These adorable Mini Concrete Succulent Planters are made from balloons and cement and are easy to make. Darken the cement with colorant for a vibrant contrast with the succulents! These are a spin off of my original on ArtsyPrettyPlants.com.
DIY Mini Cement Balloon Planters
I started this project out feeling really frustrated. Originally I tried to make these using concrete like other tutorials show, but it was a complete fiasco. Even though I sifted the concrete to get out the gravel, it just didn’t work. I must have popped 5 or 6 balloons in the process.
I also was working outside and accidentally polluted the environment with 4 runaway balloons I was never able to catch- it was really windy that day.
Aargh, I watched a million videos and read tutorials of people making these with concrete and I’m feeling like they have to be faked a bit, because it just doesn’t work.
Cement! It turns out that cement was the key.
When planning the size of your planter you’ll have to consider your balloon size. Make sure the balloon package says “round”. I used round balloons that said 5”. You can use bigger ones in place of the 5″and just blow them up with less air to be smaller, but be careful because they may end up being more oval than round.
Make sure to have everything set up and ready to go because once you start mixing the cement, you won’t have much working time.
Do you love making crafts with concrete and cement? I have a handy Free Pocket Guide you can download, where I compare the different concrete and cement mixes for making crafts!
Inflate your balloon to a little larger than you want it to be, then push it into a round shape and let some air out. This helps make it round, because even the round ones can get oblong.
Place the balloon in a cup that is weighed down with stones or sand.
Mix up the colorant. Use the disposable measuring cup and add 1/3 of the powder to 2 cups of liquid. If you want your planters to be lighter or darker, adjust the powder accordingly. Now stir it in the measuring cup using a wood popsicle stick.
Once mixed, pour it into the disposable water bottle, put the cap on and shake well. You will want to shake it very well every time you add it to the mix because it separates quickly. If it separates, you will have uneven coloring.
In your big disposable plastic bowl, pour in about 1/2 a cup of water, then add some colorant until it’s the color you want. Add a little bit of cement and mix with your hands. Make sure you wear gloves! Mix the cement slowly, adding more cement as you go. You will do this a few times until the cement is the consistency of a milkshake.
This doesn’t have to be an exact science, just play with it. If it gets too thick, add water. If it’s too thin, add cement. You can also just add only the colorant as you are mixing if you still need the cement to be darker, but make sure to mix it well.
This cement is rapid set so you need to work quickly. If your mixture starts getting too thick as it starts to cure, you can add water to thin it. It’s important to keep the color consistent so make sure you add the appropriate colorant amount.
*Hint- When you are done making these, you can keep the bowl and re-use it by gently pushing on the sides of the bowl. The cement will crack and you can throw it away. Do not wash these, cement will ruin drains.
Start with the tied end of the balloon facing downward. Scoop the cement onto the top balloon and start molding it and work your way around, shaping and smoothing as you go. You can keep wetting the cement or your hands as you are sculpting, and also add cement to any areas that it may need to be built up.
Be careful not to let the cement touch the edge of the container or strainer or it will cause a bump. The second side will be easier, so don’t worry about trying to get the first side fully covered, a third will be good.
**Do you want to learn how to add pigments to concrete and learn about the different types and methods? Then yo may want to check out my Concrete Pigment Tests! I even talk about how to color cement after it's cured.
Immediately after you are done, carefully use a Q-tip to press a few small holes for drainage, just sort of spin the tip to create the space. You may need to wet the Q-tip to get the holes free of cement.
Let the cement dry. In this photo you can see each of three I made at different stages, including a finished one from the original Cement Balloon Planter project (click my website link below to see that!).
It should take about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours depending on climate conditions, then you can pop your balloon. If you wait too long to pop it, the balloon may be more difficult to pull out and could stick to the cement.
To pop it, just use scissors and snip the tied piece, then pull out the balloon.
You should reinforce the balloon by adding more cement inside. Mix up some more cement into a slurry so it is thinner than you made it before. This makes it easier to pour in and coat the insides. After pouring it in, just roll the planter back and forth till the edges are coated.
Make sure to keep your drainage holes clear, use the Q-tips again if you need to. I made mine about 1/4-1/2″ thick on the bottom, then built up the sides just a bit. Your planter may be durable enough without this step, but better safe than sorry.
Now go ahead and plant some succulents in your new pots!
Resources for this project:See all materials
Cathy on Sep 27, 2019
Very nice! I like the small ones. Years ago I did this with balls, up to and including nearly 30" fitness balls. Of course, with the larger sizes, you will need to use some type of reinforcement: fiberglass/polypropylene/nylon fibers for the smaller ones, and fibers and fiberglass net for the larger. Cement and sand (I mixed my own) come in white, too. Not certain about rapid-set white mix, though.
Kaz on Mar 22, 2021
😅😅😅😅 Oh my god I laughed. I've tried this a few times and spat the dummy big time 😂
Yes I've popped them.
Got half way thru and they have burst and sent soggy concrete over everything within 5ft..
Sifted the bloody stones out of it coz the guy at the local Bunnings store said it didn't have any agrigate in it hence why I bought it.
Had it start to cure and not been happy with it so ive got water n cement and bowls, cups, containers, spoons for mixing in various sizes coz of course the original isn't big enough or snaps coz it's plastic so panicking it's into the kitchen draw for another larger spoon that it for food only but what the hell grab it coz the bloody concrete is going off agghhhh 😤😡😧😅😅😅 lol
Sigh...I think the one nightmare I managed to make was too thin and a lil brittle and broke and went in the bin and something else I had tried to make for my succulents was too thick and it's now a mozzie coil holder on the back patio.
What a debacle but looking back I do laugh now. The dog was walking around for a few hours with lil lumps of dry concrete on her back and head 😂😂😂😂
Must admitt I havnt tried again. Thanks for the laugh..cheers Kaz from Oz 😆