Introduction: DIY Patterned Concrete Planters

Picture of DIY Patterned Concrete Planters

My mom asked me to make some concrete planters for her few weeks ago but I was really busy doing other stuffs (study!!). By the time I was ready for a break I noticed that instructables has launched a concrete contest! (Lucky me!!). I couldn't wait and made some right away! In this instructable I'll show you how to make concrete planters with different patterns on them. It's fairly easy to make and turns out quite nice.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

To make these concrete planters you'll need:

1) Concrete or cement (and sand),
2) Primary Containers (bottom half of plastic bottles or jars),
3) Cardboard - to make the secondary containers,
4) Rubber gloves,
5) Bucket or anything to mix concrete,
6) A stick to mix the concrete.
7) Scissor, anti-cutter and pen,
8) Brown scotch tape.

Step 2: Preparing the Containers

Picture of Preparing the Containers

You have to collect plastic bottles or jars with patterns on them. Cut off the bottom half (or as much as you want) of the plastic bottle or jar with an anti-cutter.
It's easy to collect the primary containers, but it's quite hard to find the secondary (inner) containers to make concrete planters. So I've thought of using cardboard to make the inner containers. They're easy to make, easy to use and work out fine.
Place the cut-off plastic bottle or jar upside down on a piece of cardboard and trace around the edge of it's circle using a pen. Draw another smaller circle inside the first one and draw some stripes around it (see picture). Cut it out of the cardboard using a scissor.
Now measure the length of the cut-off plastic bottle and cut a long strip (half an inch shorter than the cut-off plastic bottle's length) out of the cardboard.
Now, simply wrap the long strip around the first cardboard cutout and use brown scotch tape while and after wrapping it. Use brown scotch tape to wrap the bottom of the cardboard container as well.
*The cardboard inner container should be half an inch shorter than the primary container.

Step 3: Mixing Concrete

Picture of Mixing Concrete

Be sure to wear rubber gloves before you start mixing the concrete.

Mixing concrete:
All you need to do is simply mix the concrete with water. Don't add too much water and try keeping the mixture thick. Less water means more strength and less time to dry.
I added too much water at first, so I had to add more concrete to make the mixture thick.

If your using white cement:
You'll need sand, white cement and water to make the cement mixture.
Measure 1 part cement and 3 parts sand.
Mix them very well,
Firstly, Pour a small amount of water into the mixture (sand and white cement) and mix them well with the water,
Now, pour more water if the cement mixture is too thick.
Make sure the mixture isn't too thick nor too thin.

Step 4: Fill the Containers

Picture of Fill the Containers

Now that you have the cement/concrete mixed start filling the primary containers with them.
Don't fill the primary container fully, keep space for the secondary container.
After filling 2/3 of the primary container, put the secondary container right in the middle of it and push it in gently.
Place something heavy on top of it or else the secondary container will be pressed up.

Step 5: Finally

Picture of Finally

Allow the cement/concrete mixture to dry overnight. It's better if you let them dry for at least 24 hours.
When they're done drying, carefully remove the containers. The secondary container can be removed easily but you'll have to work hard and carefully with the primary container. The primary container (main mould) won't come out easily. You'll have to use a scissor or anti-cutter to cut the primary container. First take off the secondary container and then the primary container.
You can keep the planters empty or fill them with plants of your choice. Use plants that require less water, too much water might ruin the planters.

Don't they look great?! I hope you'll have fun making them!

Enjoy! :)


wicaxonos (author)2013-09-17

i love this, scuh a nice idea, but the problem is whether you use this for the live plant or not. if you use this for live plant you must add some hole below the vase for the air flow and water. I think it is the basic need for a vase. anyway keep working, this is great

I was only thinking about the patterns at first so I didn't know myself whether I was making a vase or a planter! but I'm using them as vase and I'll definitely add a hole at the bottom if I make some concrete planters later :) thanks for the suggestions!

poofrabbit (author)2013-08-31

Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! Such a fun idea! Good luck!

Thank you so much poofrabbit! :)

karthikeyand (author)2013-08-07

By inserting few steel wire (or electric cable wire) can make this sturdy as well. There is a chance of this breaking even with a small fall i think.

sharonnah59 (author)karthikeyand2013-08-24

Mesh drywall tape would be a good concrete reinforcer for this.

I'm using them as decors instead of planters for now. yes, small fall could cause breaking.

Justincorrigible (author)2013-08-11

I like it. What kind of concrete is that?

I'm glad you like it! I used white cement (probably mixed with concrete). The patterns look nice in white, but you can use other concretes as well.

CreativeGeek (author)2013-08-09

Actually, they would make great brush holders.

Such an artistic idea! Thanks!

No prob!

being human (author)2013-08-09

n really pictures r gr8..

being human (author)2013-08-09


being human (author)2013-08-05

in urdu zabardast yar, :),,,,
well awsom

Ohww, shukria yar! :)

wao....lovly rply :)

agis68 (author)2013-08-07

are amazing, how about to paint them?

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)agis682013-08-08

Thanks! you could give it a try, sounds nice :)

tclemmo (author)2013-08-05

These look amazing...
You should enter them in one of the contests!

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)tclemmo2013-08-05

Thanks! I entered them in the concrete and casting contest, I hope it gets accepted :)

tclemmo (author)Muhaiminah Faiz2013-08-07


prince-of-weasels (author)2013-08-06

You could use ready mix cement with chopped fiberglass as aggregate to avoid cracking.{available at many big box stores} And how about adding a little colour to the bone white cement?Dry tempera paint mixed in BEFORE the water can get you many a pastel shade.[AMAZON has :1-lb. Powder Tempera Paint (pack of 12) by Color Splash for $38.00]And a quick spray of clear polyurathene on the outside will give a glazed look as well.

That sounds great! I've never used cement or concrete before,so I don't know much about it. Thanks for the suggestion :) But the planters haven't cracked! I wonder why!?

Gee-Whiz (author)2013-08-06

Great tutorial, love using the plastic bottles!
-Using cardboard for inside liner is good as you can just fill with water, soak and scrub it out. Another way is to use vegetable oil (like canola) brushed on as a release.
-Careful with casting a plastic inside container as ridges (plus no release) can make them hard to remove (did this with a cottage cheese container).
-Since they're planters would suggest a drip hole in bottom so you don't drown plants (stick a tube or straw up the bottom center).
-Because they are cement which is highly alkaline you may want to put these into water and switch out to clean water for a couple weeks to leach out the chemicals that your plants may not like.

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)Gee-Whiz2013-08-06

Thanks! though my plan was to use them as planters but I'm keeping them empty, as they look great without the plants. I'll keep a drip hole in the bottom if I make planters next time, thanks for the suggestion :)

cfsunlet (author)2013-08-06

Love this idea! Wonder if you cn use a plastic interior container such as those that come with garden plants, then you wouldn't have to remove it, and the plastic would protect the container from watering.

paqrat (author)cfsunlet2013-08-06

I'm not experienced with gardening and am not likely to become so but seems to me you have a good idea there. Only problem I see is if you use the small plastic containers that come with starter plants wouldn't there be a problem of size possibly cramping the plant?

SinAmos (author)2013-08-06

Great work!

poofrabbit (author)2013-08-05

This is wonderful! I actually feel I could do this and plan to try it, I'll post pics! :)

Thank you! I'd really love to see yours :)

aggietip (author)2013-08-05

I just wanted to add a note to you regarding your comment on pure cement verses an aggregated concrete. Pure cement alone tends to crack much more easily. I had a stained glass piece (in a stepping stone) that cracked all over and I had to completely redo it a couple of years later. This particular stone was NOT walked on, so it really should've lasted longer, but it was not structurally sound. There are many factors that go into making a structure sound by using cement, concrete, etc. These are good websites to look at for more information:
I know that the planters aren't needing the same strength as a driveway, but I'm afraid in different climates and just through time so of them will crack beyond repair. I know you didn't ask for advice, but the "cement" comment caught my eye and I thought it might be useful to you. Nice post and full of great ideas!

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)aggietip2013-08-05

Thank you so much for your advice. I've never used concrete or cement before so I don't know much about them. I'll keep that in mind next time. Thanks!

lindarose92 (author)2013-08-05

They look beautiful!! And they seem very fun to make I want to do something with concrete, I can't believe I have never tried! You definitely have my vote too! :)

Thank you Linda! yes, they're fun and easy to make. I'm sure you'll come up with more fun ideas with concrete. Thanks for the vote :)

annieannie (author)2013-08-05

And she does it again :) Another FANTASTIC project that I am going to have to add to my list of things to make You keep me rather busy with all these fun ideas you come up with :) ( Not that i'm complaining) lol

Ohhw, thanks Annie! it was really fun, you should give it a try. happy to know that I'm keeping you!! lol :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-08-05

This is awesome Muhaiminah. Very neat & Pictures are also great :). You have my vote.

Thanks you so much sir! really appreciate having your vote :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-08-05

Voted :)

blkhawk (author)2013-08-05

Great work!

doctorkred (author)2013-08-05

Very nice.


About This Instructable




Bio: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A crazy craft addict! Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... Love green craft and rustic home decors... and Instructables is pretty ... More »
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