How to make a witch cauldron prop for Halloween

So, this year’s decoration theme I’ll do is witches, we'll make a witch cauldron prop for our front garden Halloween display. We'll go step by step and list the needed items and tools well need.

Needed items and tools

Spray glue

18 gal. container:


Foam board

Hot wire foam cutter

Dremel rotatory cutting tool


Masking tape

White glue

Aluminum tray (Buffet tray)

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Black spray paint

Brown spray paint

Our main item we'll need is a 18 gallon tub here are the dimensions on the one I used if yours measures the same dimensions as on the picture you will have a very similar result from mine using this download template available here.

Prep the tub by cutting the rope handles and the gusset supports around the handles, here I am using a Dremel 200 and a cutting disk. A dremel is a rotatory tool which is very versatile.

18 gallon tub
dremel 200
dremel 200

I have made these printable .pdf file on the exact profile shape I used to cut the ribs I glued to the tube, click here to download .pdf file.

After you printing the upper and lower templates you will need to tape them or glue them together by aligning the circle indicators. Get a cardboard size that will fit the profile and glue the template to the cardboard (I used sprayed glue, but you could use any glue type) then cut around the edge.

witch cauldron template

I am using ¾” Styrofoam board to make the ribs for the cauldron, I know sometimes 3/4" is hard to find so using 1" thick foam will work just fine. Place your template on top of the foam board and cut the shape. I am using a foam cutter here, I first tried to cut them by using a knife and it was a more tedious and messy task!

electric pen hot foam cutter

The total ribs I used was 32, in order to have a more or less even space in between them did the following:

  1. Glued 4 ribs at 90º approx.
  2. Placed one rib in between the 90º ribs (45º rib)
  3. And placed 3 more ribs in the generated space.

Complete the rest of the cauldron using the same technique.

18 gal. tub
witch cauldron DIY



Add tape all around and cover all the ribs... I used masking tape because that is what i had available at the time, you might consider duct tape to provide extra strength to yours!

I prepared paper mache paste using 1-part water and 1-part wood glue, percentage of glue might vary depending on how thick the glue you’re using.

I used a disposable aluminum foil buffet tray to put the paper mache paste and to submerge the papers I wrapped on the cauldron. Wrap paper I used is the weekend advertisement type since its soft, newspaper will work just as good.

Once I covered the cauldron I let it dry overnight and here's the result.

paper mache paste
halloween witch cauldron
halloween witch cauldron DIY
halloween witch cauldron DIY
Final touch is the paint, i used a brown layer at the bottom and chalk paint at the top to give it a dull look.
This cauldron will give the final touch to my witches theme for this years halloween!
Let me know if you have any question on this process on the comments box.

Also, here are the links for LED and fog machine with control remote I used inside the cauldron at night time, also included the spooky witch prop with sounds and movement.

Color LED light with control

Fog machine with control

Motion sensor animated witch

Here is a gallery of the finished cauldron with other decorations at day and night time:

Learn how to make a witches cauldron prop for halloween with this step by step tutorial by using common household items and tools!

Here is the video version of this blog:

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9 thoughts on “How to make a witch cauldron prop for Halloween”

    1. The paint will allow it to survive a the storms during the month when the cauldron will be shown. I would suggest to make drain holes at the bottom of it to allow rain water to flow. The time I did mine we got about 3 decent rain days in October and the cauldron survived.

      I had to discard mine at the next summer since I had left it outdoors. If I had set it indoors I am pretty sure it would had been survived longer.

  1. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I made one with thick cardboard ribs, and then put cardboard cross braces in between each rib. Then I covered it all in duct tape, and then paper machet with modgepodge. I made handles with cable management tubes with a layer of tape. I never would have figured it out without your tutial. Many thanks.

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