Easy DIY Concrete Planter

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Hello everyone! In this Instructable, I will show you how to make a simple concrete planter using a few materials. It will look really great and you can adapt it to your needs, this means that you can make it bigger or smaller depending on what are you going to plant inside.

Let's start!

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Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

Materials

-Concrete. Can be bought in any construction hardware store. We don't need anything special.

-Sand (optional). I have made different versions and although all of them turned out great the sand will always help to make the concrete stronger.

-Liquid cement colour (optional). This gives the concrete a different decorative colour. The use is completely optional as the grey colour of the concrete looks really well once dried and sanded. I didn't use it but it is up to you.

-Water. Just plain water to make the mix.

-A bucket for mixing the concrete.

-Plastic containers. Also known as Tupperware. Depending on the size of the planter you want to make. We will need two of them. A big one (with the desired size of the planter) and a smaller one that fits inside letting about 5cm of space between the walls and the base of the big container. This little one is where the soil will be and where our plant is going to grow.

-Sandpaper. We will need different sheets of sandpaper. Wood sandpaper works great to smooth the planter to give it a nicer look and sand away all the possible imperfections.

-Gloves.

Tools

A trowel or a stick or something to make the mix.

Step 2: Make the Mix

To make the mix we will need a bucket to pour the concrete and the water.

The mix proportions are as follows: We will need 1 part of concrete and 3 parts of water. Depending on the size of your containers you will have to adjust this quantity. If we used sand, we would add 1 part of sand to the mix. These quantities are the ones that have worked for me and the results were great.

However, depending on the type of concrete you use, these proportions may vary. If you are not sure or it is your first time, please refer to the instructions provided with the concrete.

Mix it well with the trowel or any other tool until the mix is consistent and thick enough. If there isn't enough water, you can add a little bit, but be very careful as the concrete can't be too thick nor too thin. Also keep in mind that the less water we use, the less time it will need to dry.

Step 3: Filling the Containers

Start pouring concrete into the big container until you fill three-quarters of the container. We do this because, once we have poured the concrete into the big container, we need to put the other container inside the concrete. Put the smaller container right in the middle and push it in gently but make sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the big container. Now, use something like rocks or fill it with water to maintain its position.

If there isn't enough concrete in the walls of the container, we can add more until it reaches the top of the container. Tap the walls of the big container and move it slowly to let out possible air bubbles that could ruin our planter. Another trick is to use the tip of the trowel to "stab" the concrete.

Now, let the concrete dry for about 24 hours.

Step 4: Removing the Plastic Containers

After 24 hours or more (depending on the mix) we can remove the containers. Note that the concrete has changed its colour. This means that the water has dried and we can work with it.

Start squeezing the small container's walls and push upwards slowly to remove it. Be careful as the concrete might not be totally dry. You can use a bit of water to make this easier.

Once the small container is removed, start doing the same with the big one. Carefully squeeze the walls and tap a bit harder to try to remove it. Turn the container upside down (hold the planter with your hand) and tap the base of the container with the other hand. Again, use a bit of water if you need to. This should come off easily due to the weight of the planter.

After removing the plastic containers, we have our "raw" planter ready.

Step 5: Curing, Sanding and Smoothing

Now we need to cure the concrete. To do this, we are going to pour water all over the planter, inside, the walls, the base, everything. Let it dry for a few minutes.

Once it has dried, we need to sand the edges and imperfections that the planter might have.

For this, use a fine sandpaper and start sanding until you get the finish you like.

I sanded the edges, the top, and the walls to make it look smoother and cleaner.

Step 6: (Optional) Painting

After sanding, we can paint the planter if we want (or if we haven't used concrete colour)

Step 7: Add Some Dirt and a Plant

Once we have finished, it is time to get some dirt and a plant to put it in the planter. You can also use some seed and wait for the plant to grow!

Add the dirt, put the seeds and pour some water. Otherwise, if you don't want to wait for the seed to grow, just plant a living one and you will have your own concrete planter!

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and find it useful and easy to follow. Thanks for reading and I hope you could vote me for the Stone Concrete Cement Contest!

Have a good day! Bye!

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    8 Discussions

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    mndietz

    Tip 5 weeks ago on Step 7

    GLUE the cork to the outside of the bottom of the top pot with a glue gun. You will be able to easily remove it after you are done casting with it. If your pot has worked well without the hole, you have been lucky, and it hasn't rained much. For many people, that won't work. That's why most pots have holes in them. Otherwise, a good Instructable.

    1 reply
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    Alexisgm97mndietz

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thanks! The thing is that I use the planter indoors. That's why it worked. Each one has to adapt it to its needs. The cork is absolutely a good idea but in my case, as I used it indoors, I can control how much water the plant gets so it is harder for it to rot

    1
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    mndietz

    Tip 5 weeks ago on Step 7

    For plants to grow properly, you need to have a drain in your pot so excess water can drain out, and the roots of your plant won't be sitting in water. It looks to me like you need a wine cork or two glued between the two containers.

    1 reply
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    Alexisgm97mndietz

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    A cork is a great idea. The thing is that we would have to cut a hole in the small container and glue the cork. Really easy improvement. However, I observed that the cement I used absorbs the water so there isn't excess water. I have had the same planter with a plant for over a year and it is alive and well!

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    iacchus

    6 weeks ago

    Nice job. I noticed you dont have drain holes. Does the concrete prevent root rot?

    1 reply
    1
    None
    Alexisgm97iacchus

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thanks! Indeed, there aren't any drain holes but they can be made carefully with a small drill. I also noticed that they aren't 100% necessary as the concrete absorbs part of the water, so yes the concrete prevents the rotting by absorbing the water. I have also had another prototype planter with a plant for over a year and is is still alive and well!