How To Make a Concrete Jack O’Lantern Planter

Decor, DIY, How-Tos

Wait until you see how easy it is to make a concrete Jack O’Lantern planter. This planter makes a beautiful addition to your Halloween decor. It’s perfect for displaying fall mums or any plants inside and outside your home.

Concrete Jack O’Lantern planters o nthe picnic table with mums in them and flowers and pumpkins around them. 

My Love For Concrete DIYs Continues

More like my obsession with concrete DIYs continues! It all started a couple of years ago in the summertime when I made my first concrete project, DIY concrete bowls. Then, that fall I tried my hand at making DIY concrete pumpkins. That’s when I was officially hooked on concrete DIYs. The following year I kept seeing images of concrete Jack O’Lanterns popping up on my Pinterest feed. Of course, I had to try making some of those too! I made a big concrete Jack O’Lantern to hold flowers in and smaller versions to hold tea light candles. Just when I thought I couldn’t come up with any more concrete DIY ideas I made a DIY Concrete Heart Planter. Surely, that had to be the last of the concrete projects…

DIY concrete jack o'lanterns used in a centerpiece on the table as candle holders and a vessel for a fall floral arrangement.

Then one-day last week, I found myself at Publix. As I was grocery shopping I passed by the Halloween display. Something caught my eye. It was a Jack O’Lantern trick-or-treat pail. Now, I have seen tons of Jack O’Lantern trick-or-treat pails this Halloween season, but this one was different. It was more like a bucket than the traditional round pail you typically see. However, it wasn’t just the shape that intrigued me, it was also the impression of the Jack O’Lantern face. The impression of the face in the plastic was very deep which immediately made me think of concrete. (Yes, I have a problem, I know.) An impression that deep in the plastic would turn out AMAZING in concrete, I just knew it! I’m sure this will not come as a shock to you at this point… I grabbed the $3 pail and brought it home. That’s when my fifth concrete DIY was born, a concrete Jack O’Lantern planter.

What You Need to Make a Concrete Jack O’Lantern Planter

Everything needed to make a concrete Jack O’Lantern planter including a trick-or-treat pail, fast setting concrete, cooking spray, and more.


  • Plastic Jack O’Lantern trick-or-treat pail (I got mine from Publix.)
  • A plastic container that fits inside the Jack O’Lantern pail (I used a plastic container that the mums came in. I covered the drainage holes on the bottom with duct tape so the concrete wouldn’t seep inside.)
  • Duct tape
  • Fast-setting concrete mix
  • Sifter (Helpful to remove large pieces of gravel in the concrete. I used a plastic colander I found at Walmart for under $1.)
  • Water
  • Large bucket
  • Small shovel or trowel
  • Gloves (Recommended)*
  • Cooking spray
  • Weights (rocks, brick, etc.)
  • Mask for nose and mouth (Recommended)


*Wet cement has a very high alkalinity (high ph), so gloves are recommended to prevent the possibility of chemical burns.

How to Make a Concrete Jack O’Lantern Planter


Rocks being sifted out of concrete in colander.

Sift out the rocks from the concrete. I prefer my concrete projects to have a smoother look. To achieve that, I sift the larger pieces of gravel out of the concrete before adding the water. This isn’t necessary though. If you prefer a more pitted (or rustic) look, you can leave the gravel in the concrete. To sift out the gravel I used a very inexpensive plastic colander I found at Walmart for less than a dollar. If you sift out the gravel, keep it close by. You’ll see why once you get to Step 5.


Spraying the inside of a Jack O’Lantern trick-or-treat pail with cooking spray.

Prepare the jack o’lantern by cutting off the handle. Spray the inside of it generously with cooking spray. The cooking spray helps to keep the concrete from sticking to the inside of the Jack O’Lantern and makes it easier to remove from the form once the concrete is dry and set.


Close up of concrete on a trowel.

Mix up the concrete. This step needs to be relatively quick because fast-setting concrete begins to harden in about 15-minutes. In a large bucket pour in the dry concrete. Slowly begin adding water and use the shovel or trowel to mix the concrete and water. The amount of water used in mixing the concrete depends on the amount of concrete being used. A good rule of thumb is to start out with less water and add more until it reaches the desired consistency. The concrete should be the consistency of pudding before it sets. Pour the concrete into the prepared Jack O’Lantern filling it about 2/3 of the way up. 


Top view of Jack O’Lantern bucket filled with concrete and smaller container inside. Inside the container is a brick holding it down in the concrete.

Spray the outside of the container that will be used inside the Jack O’Lantern with cooking spray. Press the container into the concrete. Once the container is centered and as deep as you like place a weight inside it. I used a brick. If the container is having trouble staying centered or floating up in the concrete, use duct tape to secure it on either side of the opening of the Jack O’lantern. The tape should look like an “X” at the opening. If necessary, slowly pour more concrete into the Jack O’lantern around the container until it’s filled to the top. 

Top view of Jack O’Lantern bucket filled with concrete and smaller container inside. Inside the container is a brick holding it down in the concrete with tape over the top in an ‘X’ formation.


Allow the concrete in the Jack O’lantern to dry and set for about 24 hours before trying to remove it from the form.


Once the concrete is dry and set, carefully remove the container from the center by lifting it out. Then, over a soft surface (I went into the grass), turn the Jack O’Lantern pail over and gently tap the bottom and sides until the concrete planter releases from the sides of the pail. 

Turning the Jack O’Lantern pail upside down to release the concrete planter.

Style and Enjoy

Using these concrete Jack O’Lantern planters for my mums around the farmhouse has been so much fun! I put moss around the rim of the planter and the soil to create a clean and intensional look. What do you think?

A concrete Jack O’Lantern planter with red mums in it on the porch.

I hope you enjoy making some of these Halloween planters for your home.  If you are looking for more farmhouse inspiration, easy and beautiful DIYs, delicious recipes, home decor tips, and more- join me on Pinterest and Instagram. I look forward to seeing you there!

Pinterest Pin for concrete Jack O’Lantern planter. 

Pinterest Pin for how to make a concrete Jack O’Lantern planter.




  1. Cheery says:

    awesome idea. TY for sharing.

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