dirty and dive in.
- Peat Moss
- Cement coloring (optional)
- Cement mixing tub
- Rubber gloves
- Concrete trowel
- Dust Mask
- Safety glasses
- Drop cloth
- Non-Stick cooking spray
- Plastic Jack-O-Lantern’s
- Plastic cups for inserts and measuring
- Plastic tube for drain
- Box cutter
- Succulents (optional)
- Paint (optional)
Begin by prepping the pumpkins. Cut a circle into the bottom of the pumpkins just large enough to fit the plastic tube. Spray a couple of the plastic pumpkins insides with non-stick cooking spray. Then, cut the bottom of a plastic cup into a circle just large enough to snuggly fit the plastic tube. Cut the plastic tube slightly longer than the height of the pumpkin and place it into the plastic cup. Place onto the drop cloth.
Safety First! Make sure to wear rubber gloves, dust mask, and safety glasses when working with cement. After completing, remove protective items, and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Mix 1 ½ parts peat moss and 1 ½ parts perlite together in a cement mixing tub using the trowel. Then mix 1 part cement into the peat moss and perlite mixture (If adding a dry cement coloring, add at this point). We used the plastic cups as our way of measuring the different items: 12 cups of peat moss, 12 cups of perlite, and 8 cups of cement. Then slowly start adding water until the mixture is moist enough to spread easily but stiff enough to hold a loose shape (If adding a wet cement coloring, add at this point).
To assemble, place the plastic tube and cup contraption into the pumpkin hole. Carefully add the cement mixture into the pumpkin, you will most likely need to hold the tube and cup to have a centered planting space. Continue to press the cement mixture firmly into the pumpkins in order to have no pockets and create the desired face imprints. Repeat with remaining pumpkins. Leave the pumpkins to dry for at least 2 days. If the weather is colder, allow them to cure longer – we waited 4 days.
To remove the pumpkins from the planters, cut along two opposite creases and carefully pull away from the cement. Using the pliers, carefully twist and take out the plastic cup from the inside of the pumpkin.
Optional: We added a slightly watered down paint into the face imprints to make them stand out more. Please be advised that since these are meant to stay outdoors, they may need to be touched up yearly or have a protective coating applied.