Introduction: Concrete Modular Geometric Wall Planters

These concrete modular planters are inspired by 3 of my
favorite things: geometric modular designs, concrete as a creative material, and the tapestry of living walls.

I created this for my blog a couple of weeks ago, and I can't wait to share it here! Our

amazing instructables community is where my diy roller coaster got started after all! =)

Here's the free template for these concrete planters we will be making!

Step 1: Geometry and Tessellation

I just have to include the best explanation of 'tessellation' for you guys - image credit lefthandedtoons.com Isn't it unbelievably cute??

Here each planter module is created from the shape of an equilateral
triangle, the magical geometry which allows a group of modules endless possibilities of forming new shapes and patterns.



Step 2: Materials (cement Vs Concrete) & Molds

Materials & tools:

  • pourable concrete mix, such as Quikrete 3000lb (used here) or 5000lb.
  • cardboard or thick card stock for making the moldstemplate for the molds, formatted for 8.5″x11″ – download template pdf above (Hope I'm uploading it right. If not, let me know!)
  • plastic containers to mix concrete, plastic bags for curing concrete
  • box cutter or scissors, glue and tape for the molds
  • gloves, dust mask

Print and cut out the template - Download it here.

Trace onto cardboard, and cut out the inner and outer molds. The template for the outer mold on page 2 is larger than 8.5″x11″, so rotate it when you trace to complete the shape. Score, fold and tape each mold with scotch tape or masking tape. Fold 3/8″ wide strips of cardboard into triangular shapes and glue them to the inside bottom of the outer molds. These will function as drain holes and openings for hanging later.

Because these planters have thin walls, I decided to screen those bigger chunks of aggregates out of the Quikrete 3000lb mix- a plastic nursery pot works great - and leave some small aggregates for strength. The aggregates give important structures that hold the cement together in concrete.

There's a lot of confusion when people talk about cement vs concrete. It's important to understand the difference which will influence how we work with each material. "Cement is to concrete as flour is to a cake." This link here explains very nicely the difference between cement and concrete - http://www.jdm-inc.com/concrete-vs-cement.php

Mix the concrete following the proportions recommended on the bag, using the screened concrete as if it is the original mix. Wear dust mask and gloves when working with concrete.

Step 3: Make Planters

Pour the mix into the outer mold till it’s level with the triangular
pieces, then place the inner mold inside, making sure it is centered. Pour the walls using a Popsicle stick to help pushing the mixture down.

Step 4: Let the Concrete Cure! (very Important)

Let the planters stay in the molds and cure for at least 3 days by
misting them daily and wrapping them in plastic bags. This is a very important step to ensure that the concrete hardens as much as possible so they don’t chip or break. The more moisture you can keep in the plastic bag the better.

Step 5: Decorate

After day 3, take the planters out of the molds. Since concrete is
very alkaline and that can be a set back for plant growth, soak them in a tub of water for a day and let dry. I decided to paint the edges with gold acrylic paint for an added sense of mystery.

Step 6: Planting and Maintenance

Now we are ready to plant. Succulents are great because they are easy
to care for. Give the plants a couple of weeks to form roots that hold the soil in, and now we can hang or stack these planters to create our own mini vertical gardens!

To create a pattern on the wall, use the template to mark where the 3 openings on the bottom of each planter are, and use 1 or 2 nail / screw for each planter depending on the pattern you want to create. A few tips on maintenance: each week take these planters out and water them thoroughly, let them get some sun and fresh air. The best way is to make twice as many and rotate them so they get to spend half the time outdoors or by a sunny window.

Hope you have fun with it and create your own gorgeous living tapestry!

Comments

author
Finster101 (author)2014-06-25

Neat design. Just wondering would it be easier to make if it was cast upside down. Meaning the open end facing down. I think this would eliminate the need for the little spacer bits. I could do a quick drawing if need be. Just thinking out-loud since I haven't made any either way.

author
kag432 (author)Finster1012014-06-25

The spacer bits also provide mounting holes so you would need them there anyway.

author
blissful2015 (author)kag4322014-06-25

yes, and drainage for plant health =)

author
blissful2015 (author)Finster1012014-06-25

thank you finster ! that definitely will work. what i noticed is that whichever side face down is a lot smoother, so if you want these planters to be tight against a wall, the bottom being smooth and straight might be a priority. =)

author
JanPieterman (author)2014-06-24

Very nice design, thanks for sharing.

author

thank you so much jan! =)

author
kebmoore (author)2014-06-21

Nice design and excellent execution. I might try this with and add squares with sides the same length. The combination of equilateral triangles and squares produce some interesting tiling patterns.

author
blissful2015 (author)kebmoore2014-06-21

oh such a fantastic idea keb! thank you! now we can shift to 4th dimension =)

author
shazni (author)2014-06-20

This looks fantastic! Going to my ever growing must do list ;-)

author
blissful2015 (author)shazni2014-06-21

thank you shazni! i know how that to-do list can grow! =)

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-06-20

Your ideas are always beyond normal imagination my friend :). I am very pleased to see you back in action.

author

hi tarun! i missed you all! finally caught up with some sleep and so nice to be back =)

congrats on your own contest!! so awesome!! i see some great entry there already =)

author
doodlecraft (author)2014-06-20

I love these! I need a bag of concrete stat! And I love the addition of the
tessellation cartoon! haha, so true!

author
blissful2015 (author)doodlecraft2014-06-20

thank you natalie! i giggle every time i pass a subway because of that cartoon =)

author

These are so pretty! I love the gold edges!

author

thank you danger! i LOVE your middle name!

author
pachytrance (author)2015-12-29

This will be my mom's gift

author
pachytrance (author)2015-12-29

This will be my mom's gift

author
craftthefuture (author)2015-11-17

When you planted into these planters, did you line the bottom so the moisture from the plant doesn't damage the walls? I want to make something like this for Christmas gifts but it has be t damage proof.

author
kristina.lohe (author)2015-05-07

Probably a stupid question, but... How to water the plants?

author
kristina.lohe (author)2015-05-07

author
jameszerkel made it! (author)2015-03-04

I just made something similar this last week but I didn't think of holes for mounting them. Nice work!

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 11.51.15 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 11.51.34 PM.png
author
Hariskal (author)2014-11-10

That is a genious idea. You hsould try making a bigger panter too. Those are good for small succulent plants

author
michaelgc (author)2014-09-15

Great design, I have a whole garden of succulents but none on my wall yet. Thanks for this idea.

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-08-03

Congratulations!! Dear Friend, I knew that you will make to the finals :)

author

thank you so much tarun! =)

author
poofrabbit (author)2014-08-01

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

author
poofrabbit (author)2014-08-01

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

author
blissful2015 (author)poofrabbit2014-08-01

thank you so much poof!! =)

author
poofrabbit (author)2014-08-01

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

author
poofrabbit (author)2014-08-01

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

author
jjjllybean (author)2014-07-20

So I'm pretty lazy and will never get around to getting the materials and actually doing this. But I do have a 3d printer laying around, so I think I'll try to design something similar! Do you find that you don't need wire mesh to hold the soil in once the succulents take root? Most "living wall" tutorials (frames with a shadow box back filled with soil to fill with succulents) have wire mesh on front, but I guess with those you're dealing with a larger volume of soil and smaller succulent cuttings.

author
blissful2015 (author)jjjllybean2014-07-21

hi! the roots hold the soil quite well, and i planted them about 1" below the top rim of the pots, never had a prob! you can also use some dry moss to help =)

author
crecandroid (author)2014-06-30

muito bom!

author

Obrigadão!

author
Artur Zawadzki (author)2014-06-26

Super idea!

author

much appreciated artur!

author
JON-A-TRON (author)2014-06-22

Great idea! The gold painted tops are a nice touch. If you wanted to make the sides straighter sides, you could reinforce the sides of you mold- just hot glue on some perpendicular ribs before pouring. That way it won't bow out with the weight of the cement. I'd like to try this one using plexiglass for the mold- that would give you super smooth (almost reflective) surfaces...

author
blissful2015 (author)JON-A-TRON2014-06-24

thank you jodo for the good ideas! =)

author
watchmeflyy (author)2014-06-21

Voted; I love this idea!

author
blissful2015 (author)watchmeflyy2014-06-22

thank you =)

author
Gabo19 (author)2014-06-21

They look great!! ¡I love them!

author
blissful2015 (author)Gabo192014-06-21

thank you gabo! =)

author
Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2014-06-20

These look lovely! I love triangles and definitely making these planters!

author

thank you muhaim! so nice to see ya! =)

author
Passion Make (author)2014-06-20

Wow. Looks adorable and creative!

author

thank you so much passion!

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Bio: Instructables got me started on an incredible DIY journey, which turned into a blog, which replaced my day job in 2 years. Anything is possible ... More »
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