I love making seasonal crafts, and this year I wanted to make something using classic Halloween plastic pumpkin pails. I picked up these mini pails at Walmart for 74 cents apiece. Since they also had some small fall plants for sale, I decided to make these plastic pumpkin planters!
DIY Plastic Pumpkin Planters
To get this project started, I first removed the black handles on the pails. They just pull right out pretty easily. Next I lightly sanded the pumpkins with sandpaper.
While I love the classic black and orange pumpkins, I wanted to make them look a little more neutral. I originally envisioned painting them gold, but I checked my garage for old spray paint first and found a couple that would work (no gold, unfortunately).
The pumpkin on the left I painted with Rustoleum metallic spray paint in oil rubbed bronze. I’ve used this paint on a lot of projects around my house, and had barely enough left to do one coat on this pumpkin. I threw the bottle away before I remembered to take a picture, but let me say that I do love that paint!
The middle pumpkin I painted with Krylon spray paint in brilliant silver. This covered really nicely with only one coat, and is super duper shiny!
I really wanted to do a matte black pumpkin, but since I didn’t have black spray paint, I painted the last pumpkin with matte black acrylic paint. I put on 3 coats of this paint, and it really could have used more. Once the black paint dried, I decided to paint a swath of it with gold acrylic paint.
To do this, I used painters tape to tape off one side in kind of a triangle shape. I then painted on 3 coats of gold paint in the taped off area. After allowing time for the paint to dry, I peeled off the painters tape.
Let me tell you…this did not go well. I don’t know whether painters tape isn’t meant to be used on acrylic, or whether the acrylic isn’t meant to be used on plastic, but the end result was that large chunks of the paint peeled right off with the tape. So if you’re going to use acrylic paint on this project, don’t attempt to tape off shapes. I’d probably just freehand it, which is how I ended up fixing my mistake.
While I did like how crazy shiny the silver paint was, I really wanted more of a weathered look for this pumpkin. What I ended up doing was taking a metallic silver acrylic paint and mixing in a tiny amount of black paint. I then painted on a super thin, streaky layer over the silver spray paint using a damp foam brush. The end result was a much more aged look that I loved!
After giving the pumpkins several hours to dry, it was time to add drainage holes in the bottom so that they could be used as planters. To do this, I flipped them over and used a drill to make three holes in the bottom of the pumpkin. If you don’t have a drill, you could just use a hammer and nail to make the holes.
Now that the planters are finished, it’s time to plant! Mums and pansies are great fall flowers, so that’s what I planted in mine. I also picked up a little succulent at Lowe’s. It came in a 2.5 inch pot that was the perfect size to drop into the pumpkin, so I just dropped that one in instead of planting.
And there you go! Three easy planters to add to your fall decor. I did mini pumpkins, but the full sized pumpkins would look amazing as planters too. There are so many possibilities. Happy crafting, and happy Halloween!
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