Happy Wednesday, Friends! October is usually the month when Texas begins to feel like fall as far as the weather is concerned, so I am happy it has arrived. Today I'm sharing how to repurpose plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins as festive fall planters.
Whether you choose the faux metallic or faux terracotta technique, it's a thrifty way to create a whimsical fall planter. I've included this tutorial in my Fall Dollar Store Craft series because I've seen plastic pumpkins at dollar stores and also at Walmart for just under a dollar. However, you might want to check thrift stores first--that's where I found mine for .25 each.
For either look, start with a coat of white spray paint to act as primer on the bright colors. You'll notice I didn't bother painting the inside. I thought the bright contrast was kind of fun and a plant will be tucked inside, anyway.
I introduced my faux metallic pumpkin during our early fall garden stroll. He's the easiest--just another coat of spray paint.
I wanted to share a lesson I learned from a previous project. If you use mercury glass spray paint, keep in mind it is the inside of the object that is painted, so it really needs to be transparent like glass, to achieve the desired effect. If you attempt to paint plastic with it, the finish may look metallic but it won't look like mercury glass. I tried based on other tutorials I'd seen and it was a pricey lesson since mercury glass paint cost more than twice as much as most spray paints, for a smaller can. Bottom line, a plastic surface is not the project for mercury glass paint. Since this project is plastic, I chose this brushed metallic spray that I had on hand. It covers really well and the end result is similar to galvanized metal. It's also available in gold and copper, if you prefer.
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The faux terracotta finish is a little more time consuming, but not difficult at all. Another lesson learned from a past project: there is a terracotta spray paint available but it dries very orange and as a result doesn't look much like terracotta. I happened to find an oops jar of paint that was the perfect color, but DecoArt also has a shade called Medium Flesh that is very close to a true terracotta. Here's how it looked after one coat; it needed two.
After the second coat dried, I used a make up sponge and watered down white craft paint for shading. Just add streaks near the grooved markings of the pumpkin and wipe up off any excess. Real terracotta has imperfections, so just streak and wipe until you achieve a look you like.
The finished result on my repurposed vintage milk can scarecrow came out pretty realistic looking. Since I already had paint, I created two planters for .50! Even with pumpkins purchased from the dollar store, it's still a really thrifty project.
Which planter do you prefer, or would you make both?
Check out others from the Fall Dollar Store Crafts series: