Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Making a Concrete Pumpkin

The stores have been showing their Halloween and Fall displays since the 4th of July, but I thought I would wait until now, October 1,  to show our latest crafting project.  Quite a while ago I saw this project on Pinterest.  As with all projects on Pinterest, the end result could go either way.  Usually they don't turn out at all, but this one has mixed reviews.  Mostly it was a success.

We made Concrete Pumpkins.  The first thing that needed to be done was to gather some plastic trick or treat buckets.  We made the rounds and found several priced from 25 cents to $1.00.  The last place we stopped was a Goodwill store, and they had many.  At least we now know where we could find more if we want to.

We didn't work alone.  We made arrangements with our friends, who happen to be our son in law's parents, to do the project together.  We often find adventures or do projects together.  Wayne gathered all the things we needed to do the project.  We brought a bag of concrete mix to add to the mix they already had and a few buckets, but he did the rest.

Then the mixing began.  We were very deliberate at first, measuring, adding water and mixing very carefully.

By the end, we were scooping mix and splashing water.  I mistakingly said that my arms weren't tired, and we were proud that we were able to hand mix two fifty pound bags of concrete mix plus two ten pound bags.  A couple days later I felt it in my shoulders, but not too bad.  As we mixed, we put it in the plastic buckets.

We used a tree branch cut to length for the stem and put them in when the concrete was still wet.

Then the concrete had to dry.  It took a few days before the unveiling.  Getting the buckets off was not as easy as it looks.  We even sprayed the inside with baking spray.  Wayne ended up cutting sections of the plastic bucket and lifting the finished pumpkin out.  Since each pumpkin took twenty pounds of concrete mix, they are very heavy.

They turned out pretty well.  The coarse concrete mix made it difficult to get a really smooth finish, but that was fine.  Some of the faces turned out more distinct than others.  That is something to look for if we make them again.  Some buckets have deeper indentations than others.

Beth kept some and I took three home.  Now how to decorate them was the challenge.  She painted hers with acrylic paint.

I gave my three to my daughters.  One daughter left hers plain.  I'm not sure if she will decorate it or not.  My other daughter used chalk paint and placed them with her outside decorations.

All in all it was a fun and successful Pinterest project.  We learned that our choice of buckets was important and possibly a finer concrete mix would give a smoother finish.  They will last for many years.