DIY Patterned Concrete Planters




About: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A crazy craft addict! Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... Love green craft and rustic home decors... and Instructables is pretty much my second home!

My mom asked me to make some concrete planters for her few weeks ago but I was really busy doing other stuffs (study!!). By the time I was ready for a break I noticed that instructables has launched a concrete contest! (Lucky me!!). I couldn't wait and made some right away! In this instructable I'll show you how to make concrete planters with different patterns on them. It's fairly easy to make and turns out quite nice.

Step 1: Materials Needed

To make these concrete planters you'll need:

1) Concrete or cement (and sand),
2) Primary Containers (bottom half of plastic bottles or jars),
3) Cardboard - to make the secondary containers,
4) Rubber gloves,
5) Bucket or anything to mix concrete,
6) A stick to mix the concrete.
7) Scissor, anti-cutter and pen,
8) Brown scotch tape.

Step 2: Preparing the Containers

You have to collect plastic bottles or jars with patterns on them. Cut off the bottom half (or as much as you want) of the plastic bottle or jar with an anti-cutter.
It's easy to collect the primary containers, but it's quite hard to find the secondary (inner) containers to make concrete planters. So I've thought of using cardboard to make the inner containers. They're easy to make, easy to use and work out fine.
Place the cut-off plastic bottle or jar upside down on a piece of cardboard and trace around the edge of it's circle using a pen. Draw another smaller circle inside the first one and draw some stripes around it (see picture). Cut it out of the cardboard using a scissor.
Now measure the length of the cut-off plastic bottle and cut a long strip (half an inch shorter than the cut-off plastic bottle's length) out of the cardboard.
Now, simply wrap the long strip around the first cardboard cutout and use brown scotch tape while and after wrapping it. Use brown scotch tape to wrap the bottom of the cardboard container as well.
*The cardboard inner container should be half an inch shorter than the primary container.

Step 3: Mixing Concrete

Be sure to wear rubber gloves before you start mixing the concrete.

Mixing concrete:
All you need to do is simply mix the concrete with water. Don't add too much water and try keeping the mixture thick. Less water means more strength and less time to dry.
I added too much water at first, so I had to add more concrete to make the mixture thick.

If your using white cement:
You'll need sand, white cement and water to make the cement mixture.
Measure 1 part cement and 3 parts sand.
Mix them very well,
Firstly, Pour a small amount of water into the mixture (sand and white cement) and mix them well with the water,
Now, pour more water if the cement mixture is too thick.
Make sure the mixture isn't too thick nor too thin.

Step 4: Fill the Containers

Now that you have the cement/concrete mixed start filling the primary containers with them.
Don't fill the primary container fully, keep space for the secondary container.
After filling 2/3 of the primary container, put the secondary container right in the middle of it and push it in gently.
Place something heavy on top of it or else the secondary container will be pressed up.

Step 5: Finally

Allow the cement/concrete mixture to dry overnight. It's better if you let them dry for at least 24 hours.
When they're done drying, carefully remove the containers. The secondary container can be removed easily but you'll have to work hard and carefully with the primary container. The primary container (main mould) won't come out easily. You'll have to use a scissor or anti-cutter to cut the primary container. First take off the secondary container and then the primary container.
You can keep the planters empty or fill them with plants of your choice. Use plants that require less water, too much water might ruin the planters.

Don't they look great?! I hope you'll have fun making them!

Enjoy! :)

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Finalist in the
Concrete and Casting Contest



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    44 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I like your creativity! However, Just a clarification What your making is cement Not concrete, concrete is a mixture of Sand, Cement and Gravel

    Cement is made of 5 parts sand and 1 part Cement & water to make it to the right consistency for what you are making you want a dry mixture.and ram the mixture down

    really impressive work



    5 years ago on Step 5

    i love this, scuh a nice idea, but the problem is whether you use this for the live plant or not. if you use this for live plant you must add some hole below the vase for the air flow and water. I think it is the basic need for a vase. anyway keep working, this is great

    1 reply

    I was only thinking about the patterns at first so I didn't know myself whether I was making a vase or a planter! but I'm using them as vase and I'll definitely add a hole at the bottom if I make some concrete planters later :) thanks for the suggestions!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! Such a fun idea! Good luck!

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Step 5

    By inserting few steel wire (or electric cable wire) can make this sturdy as well. There is a chance of this breaking even with a small fall i think.

    2 replies

    I'm glad you like it! I used white cement (probably mixed with concrete). The patterns look nice in white, but you can use other concretes as well.