Introduction: Faux Ceramics You Can Make!

Picture of Faux Ceramics You Can Make!

In this instructable, I will be showing how to make ceramic planters, or containers without all the hassle of getting a kiln, throwing mud, making a mess, etc.  While a great art form, why not make life easy and make them out of readily available material (cardboard)?  With some creative painting techniques and basic "planter" forms, you can have as many containers as you want to make.  Let's get started!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Standard cutting tools such as: box cutter, utility knife, craft knife, scalpel, etc.  A straight edge is needed to make long cuts, and some white glue and/or tacky glue.  And the primary material is corrugated cardboard.  I use kraft paper (grocery bags) as a covering material which will be shown in a later step. To finish the items, craft acrylic paints are used.  So not only are we saving on those things mentioned in step one, we are reusing or recycling these materials.  It's a very inexpensive way to be creative and be green at the same time.

Step 2: Design and Make the Container(s) You Want

Picture of Design and Make the Container(s) You Want

I show a shallow container with angled sides and a rim, or lip, around the top edge.  This container will be finished in a dark green/black pattern that mimics marble or glazed ceramics.  Follow the pictures for complete instructions.  All dimensions are arbitrary, that is, you can make them as small or as large as you want by varying all measurements. 

Step 3: Making Containers, Part II

Picture of Making Containers, Part II

To make the top lip or rim around the container, cut a strip of cardboard to about 1in. in width. This piece is covered with craft paper as shown so that it appears to be a solid form.  We want to "lose" the cardboard look for sure.

Step 4: Make Different Sizes and Styles

Picture of Make Different Sizes and Styles

I have added two more planters to show the versatility of this method.  A more rectangle form with wood dowel feet is seen, and then a simple small, terra cotta planter to be used as a small desert diorama.

Step 5: Finishing, or Painting, the Products

Picture of Finishing, or Painting, the Products

Use water based acrylic paints to insure rapid drying.  When painting on the cardboard, the paint dries very rapidly, and in no more than 5 to 10 minutes you can proceed to the next stage.  More than one coat of paint is needed for total coverage, but I start with a primer coat, and then add to that.  Decorative painting, or faux treatment can be considered an additional coat. To do this last step, I use a sea sponge cut to a manageable size.

Step 6: Add Your Flowers, or Other Items to the Containers

Picture of Add Your Flowers, or Other Items to the Containers

As you can see, I used some paper flowers as props to display my planters. These flowers are made of paper, and are to be the subject of a future instructable.  I thought that a bonzai plant and or a Budda figurine would go good with the dark planter.  It is seen with a Chinese character to suggest an oriental theme.

Step 7: Display Your Handiwork

Picture of Display Your Handiwork

Since they are "planters" flowers will go nicely. Also, to give it some additional Oriental flavor, dispaly some statuary, in this instance some buddas! 


poofrabbit (author)2011-07-17

Oh this looks super cool! Very nice work and amazing craftsmanship!

jakyo (author)2011-03-15

I am going to try this CMan. I like working with cardboard and paper. I just finished a small cardboard table. Some years ago I made some cardboard plinths out of some packaging, and used muslin,dry palm fronds and glue
made from flour and water plus some wood glue.Then painted them to look like plaster .I got many compliments as people thoughjt they were real plaster
I made rather a mess.But they were worth it **** cheers you rock :-)

Creativeman (author)jakyo2011-03-28

Thanks for all your comments, jakyo...always nice to recieve comps....

jakyo (author)Creativeman2011-03-28

Well I have become dare I say 'addicted' to cardboard CM I have been making boxes and picture frames so far. Such fun. I also incorporate my 'Artistic' touch
My head is full of ideas. (as if there were not enough already) I check your pages most days to check out your 'ibles' cheers ;-)

kissinggame (author)2009-12-11


Kaelessin (author)2009-12-07

very neat! I'm one of those who practically breathes ceramics (yeah i know I'll probably die of silicosis) and can appreciate what you're doing here. ;) not sure you'll be able to oust a millenia-old tradition though jk

Creativeman (author)Kaelessin2009-12-07

Thanks Kaelessin: appreciate your comments. Ceramics is one thing I haven't done (yet), you never know.  I like to make "props" out of whatever is available, so chose to do this with the cardboard.  Real ceramics can be ultra beautiful, of course, and this certainly isn't meant to compete with those.  Hope you don't get that silicosis....Cman

Kaelessin (author)Creativeman2009-12-08

heh well "props" to you man! the techniques you presented here are excelent for the medium you're using . . .I'll probably end up using them for something in the future. . . I was thinking along the lines of elaborate gift boxes

you ought to try your hand at ceramics . . .with your attention to detail and craftsmanship you'd probably excel!

Creativeman (author)Kaelessin2009-12-08

Thanks alot!   Just never got the urge for the craft.  Never did airbrush,either, can you imagine?  take care. Cman

laxap (author)2009-12-04

Cman, I like it! Really nice work -as always- with great final compositions.

Creativeman (author)laxap2009-12-04

Thanks. Cman

hishealer (author)2009-12-04

It would be easy to finish with a waterproof layer or two for those real plants.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-12-04


Thanks mamma! Cman

Kaiven (author)2009-12-03

Another great idea! Good job, they don't look like cardboard.  I personally have no use for this :/
but it does give me help on making things look less like cardboard. Thanks again!

Creativeman (author)Kaiven2009-12-03

Thanks for your comments...and you never know when you can use this! Cman

Ninzerbean (author)2009-12-03

 Truly realistic, well done Cman!

Creativeman (author)Ninzerbean2009-12-03

Hey Ninzer, thanks alot. Cman

ChrysN (author)2009-12-03

Nice work Cman, they look great!

Creativeman (author)ChrysN2009-12-03

Thank you Chrys. Cman

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
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