How to Make Cement Planters

cement planters with colorful paint and small plants
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Cement
Mold
Bucket
Stirrer

Rustic cement elements are all the rage this year, especially with the rise in cottagecore. Cement planters can be made large or small, and are an affordable alternative to store-bought planters that can be a little pricey. Cement is also relatively inexpensive, which means these DIY cement planters are ultra-affordable too.

The Supplies

Check out planter molds on Amazon.

To start this project, you're going to need cement, water, a mold, and a place to mix the cement safely. You are also going to need protective gloves and an old paint stirrer. When it comes to picking a mold, you can purchase a premade mold or make your own. We love that this DIY allows for complete customization with homemade molds.

curved cement planters with small cacti plants

It's also important that you know that there are a few different types of cement that you can use for this project. If you ever have any questions about which type of cement to use, talk to your local hardware store and they should be able to help you out. It's good to know though, before you head into a hardware store, that the different types of cement have different grits.

This means that some cement is smooth with no little pebbles while other cement can be full of little pebbles and rocks. The smoother cement will be easier to sand down and paint, while the rocky or cement will give your planter a unique texture. Each type of cement will have different mixing instructions, so make sure you read the back of each bag if you use more than one type of cement.

small concrete planters with curved paint designs

DIY Molds

If you want to make a DIY mold instead of purchasing one, here are a few tips and tricks.

First of all, you will need two items of similar shape in different sizes to create your own mold. For example, if you use a bucket, you will need a smaller bucket to complete your mold.

You create your own mold by taking the larger bucket and filling it with cement, then placing the smaller bucket into the cement and taping it down to make sure that the cement forms in the correct shape. You'll probably want some painter’s tape to tape all across the top of both buckets to make sure that your shape stays perfect.

You don't just have to use buckets. If there's a different shape that you'd love to try and make a mold with, go for it. Just be patient with yourself. Even we had to try this trick a few times to get our own DIY mold perfect. It's a good thing that cement is so cheap.

DIY on a mold sounds a little too complicated for you, go ahead and pick up a mold online or at a local craft store. It may be hard to find larger planter molds but it should be pretty easy to snag a few small to medium-sized planter molds.

Cement Planters

Start your cement planter by mixing your cement in a clean bucket that is dedicated to only cement. Use a really good stirring stick to make sure that there are no clumps in the cement as you stir in the water. Follow the instructions on the back of your cement bag to know exactly how much water to put in your cement. Do not put too much water in your mixture. This mistake will result in a planter that never sets up quite right and will likely crumble once it's removed from the mold.

cement planters on shelf with cacti and colorful paint designs

Once your cement is ready to pour prep your mold. Some molds will need to be lined, but if you're working with a plastic or silicone mold, you should be fine.

After you've prepared your mold, pour the cement in. Don't fill the mold all the way to the top as the cement will expand a little. If you're using a DIY mold, only fill the bottom bucket about halfway so that you can have room for the cement to rise when you place the top bucket in the mixture.

Once your mold is full of cement, secure your top bucket if you're making a DIY mold. If not, the hard part is over for you. Let the cement dry all the way before you remove it from the mold. This means that you'll likely need to let it dry for a day or two longer than what it says on the back of the bag. Because air cannot get all the way around the planter while it's drying, it takes a little bit longer than the back of the bag suggests. Taking the mold apart before the cement is wet will likely result in a broken planter.

After the planter is dry and out of the mold, you can sand them all down and smooth them out and paint it or leave it as is. Depending on the texture of cement you picked, you'll have a different look when painting the planter. Personally, we love the half painted, half cement look that is so popular right now. And if you're feeling really fancy, we've even seen people out a little bit of gold leaf to these planters to give them the perfect industrial look.

Now that you've got brand new planters check out our gardening tips and tricks or fill them with these indestructible indoor houseplants.

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