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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!

<p>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. </p>
The spacer bits also provide mounting holes so you would need them there anyway.
<p>yes, and drainage for plant health =)</p>
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. =)
<p>Very nice design, thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>thank you so much jan! =)</p>
<p>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. </p>
<p>oh such a fantastic idea keb! thank you! now we can shift to 4th dimension =)</p>
<p>This looks fantastic! Going to my ever growing must do list ;-)</p>
<p>thank you shazni! i know how that to-do list can grow! =)</p>
<p>Your ideas are always beyond normal imagination my friend :). I am very pleased to see you back in action. </p>
<p>hi tarun! i missed you all! finally caught up with some sleep and so nice to be back =)</p><p>congrats on your own contest!! so awesome!! i see some great entry there already =)</p>
<p>I love these! I need a bag of concrete stat! And I love the addition of the <br>tessellation cartoon! haha, so true! </p>
<p>thank you natalie! i giggle every time i pass a subway because of that cartoon =)</p>
<p>These are so pretty! I love the gold edges!</p>
<p>thank you danger! i LOVE your middle name! </p>
<p>This will be my mom's gift</p>
<p>This will be my mom's gift</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Probably a stupid question, but... How to water the plants?</p>
<p>I just made something similar this last week but I didn't think of holes for mounting them. Nice work!</p>
<p>That is a genious idea. You hsould try making a bigger panter too. Those are good for small succulent plants</p>
<p>Great design, I have a whole garden of succulents but none on my wall yet. Thanks for this idea.</p>
Congratulations!! Dear Friend, I knew that you will make to the finals :)
<p>thank you so much tarun! =)</p>
<p>Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and <br>casting contest! Best of luck to you!</p>
<p>Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and <br>casting contest! Best of luck to you!</p>
<p>thank you so much poof!! =)</p>
<p>Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and <br>casting contest! Best of luck to you!</p>
<p>Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and <br>casting contest! Best of luck to you!</p>
<p>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 &quot;living wall&quot; 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. </p>
hi! the roots hold the soil quite well, and i planted them about 1&quot; below the top rim of the pots, never had a prob! you can also use some dry moss to help =)
muito bom!
Obrigad&atilde;o!
<p>Super idea!</p>
much appreciated artur!
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...
<p>thank you jodo for the good ideas! =)</p>
<p>Voted; I love this idea!</p>
thank you =)
<p>They look great!! &iexcl;I love them!</p>
<p>thank you gabo! =)</p>
<p>These look lovely! I love triangles and definitely making these planters! </p>
<p>thank you muhaim! so nice to see ya! =)</p>
<p>Wow. Looks adorable and creative!</p>
<p>thank you so much passion!</p>

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