In order to display some plants in containers I decided to make some plant stands to hold them. I like to arrange various containers with plants throughout the garden and on the patio etc. One way to do this is using concrete to mold some stands, and then decorate them with various materials.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
The usual concrete handling tools are used and the materials for decorating the stands are varied and numerous. For these projects, I used stained glass, glass beads, glass tile, ceramic tile and travertine tile. Most of the material I had on hand, left over from other projects so it is a good way to use up what you have and not waste anything.
Step 2: First, Mold Concrete Forms
For the rectanglular stand, I made forms in two sizes: one is 5 x 5 x 11in. and the small form is 5 x 5 x 5in. For one round plant stand, I used an empty oatmeal container...the round shape adds variety in arranging the plants.
Step 3: After Curing, Start Decorating
For plant stand #1, I wanted to use stained glass, and chose a lizard and kokopelli as my subjects. The liazrd and kokopelli was then executed in pebbles as shown. After completing the gluing process, let dry and proceed to paint the surrounding areas in colors of your choice. When dry, the entire surface is sealed with several coats of gloss polyurethane, water based. Even with watering through the years, and of course, rain, these projects should last a very long time. I have had finishes lasting 15 years, but will redo every now and then.
Step 4: Cut Glass to Fit Shapes
Using left over stained glass, I cut small squares of the glass and laid them out on my pattern printed on paper. Glass is cut using stained glass tools; glass scorer, grozier pliers, etc. I found I could cut 1/4 or even smaller squares, and these would become my "pixels" to glue into place on the concrete form.
Step 5: Glue Glass to Form
For this step, I used a glue called Weldbond. I followed their directions, i.e., made a 1 to 5 dilution of the glue, coated my form, let dry, then started to set glass into place by dipping each piece into glue, then pressing into place. It takes some time, but goes rather rapidly. In this manner, the lizard and kokopelli are completed.
Step 6: Use Pebbles for Shapes As Well
I obtained some aquarium gravel in various shades of browns, whites and off-whites and used the same glue as in the previous step to place these on the form.
Step 7: A Second Plant Stand
For a more "formal" look, I decided to use some glass tile I had picked up previously. One sheet of 12 in. square tile is sufficient to cover one of my large forms.
Step 8: Glue Tile to Form
I used regular tile adhesive to attach the tile to the concrete. Following manufacturers directions, the tile adhesive is spread with the spreader tool shown. Cut tiles to fit the spaces, and press into place. Cover piece as needed, Then grout.
Step 9: Grouting Project
I chose a charcoal or black grout for the majority of the tiled stand. On one side of that stand, I made a mosaic scene of sky, water and sun. The dark blue portion was grouted with a lighter grey grout, to make for better contrast.
Step 10: A Small Stand With Travertine Tile
I like to vary heights of the stands so have made shorter ones as well. This is covered with broken travertine tile, and grouted with a dark brown grout.
Step 11: Gallery
The stands are placed where needed to add that artistic sense to the garden, patio benches, and so on. Some are left unfinished, as I like the look of concrete in the garden as well.