Modern Halloween Decor from a Plastic Pumpkin Bucket

Modern Halloween Decor from a Plastic Pumpkin Bucket

Plastic pumpkin buckets are a common sight at thrift stores during the Fall, aren’t they? And when they’re not loaded with candy, they’re loaded with upcycling possibilities. So, I decided to give one a makeover for my latest project for the Charlotte Region ReStore blog. I wanted to create some modern Halloween decor that was neither cutesy nor spooky.

Plastic pumpkins at a thrift store

You make recall that I gave a junky makeover to some of these two years ago. I used rust effect paint to give them a very weathered and rusty look.

Plastic pumpkins as primitive Halloween decor with rust effect paint

Even though I still love how those turned out, I was looking for a much cleaner, sleeker look this time. So, I found yet another candy bucket at Habitat ReStore and got to work!

Pumpkin candy bucket to become a metallic pumpkin

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This project is also sponsored by the Charlotte Region ReStore(s).

Making a Metallic Pumpkin Planter

First, I needed to remove the handle from each plastic pumpkin bucket. Which was, of course, super simple- especially with my mixed media shears which cut through all sorts of things.

cutting the handle off a plastic pumpkin bucket

Then, it was time to prep them for a modern makeover. Because the candy buckets are made of fairly smooth plastic, I grabbed some white primer to spray them with first.

white primer for a plastic pumpkin bucket

After a single coat of white primer (it doesn’t have to be completely opaque), it was time for the star of the show: metallic spray paint.

making a halloween planter with a plastic pumpkin bucket

I really do love this copper spray paint. So much so that I’ve used it on a few other projects, as well, such as these metal pumpkins and these decorative thumbtacks.

Anyway, I used two coats of copper spray paint and the plastic pumpkin bucket looked like this once the paint dried. Gorgeous, right?

upcycling a plastic pumpkin bucket into chic halloween decor

Just for fun, I gave makeovers to two plastic pumpkin buckets: this one in copper and another in gold. The gold was pretty and all, but the copper had me swooning.

painting plastic pumpkin buckets with metallic spray paint

To finish up the modern Halloween decor, I filled in the jack-o-lantern face with black paint.

modern halloween decor to use as a planter

Lastly, I gave the exterior of the jack-o-lantern a quick top coat with a clear glossy spray to protect the makeover. And that was it!

Modern Halloween Decor from a Plastic Pumpkin Bucket

My plan for the copper jack-o-lantern? A Halloween planter (for fake plants) to use as chic and modern Halloween decor. 

Metallic pumpkin and boho planter

It’s sleek and chic and perfect for a modern or Boho-inspired home, don’t you think?

It’s such a simple makeover, but it really packs a punch. Don’t get me wrong, I love orange pumpkins at this time of year, but the metallic paint really adds a level of snazziness to it.

Chic halloween decor with a metallic pumpkin

Which metallic color would you try this with? Personally, I love the copper, but an aged bronze or burnished gold might look awesome, too.

Either way, a flowing green plant (real or faux) looks gorgeous against the metallic pumpkin planter, don’t you think? It definitely has a different feel to it than your typical Halloween decor.

Upcycling a pumpkin candy bucket into modern Halloween decor

I hope you enjoyed this super simple, but very effective upcycling idea for modern Halloween decor from plastic pumpkin buckets! And as always, I encourage you to also visit the tutorial on the Charlotte Region ReStores’ blog, as well.

If you enjoyed this take on Boho or modern Halloween decor, then you may also be interested in these simple jack-o-planters, as well!

Terracotta jack o lantern for boho Halloween

And for another fresh and modern take on Halloween decor, check out these Halloween Terrariums that I upcycled, too!

halloween terrarium in a black candle lantern

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I really liked the copper–very chic. I grew up with my mom’s Revere Ware with copper bottoms and have always been partial to copper anything! When I saw your stack of pumpkins I immediately thought “totem pole”. See, you really are teaching me to think outside the box! Maybe another year?

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