A few weeks back we made some hollow concrete pumpkins, which turned out waaaaaay better than expected. We added a candle to one to make this gorgeous luminary and another pumpkin got a fairy update. Sadly, one of the pumpkins didn’t turn out quite as expected and a bit broke off while I was removing the stocking, Bummer, but nothing goes to waste in our house, so she became the backdrop for this adorable stained concrete pumpkin planter.
Don’t you just love the way the succulicious greenery and that beautiful mottled patina from the concrete stain complement each other? And then there’s that old tin ceiling stalk on top too.
The rusty brown coloring on the concrete pumpkin comes from iron-based compounds in the stain. Manganese compounds produce blacks and dark browns while copper-based compounds produce a stunning greeny-blue. Applying the stain is pretty easy too, as long as your surface is free of any paint, or other coatings that could prevent the stain from penetrating the concrete.
What you need for a stained concrete planter
For the stained concrete planter, you’ll need a suitable concrete form that hasn’t been painted or treated before. We used our “broken” concrete pumpkin (you can get the tutorial here).
You’ll also need:
- Paintbrush or roller
- Baking Soda
- Concrete Sealer
- Suitable planter
- Rusty tin ceiling offcuts
- Reactive Concrete Stain
What is a reactive concrete stain?
There are two types of concrete stains; reactive and nonreactive. For this pumpkin planter, I used a reactive stain. It’s water-based and contains copper, iron or manganese that react with the lime content in the cement, creating that gorgeous variegated mottled effect. Reactive concrete stains tend to be permanent and last a long time so they’re perfect for outdoor planters. There’s one downside though. They only come in three colors; black, brown, and blue-green.
To apply the stain, clean the concrete first to get rid of any residual dirt. Place your concrete pumpkin or container on a protected work surface and wear gloves. Trust me on this one. Concrete stain doesn’t just stain concrete 😉 You can apply the stain with a brush or roller. I used an old paintbrush so I could get into all the nooks and crannies.
Leave the stain to soak into the concrete form for about an hour. Here’s what the concrete pumpkin looked like after the first coat. You can just start seeing the beautiful, rusty, mottled effect.
To get a deeper color, wait for the first coat to dry before adding a second or third coat. Once you’re happy with the depth of color, you’ll need to rinse the concrete with clean water until the water runs clear. It removes any stain that didn’t penetrate and since we’ll be using this concrete pumpkin in a planter, I would hate for any of those metallic salts to hurt the plants 😉
Sprinkle the stained concrete planter with a little baking soda to neutralize the acid in the stain and rinse again. Allow the stained concrete pumpkin to dry overnight before applying a concrete sealer for optimum durability.
Turning the stained concrete pumpkin into a planter
Our concrete pumpkin had broken in just the right spot, so I didn’t have to do anything other than placing it inside a suitable bowl. I used another concrete bowl we made as an experiment way back when. If your pumpkin or other hollow concrete object didn’t get a lucky break 😉 you can use a Dremel to create that perfect “break“.
Fill the planter with soil and coarse gravel and play around with the placement of the concrete pumpkin until you’re happy before adding your plants. I used a few babies from our huge succulent collection.
It was only after I’d planted everything that I noticed the pumpkin was missing something. Like a stalk and some tendrils 😀
Making a stalk from tin ceiling tiles
There are many different ways to make a pumpkin stalk. You could use cabinet knobs like my friend Marie from Interior Frugalista did here, and a branch works really well too. Or you can use some leftover rusty tin ceiling tiles as we did for our pumpkin planter 😉 To make the ceiling tile stalk you’ll need long nose pliers and tin snips.
Figure out how high you’d like your stalk to be and cut a strip from the tin ceiling with your tin snips. Grab the edge of the strip in the long nose pliers and carefully roll it over itself.
You can cut a few leaf shapes from the ceiling tiles too.
And then glue the stalk and leaves on top of the stained concrete pumpkin.
For the tendrils simply roll thin strips of the tin ceiling tile around a permanent marker, slide the tendrils off the marker and pull the tendril apart slightly to form loose curls.
So pretty right?!!
Now I’m trying to figure out which planter is my favorite. This stained concrete pumpkin or our crazy floating teapot. Which is your favorite?
If you like the idea of making a stained concrete pumpkin planter don’t forget to pin for later.
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And as always, here’s wishing you a love-filled and beautiful crafty week. Thank you so much for popping round for a visit.