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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Make A Sweet, Neat Concrete Planter

Lynn Coulter
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Small concrete planters are simple, stylish, and fun to make on your own or as a family project.

For a one-of-a-kind look, press leaves into the concrete before it sets, or add dye for a colored planter. Try planting these pots with succulents for a trendy, modern look.

Skill level: Easy

Time: A few hours over a period of 2 days


  • Water
  • 2 different size molds (use empty containers you have on hand, such as plastic storage containers)
  • Cooking oil, non-stick cooking spray, or mold-release spray
  • Optional: concrete dye


Step One:

You’re going to make a mold for your planter by putting your small container into the bigger container, and filling the space between them with concrete. Before you start mixing the concrete, coat the inside of the big container and the outside of the small container with cooking oil, non-stick cooking spray, or mold release spray. This will help you remove the finished planter later.

Make a mold for your planter by placing a small container or bucket inside a larger one. You’ll pour concrete into the space between them.


Step Two:

Mix the concrete and water in a mixing bucket until it is the consistency of peanut butter. It’s much easier to use a concrete mixer attachment for your drill, than doing this by hand.

Step Three:

If you want leaf impressions on your planter, place some leaves inside the big container at random. The cooking oil or spray should hold them in place temporarily. Pour in the concrete mixture. After you’ve filled it as much as you wish, take the smaller container and center it in the middle of your big container. Press it into the concrete. When you’re finished, this is where your plant will live. Put something heavy in the smaller container to keep it from moving around while the concrete dries.

Tip: Press a small hydrangea leaf or two in your mold. You can find out more about these carefree, beautiful shrubs in our article on how to grow hydrangeas.

Step Four:

Now it’s time to wait. Do not disturb your project for at least 24 hours.

Step Five:

You’ve been so patient! Now at last you can see how everything turned out.

First, take out the small container. This may require some elbow grease. Once it’s removed, test out the concrete. If it’s still wet, let it continue to dry out before you attempt to remove the planter from the big container.

Step Six:

When the concrete seems dry, gently remove the planter from the big container. You may have to cut away the container to do this. Try making one cut all the way down the side of the container. This should allow you to pop out the planter.

You may want to leave it in the sun for a few more hours, to continue drying. Once it’s completely dry, drill a few drainage holes with your concrete bit. Add some potting soil, a plant, and some water. Then sit back and feel proud of yourself. You (and your decor) will really enjoy your handiwork!

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