Introduction: DIY Table Top Concrete Planter With Wood Inlay

About: •Content Creator •Woodworker •Maker of sawdust & awesome

I have always loved concrete, there are an endless amount of possibilities that you can do with this medium, that and when you combine it with a modern style and a little creativity you can end up with something truly unique and beautiful. I wanted a small planter that would fit nicely in the centre of a table or sit comfortably on a shelf. (This planter sits at 11,3/4" x 7,3/4" x 3,3/4) Something with a modern feel that would perfectly fit a succulent or small plant. I also wanted to try inlaying a wood accent piece to see how that would look and I am really happy with how it turned out. This is what I came up with I hope you like this instructable as much as I did making the planter!




Enjoy the build and don't forget to send me pictures when you are done!



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The Materials you will need are as follows;

1 piece of 5/8 Melamine 3' x 3'

1 piece of Padauk 18"x1" or wood of choice

1 x Tube of Silicone Caulking

Paste wax

CA Glue (Use Code "Urbanshopworks" for 10 % off)

Concrete Mix

1 5/8 drywall screws



Concrete sealer

Tuck Tape


Blue Painters Tape

The Tools you will need are as follows;

Table Saw

Micro Jig Gripper

Caulking gun

Fondant Ball Tool

Mixing drill

Concrete mixing bit


Measuring cup

3 gallon bucket

Step 1: Cut It Out!

Use the cut lists (2) in the photos above, cut the pieces from 5/8 Melamine. one 3 foot by 3 foot piece should give you more than enough. The concrete form is made from two main parts, the Inner and Outer boxes the outer box is simple everything is cut square, you will need to cut out;

2 x sides @ (1,1/8 x 13,1/16

2 x ends @ 4,1/8 x 7,7/8

1 x bottom @ 7,7/8 x 11,13/16

(If you are wondering why the measurements are not in standard imperial its because this was originally designed in metric. feel free to round off the measurements on the cutlists)

The Inner Box is a little more complicated. each piece angles in at 20 degrees off 90 so every inside angle is 70 degrees and every outside angle is 110 degrees, if you follow the cut list (labeled inner box in the photos above) it lays out the simplest way to cut the pieces with the least amount of messing around with changing angles on you table saw blade. The reason the inner box is designed like this is because shallow angles like this are easier to break free from the concrete than 90 degree angles from a standard shaped box design.

2 x sides

2 x ends

1 x top

Step 2: Assemble the Inner Box

Using the drywall Screws assemble the inner box for the form, (Do not glue the pieces) melamine works best if you pre drill the holes, this will keep it from splitting when you drive the screws in. Do not screw the inner box to the outer box base these are stuck together with a bead of the silicone caulking and we will go over that in a later step. Also do not assemble the outer box yet.

Step 3: Tape the Inner Box

Wrap the inner box with Tuck Tape this will help to keep the concrete from bonding with the rough cut parts of the melamine that is exposed.

Step 4: Stick the Inner Box to Inlace in the Outer Box

Stick the inner box to in place in the outer box with a bead of silicone caulking. I used the rule of thirds to decide where to put it, weighting the inner box on one third of the base.

Step 5: Wipe It!

Get you paste wax ready and wipe it all over all the pieces to both the inner and outer boxes

Step 6: Silicone!

Put a bead of silicone caulking around the inner box.

Step 7: Ball Tool!

Create the radius in the Caulking with the Fondant Ball Tool. Let dry and pull up the excess caulking before applying caulking to any more of the form.

Once that step is complete apply caulking to the outside edge of the base and screw in the first side piece. We are doing it this way because you will never get the caulking gun in a spot that narrow, it is much easier this way.

Once the first side is screwed on use the ball tool to create the radius. Then repeat for these steps for the two end pieces. (Leave the last side off for now)

Step 8: Create the Inlay

I used a scrap piece of MDF I had laying around the shop for this. I cut it into a 1/4 inch wide strip and wrapped it with tuck tape. I laid it out again using the rule of thirds, I divided the big open space into 3 and placed the inlay on the outer third wrapping up the ends. I fastened these strips to the melamine with CA Glue.

Step 9: Pam!

After fastening on and caulking the final edges of the last side of the mold spray the inside down with Pam cooking spray. Believe it or not this is the best concrete release agent ever made! Wipe the excess off with a clean rag before moving on to the next step.

Step 10: Concrete!

Time to mix the concrete in the 3 gallon bucket. Be sure to mix whatever concrete mix you have to the exact specifications of the manufacturer and follow the instructions. Use the scale and measure your water and your dry mix so that you use the correct ratio. It matters!

As soon as your concrete is mixed pour it in the form, depending on your mix you may need to vibrate it or gently tap the outside of the form with a hammer to help remove some of the bubbles that will form as the concrete sets up.

I write on the form the amount of dry mix I used by weight as well as the water amount on the side of the form if I ever reuse the form I know how much concrete I need to mix up.

Step 11: Break It Out!

Once the concrete is fully cured and that will vary depending on what type of mix you use (See the manufacturer specifications of your product) you can start pulling off the outside part the form.

The inside is designed in such a way that it should pull straight out in one piece, you may need to carefully drive a drywall screw into the inside of the melamine to give you something to get your finger on to pull the whole piece out in one shot.

Step 12: Inlay!

Cut your Inlay strip slightly wider than the gap in the concrete and sand it down gradually until you get a snug fit.

I cut miters in the ends you can't see a joint in the final piece.

Once all the pieces fit perfect glue them in place with the CA Glue.

Step 13: Cut the Inlay!

Use some painters tape to protect the concrete while you cut the excess wood flush.

I used a hand saw for this step.

Step 14: Sand

Sand the wood flush and if needed sand the concrete. Start with 220 grit on the wood. Its likely that the concrete won't need much sanding but if it does use 400 grit and wet the surface down a little to keep the dust under control.

Step 15: Sealer!

Apply the sealer of your choice, I recommend the Cheng Sealer I listed in the supplies It has I nice satin finish and is easy to apply.

Step 16: Cork!

Cut a piece of cork from the cork roll to fit the bottom of the planter glue it in place with the CA Glue and trim the edges with an Exacto knife.

Step 17: Enjoy Your New Planter!

Enjoy the planter and don't forget to send me pictures when you are done!

If you liked this Instructable please check out my web site and YouTube channel to check out some of my other projects!





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