Modern DIY Concrete Planter

6 Materials
$10
1 Hour
Easy

Make a modern DIY concrete planter, with white concrete. Minimalistic with clean lines. Plant with your favorite succulents!I seem to always be in need of more planters. I love succulents and can’t help getting more when I’m at a nursery, so you’ll be finding lots of planter tutorials on this website as time goes on, because my plants need homes!


Besides, I am obsessed with planters. Since I love modern design, I really wanted to make planters that have simple, clean lines.

This is my first attempt at making something with concrete. There are many different types of concrete, in terms of shades of greys, smoothness, and time to cure. I wanted these planters to be as white as possible so I bought a special type of concrete that is very white and smooth.


It’s expensive in comparison to something like Quikrete that you can pick up at a big box store, but the results are worth it as its properties lend itself to a great modern look.

STEP 1 | CHOOSE YOUR MODERN PLANTER MOULD

To learn more about the differences between different types of concrete and cement craft mixes, download my  Free Pocket Guide To Cement and Concrete Crafting Mixes.


Choose your mold materials. Keep in mind that every line and indent will transfer to your planter, so the smoother, the better, so make sure whatever you choose is pliable. In other words, if you can bend it now, you should be able to remove it without much effort from the concrete when finished.


Also be sure that when you put your inner mold into the outer one, that it gives your planter walls that are at least ¼” thick because it will help avoid cracking.

STEP 2 | PREP THE MIXING TOOL

To make mixing the concrete easier, tape two paint sticks together. Just wrap the tape around each end.

STEP 3 | MIX THE CONCRETE

Pour cement into the bucket. I used a ratio of about 3 ½” cups of concrete to 1 cup of water.


Now add the water and mix it in, if you need to add more, do it slowly. It should be the consistency of peanut butter.

STEP 4 | POUR THE CONCRETE

Pour the concrete into your mold. Shake and tap to get the concrete to settle. If you want to eliminate air bubbles, use an orbital sander- without the sandpaper to vibrate from the sides which will release the bubbles.

STEP 5 | PREP THE CONCRETE MOULD

To help lubricate, rub the cooking oil around your plastic for your inner mold and then insert it into the outer mold.Note: The concrete may bevel upward when you insert your inner mold, so keep tapping the bottom of the mold on your work surface until it flattens out again.

STEP 6 | NEATEN UP AND PREPARE FOR CURING


Clean up your edges with a sponge so you will have less sanding to do after it cures. Also, be sure that everything is level.The concrete will likely resist the inner mold piece and push it up.


You will need to add something on top that has some weight to it to avoid this. In the photo, I used a glass vase with a small black vase that was pretty heavy and fit inside.

STEP 7 | LET THE CONCRETE CURE

To get tips and details on concrete mixes, sheens, sealers and more, check out the  cement tests post I did!



Let the concrete cure for 24-48 hours, keeping the weight on top. If you can wait 48 hours it will be safer and help avoid cracking.


After curing and you have removed the weight, this is what it will look like.

STEP 8 | DE-MOULD THE CONCRETE PLANTER

When cured, very gently pull out your inner piece.



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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Bob Schulenberg
    on Feb 8, 2020

    Very nice — but drainage holes?

    • Artsy Pretty Plants
      on Feb 8, 2020

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks. Unfortunately, I didn't do drainage holes in this one. This is the only planter tutorial of mine where I was negligent with that. What I have been doing is cutting a piece of straw. Then I hot glue it to the bottom of the outer mold, and then fill the top of the straw in with hot glue. It works quite well as long as you get the inner mold pushed right down to that straw.

  • Therese Parker
    on Feb 14, 2020

    What kind of plants are these

    • Artsy Pretty Plants
      on Feb 14, 2020

      Succulents. The bigger ones are a Sempervivum- hen and chick type. I forget what the little ones are, but I've struggled to keep those going in any type of planter. The roots are really thin.

  • Sandi Landi
    on Feb 24, 2020

    Really nice love the modern look nd thanks for adding how to add drainage holes ! How are the succulents doing in these concrete planters ? I have never had luck using concrete containers to grow anything it always dies so I am anxious to know if this white concrete is different I thought it was a reaction to the concrete ???

    • Artsy Pretty Plants
      on Feb 24, 2020

      Hi Sandi,


      The little, long leggy ones died, but that kind of succulent always dies on me regardless of the pot. They have really thin roots. The Rosettes did great. I actually have had amazing success with cement planters and succulents, they have all lived and usually thrived. This project is the only actual concrete planter I made. If you are in the U.S., try Cement All. Every planter I have is made from that. It's rapid set, so you have to move quickly when working with it.


      Concrete and cement are high in alkalinity, which is why you may have had a problem. Most plants don't like too much alkalinity, but succulents tend to like a more alkaline environment. Despite the lack of drainage in the above project, I always have drainage holes. I use a succulent/cactus soil and add either Perlite or pebble mix like Bonsai Jack. It seems to work out better if I neglect my plants. I think I tend to over-water, but letting them get quite dry has been better.


Join the conversation

2 of 6 comments
  • Jessica
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Love this! So awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Martha
    on Jul 13, 2020

    I’ve had a box or mortar mix sitting in my studio for about a month now, waiting for inspiration! Now I’m inspired! Thanks😁

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