FORM A CONCRETE FACE
Transfer the smiling face of a plastic pumpkin bucket to a concrete pumpkin that is equally at home indoors and out. Mary and Tim Vidra at 17 Apart made theirs to join a fun display on their front steps.
STEP 1 Select a plastic pumpkin bucket that has indentations for the facial features; painted-on features will not transfer.
STEP 2 Mix fast-setting concrete with water in a bucket according to the package directions. Mary and Tim used just over half of a 60-pound bag of Quikrete for their standard-size plastic pumpkin.
STEP 3 Coat the interior of the plastic pumpkin with cooking spray. Working quickly, fill the pumpkin two-thirds of the way full with the wet concrete. Gently lift and drop the pumpkin to remove air bubbles and settle the mix into the mold.
STEP 4 Spray the outside of a plastic paint cup or similar container with cooking spray. Press it down into the wet concrete. Using a trowel, fill in any remaining space with wet concrete, up to the rim of the pumpkin.
STEP 5 Place in a cool, dry space for at least 24 hours.
STEP 6 Once dry, gently twist and remove the paint cup.
STEP 7 Use a box cutter to cut a vertical line through the plastic along one of the natural ridges of the pumpkin. Try not to dig too deeply into the concrete. Make additional cuts until you have four “flaps” that you can pull away and release the concrete from the mold.
STEP 8 Smooth any rough edges or cuts with sandpaper.
STEP 9 Paint all or a portion of the pumpkin. If you prefer an unpainted, natural finish, apply a few thin coats of low-odor clear matte spray.
STEP 10 Add a flickering battery candle or a bright potted mum inside.
EASY DIY This project is great for concrete newbies and can be completed in a weekend.