Introduction: DIY Textured Cement-Styrofoam Planter

About: STEM Educator

We have been stuck at home for months and months. I spend 80% of my time in my room and I wanted something fresh and lively in my room. So, I bought a few pots with plants, especially for my room. Since I bought them, I wanted to rapidly grow my collection, and I needed more planters. So, instead of buying more, I considered making one for my room. My choice has always been concrete because I love its color, also the durability of concrete is good. They look modern with unique shapes. This DIY concrete planter is easy to make with materials you may already have around your house.

So, Grab just a few supplies, and let’s make a concrete planter.

Step 1: Materials You Need for DIY

1. Cement (Ingredient of Concrete)

2. Large and old tub/bucket/bowl.

3. Some Styrofoam pieces.

4. Water to mix.

5. Latex gloves.

6. Waste plastic sheet.

7. Sieve with the size of 3mm opening.

8. Any scale or ruler. Here I have used my old and waste wooden spatula.

Step 2: Preparation of Mixture

Start by pouring cement into a large bowl. Using a sieve start grating the styrofoam pieces on the cement bowl.

Here I am grating the pieces to get very small pieces of styrofoam in order to get a beautiful texture in my pot. We need 50 % of styrofoam and 50 % cement.

Step 3: Mixing the Ingredients

Make sure to wear latex gloves before working with cement, as cement can burn plain hands and can cause serious injury to the skin.

Start mixing your concrete (cement is an ingredient of concrete) and styrofoam pieces with water. The ratio must be 1 part water to 4 parts of cement-styrofoam. Slowly and gradually add water to the concrete and mix gently so that everything is mixed well. The consistency should not be runny. Keep the mixture thick.

Step 4: Making Base

Take a plastic sheet and place it on a flat surface. Now, take the cement-styrofoam mixture and gradually start making the base of the planter by flattening the cement using hand. I made 0.5 inches of base. Try to smooth out the base. You can make any shape of the base because later you are going to even it out.

Step 5: Scaling

Using a ruler or scale, mark the dimensions on the flat cement surface. Here I am using my old spatula and knife to even out the 4 sides. After marking dimensions using a spatula, take out excess cement on the sides very carefully. I made a square box of 26*26*26 cm. Smoothen out the concrete on the edges using a knife (as I didn't have a putty knife with me).

Step 6: Here Comes the Main Work

Taking a very small amount of concrete mix, make small oval shapes out of concrete and start placing it on the edge of all the 4 sides, one by one. You can choose any size depending upon your design or choice. You have to be very careful in stacking these shapes as there must not be any space left. Make sure that all the shapes placed adjacent to each other must stick or join each other.

This step is actually time-consuming because you have to make oval shapes each time to complete all the sides, in addition to that you have to stack the rows each time.

Step 7: Partition

After two stacks, using the same oval shapes make a center partition of the square base. I am doing this because I want two planters on the base so that I can grow two plants on the same planter. The height of the second planter will be larger than that of the first one so that there must be a height difference in the planters and plants can be easily visible.

Step 8: Adding a Step in the Planter

Repeat the rows of stacking one by one. For the second divided planter, I increased the height to 3 steps so that there must be a good height difference between the first and the second planter.

And there you have it ! The planter is done.

Step 9: Poke a Hole

Now using any hollow cylindrical shape (here I used a waste pen cover) insert the pen on the base of the planter to poke a hole for drainage. The hole at the bottom of the planter is very critical because it allows water in the soil to drain freely so that adequate air is available for the roots to breathe. It helps to protect sensitive roots to rot from fungus and bacteria.

Now, allow the planter to set for at least 24 hours. It takes about 24-36 hours to dry out completely. Do not keep your planter under the sun. Make sure to keep it in shade.

Step 10: Spray Water to Cure the Concrete

When the planter is fully dry, spray water on all sides of the planter using a spray bottle. Spraying water on your new concrete is one of the best and oldest ways to cure your concrete. Concrete hardens as a result of a chemical reaction, called hydration between cement and water. New concrete should be kept moist for at least three days while curing. This is done to provide maximum strength to the concrete.

Step 11: Peel Out the Plastic

After the concrete has set, peel off the plastic sheet below the planter. It will come out right away. The best thing about this project is that you don't need to smooth out the edges, as this planter has a rough texture because of styrofoam. I loved this rough texture.

Step 12: Plant With Beautiful Plants or Flowers

Now you can pour some soil in the pot and plant flowers of your choice. This planter now sits in my room and when I look at it, it makes me smile. It looks so cool and priceless.

It’s easy peasy ! I hope you will enjoy making this.

Thank you for reading this Instructables. Wishing everyone a good and safe health :)

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