Have you ever seen those planters made out of volcanic rock? Seen Bonsai growing on what looks like a chunk of porous rock? Ever wanted to make one? Well, in this 'ible, I'll be showing you how to make one! It's surprisingly easy!
Disclaimer: You are completely responsible for your own safety. Wear proper protection and observe proper safety procedures when chipping rocks and using hammers.
Step 1: Stuff to Gather
Ready to chip in? Here's what you'll need.
- Some way to chisel/chip the rock. If you're lucky enough to have a rock hammer, use it. If not, some sort of masonry chisel and a normal hammer should work.
- Safety glasses and other safety wear. I do highly recommend the glasses, if you want to keep your eyes in decent condition. Wear a long sleeved shirt or jacket, and if you wish, you can wear gloves.
- A stone. You'll want one of the porous volcanic kinds. Make sure it doesn't have any cracks or fractures, as it will be much more likely to fall apart if it does. Make it decently sized, since to make it easier to not crack, you will want to make the sides pretty thick.
- Glue (Optional, in case your rock breaks.)
Step 2: Start Chippin!
Now it's time to start chipping out the hole!
Find a nice sunny spot to sit outside, and a place to set the rock.
Decide where you want the hole to be, and start hitting it. You'll want to be moderately careful about how (and where) you hit it, so that you actually get some results. Sometimes there will be spots where there are some nice large bubbles clustered together, and those are especially fun to hit. Depending on your rock, you'll want to adjust the strength of your blows, to make sure you don't shatter it. It will take a while, depending on your rock, but not actually too long.
Check every now and then to see where you need to focus more, and how far you've gone.
Step 3: Uh Oh!
So, once I'd gotten a decent amount chipped out, my rock broke. At first, I felt a sinking feeling of despair, and thought "Oh no! My rock's ruined!".
If this happens, don't despair too much, you can probably still fix it. (Unless, you were using a really brittle rock, and it shattered.) At this point, you probably won't be able to do any more chipping, but hopefully what you have will be deep enough. You'll have to glue it back together.
Step 4: Glue
Glue. Hmm, glue. Glue? Glue! Glue glue glue! It's such a weird word, isn't it? Hmm, weird. Weird. Hmm....
- Wash your rock. Once done, let it dry. I was impatient and used a hair dryer.
- Find some glue. Don't use Elmer's glue, since it won't hold up to water. Gorilla glue might work, and probably some epoxy based glue would work too. I used E-6000.
- If it's a thick glue, put some globs in the middle of the area where the broken parts contact each other. Do this on only one side. If you put it too close to the edges, or too much of it, it'll ooze out and you'll have a mess to clean up. For thin glues (Like gorilla glue), smear it on all the flat contact areas of the pieces (Again, on one side).
- Press the pieces together firmly, and if necessary hold (Or clamp) them together until the glue is able to hold them.
- If necessary, use a cotton swab to clean up excess glue. I had some on the bottom of my rock, but not too badly.
Let the glue cure before using the planter. I know it's tempting, but if we want it to last...
Step 5: Finished! Admire Your Planter!
You're done! You can now admire you amazing handiwork!
As you can see in the pictures, the crack is still visible, but it's better than nothing!
Of course, the purpose of the planter was to plant something in, so you should eventually find something to plant in it. I plan to plant a hen-and-chicks plant, and will update the pictures when I'm done. Feel free to share how yours turned out, and any tips or comments or questions you have!