Making planters out of concrete is both easy and fun. It is a great family project and something you can enjoy for a long time. Be creative when making your planter. You can make leaf imprints, hand imprints and even dye the concrete. Here are the basic instructions to get you started.
Things you will need:
- Bag of concrete
- 2 different size molds*
- Bucket for mixing concrete
- Concrete mixer attachment for drill
- Concrete bit
- Cooking oil
*You can use containers that you have around your house such as plastic storage containers.
Step One: Before you start mixing concrete, coat the inside of the bigger container and the outside of the smaller container with cooking oil. This will help you get your planter out of the mold.
Step Two: Mix the concrete and water in your mixing bucket until it is the consistency of peanut butter. We found that using the drill attachment worked a lot better than mixing it by hand.
Step Three: As soon as your concrete is mixed, pour it into the bigger container. After it is filled as much as you desire, take the smaller container and center it in the middle of your bigger container and press it into the concrete. When all is said and done, this is where your plant will live! Put something heavy in the smaller container to keep it from moving around.
Step Four: Now you wait. Do not disturb your project for at least 24 hours.
Step Five: Look at your being so patient! Now it’s time to see how everything turned out. First, take out the smaller container. This may require some elbow grease. 0Once the smaller container is removed, analyze the concrete. If it is still wet, let it dry out some more before you attempt to remove it from the bigger container.
Step Six: Gently remove the planter from the bigger container. This may require you cut away the container. Try cutting one line all the way down the side of the container. That should be enough for it to just pop out. Once is it completely removed from the container, you may want to leave it in the sun so it can dry completely. Once it is completely dry, drill a few drainage holes with your concrete bit. Just add a plant and you’re done!
This reminds me of a great project in This Old House magazine that I saw more than a few months ago. It was called a Hyperfufa Table. The reason it comes to mind, its a cement based end table for a patio. Seems like it would be awfully heavy?
Made from a mix of cement, peat moss, and perlite, hypertufa has much of concrete's strength and durability, but it weighs a lot less, doesn't require sealing, and has a more textured, organic appearance.
Their table was a planter table...
Here is the link to the project that details how to make the Hyperfufa. I'm thinking it might make a good alternative to your concrete for this planter? TOH Hypertufa Table
Both of these ideas are great.
I love the idea of the hypertufa being lighter. I'm going to have to do some more research on it. I've been pondering if I wanted to make a concrete counter top for my outdoor BBQ bar area or not. This just might be the answer as long as it holds up as long as the concrete does. I don't want to have to do it twice.
I also think that the concrete planters would be a very cool way to add color to my patio. Not to mention the endless options to be creative. It would also add another conversation piece to my backyard.
Thanks for the great ideas Christine and Paul.
Now all I have to do is find the time to make one of them..:smileyfrustrated:
You are definitely going to have to do some research. More than likely, you recipe will be a bit different and have sand included in it. There are many, many, many different recipes for this stuff that vary ingredients used and quantities based on the end use of the mix.
Hypertufa is a man-made, "hyper," version of tufa rock. From Wikipedia:
Tufa is a variety of limestone, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies.Geothermally heated hot-springs sometimes produce similar (but less porous) carbonate deposits known as travertine. Tufa is sometimes referred to as (meteogene) travertine; care must be taken when searching through literature to prevent confusion with hot spring (thermogene) travertine. Calcareous tufa should not be confused with tuff, a porous volcanic rock with parallel etymological origins.
Do a search on YouTube for hypertufa, you'll find a bunch of information.
For your countertop, you'll be adding some sand and some of the reinforcing fibers for concrete. The fibers are basically strands of fiberglass. Because of it's porous nature, it seems that the hypertufa weathers winters better than concrete.
This is really interesting. Concrete planters are a wonderful addition to the outdoor setting around one's home. And it will add more value if you will do it yourself.