“Dreams come true when desire transforms into concrete actions.” -Napolean Hill
I’ve decided that 2020 is the year of concrete crafts at the farm, so what better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall than with DIY concrete pumpkins. I can’t get enough of them, y’all! This Fall I’m obsessed with making concrete pumpkins, much like I was obsessed this past Summer when I discovered how to make concrete bowls. If you’ve never tried to make concrete bowls, you’ll want to check out my post for them here. Fair warning: once you start, it’s hard to stop!
Concrete although messy is so easy to work with, very fun, and inexpensive. It’s a wonderful media for making home decor and it’s fun for the whole family. Dare I say… These concrete pumpkins may even be more fun than the bowls!?
Can you ever have too many pumpkins?
The answer to this question is no. Along with leaves changing colors and cool crisp air, pumpkins are another telltale sign that Fall has arrived. At the farmhouse, I love to decorate for Fall with pumpkins. Whether they are real pumpkins or faux pumpkins, I say the more the merrier to celebrate the season. This year though, I felt like something was missing.
I wanted to add more texture to my fall decor and I needed some smaller pumpkins to use in vignettes. Being that I still had concrete leftover from the Summer bowls, it didn’t take long before I decided I would try my hand at making some concrete pumpkins.
Fresh, faux, or concrete- all pumpkins are beautiful.
Concrete pumpkins are easy, inexpensive, and so fun to make! You can really let your creativity run wild. Quick-dry concrete, quality pantyhose (or trouser stockings), and some twine are basically all you need to make adorable concrete pumpkins for your home.
A word to the wise.
The beauty of my tutorial is that I am providing you with the exact materials that I found which worked best for making the perfect concrete pumpkins. Through trial and error here at the farm, I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you.
Quality nylons are key. I found that “Active” pantyhose and trouser socks made the best pumpkins. My favorite was the trousers socks, though they are slightly more expensive. In the end, I think the ease of using quality nylons outweighed the cost. (Note: The cheaper the nylon, the harder it is to peel off your pumpkin. Believe me, they make a fuzzy mess… I learned the hard way!)
One of the things I decided early on was that I was going to sift out the small rocks from the concrete. After making concrete bowls, I realized that there is a tremendous amount of rocks in concrete. I loved the texture the rocks added to the bowls however, I didn’t think they would be a good look for the pumpkins. Knowing that the concrete pumpkins were not going to be large and I was hoping for a smooth look, I decided that for this project I wanted the concrete to be as rock-free as possible. Using an old net I found in the garage, I sifted out the rocks. You can also try using an old window screen or a wire mesh or a plastic colander. I also highly recommend using gloves for this project as wet cement has a very high alkaline (high ph). Gloves will help prevent the possibility of chemical burns.
Container or crock
The container you use to hold the nylons open is also important. It needs to be wide enough that you can get a good amount of concrete in the nylon. At the same time, the mouth of the container cannot be too wide, otherwise, your nylon will not fit around it. It took some trial and error to find the perfect container around the farmhouse to use. I ended up using an old crock to hold my nylons. It worked beautifully! You can also use an old ice cream container or a small sand pail.
Be sure when you are tying up your concrete-filled nylons with twine to make the creases for the pumpkins that you don’t tie the strings too tight. If your twine disappears into the nylon and concrete to the point you can’t see it, the concrete will dry and you will have a lot of trouble getting the twine off. It will end up being buried in the concrete.
Also, be careful not to tie the twine too close to the top knot in the nylon or over the top knot. This will also cause you trouble once your pumpkins are dry and you are ready to cut off the nylon and twine.
Finally, take caution when cutting off the twine and nylon once the pumpkins are dry (after 24-48 hours). I started at the bottom. I cut the twine off first and removed it. Then, I cut the knot in the nylon off and slowly peeled it upward.
If you notice a texture to the concrete from the nylon that you’re not happy with, sponge off your pumpkins with some water and use 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.
Get creative when making your concrete pumpkins.
The best part of making these pumpkins is experimenting with their sizes and shapes. I was challenged by trying to make a taller pumpkin and some smaller ones. I also loved walking around the farm in search of branches and things to make the best stems and curly vines to decorate my pumpkins. You can add flowers, berries, or leaves to your pumpkins if you like too.
The fun of this DIY is making your concrete pumpkins as ornate or as simple as you choose. Enjoy decorating them. Make them a representation of you and your beautiful home.