To fill a need and be creative at the same time, I decided to make my own planters and garden pieces from concrete mix that is very reasonable in cost, and is not that difficult to work with. I show several different planters-fountain-and simple forms to use in the garden as you see fit.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project, I needed to make forms to pour my concrete mix into. So I needed: wood material for forms, concrete mix and tools to work it with, some styrofoam, some clear tubing used for drains, and inlet tubes for the fountain, a wheelbarrow to mix the concrete in and some water.
Step 2: Make Form
Here, a form is made by cutting wood pieces to size, and then simply screwing them together when ready.
Step 3: Decorate Inner Walls of Form With Choice of Designs
I chose to use a lizard and kokopelli as my subjects for this project. I was looking for a "desert zen" theme, as I planned on using many succulents as my plant forms. These designs are cut out of styrofoam with the hotwire machine. They are then glued into place on the inside of the form with regular white craft glue.
Step 4: Assemble Form To Be Ready To Pour
This is the assembly step...I have made a styrofoam core, and drilled holes to accept tubing for a fountain. If used as a planter, the holes will allow for drainage. Looking down on the form after assembly, you can see the designs and "hole" glued into place. I just use a simple white glue, and this is sufficient to hold them in place during the pour.
Step 5: Mix Concrete Per Directions on Bag
Try to be as close to the manufacturer's recipe as possible. Sometimes I want a little more fluid mix so will add slightly more water. I feel that this allows for better conformance to the shapes I want to achieve. Tapping all over the poured form will allow trapped air to escape, surround the mold forms more perfectly, and settle the gravel in the mix appropriately. Concrete colorants can be added to achieve the brown, or terra cotta effect of one of the planters.