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These Beautiful DIY Concrete Planters Cost Less Than a DOLLAR to Make!

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DIY concrete planter with a plant inside

Looking for a fun and frugal DIY home decor project?

You’ve gotta try making your own pretty planters using a cheap bag of concrete mix! I love when a project turns out super cute and is also very easy on the budget! 🙌

If you have some patience and a DIY spirit, you’ll love making these planters and will want to experiment with different shapes and sizes. This was my first time making concrete planters, and I can’t wait to make more!

concrete planters arranged on a tray with plants

I’m obsessed with how these concrete planters turned out!

They look so on trend and are gorgeous. In my opinion, these DIY planters would make such a thoughtful gift for Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, frugal wedding decor, and also a gorgeous way to beautify your own space.

And really, these don’t have to be planters exclusively. Other ideas would be to use them as candle holders, to put your jewelry in, or even as a soap tray for the sink. The possibilities are endless!

DIY concrete planter supplies on the counter

Grab some inexpensive supplies!

I bought an entire 95-pound bag of concrete mix for about $12, and I have most of it leftover for other projects. I asked the folks at The Home Depot which concrete to use for planters, and they directed me to this Portland cement because it’s a finer texture, without the sand and gravel, which produced the look I was going for. Just be sure to take someone strong enough to lift it, as I had to put out a mayday call for hubby to come to rescue me and my heavy concrete mix! lol

using tupperware to make concrete planters

Look around the house for containers!

You’ll need to find an item, and then a smaller item to fit inside to make a mold for each planter. For the molds, I used old plastic Tupperware and food containers. These are containers I would not use again for food, so make sure to pick molds you wouldn’t miss.

The thrift store or Dollar Tree may be good places to look for molds if you can’t find things around the house. Consider using a milk carton, and re-purpose miscellaneous food packaging like sour cream tubs that you could cut away and not worry about destroying would be great, too!  Just make sure the mold is sturdy enough to hold its shape when the concrete is poured inside.

showing the process of making cement planters

The process is pretty simple but kinda messy, so consider doing this outside.

We are mixing the concrete in a bucket with a shovel, then pouring the mixture into a container, and then stacking the smaller container on top to make a planter mold. You’ll want to grab some rocks from outside to place in the smaller bowl or container to weigh it down a bit.

Once dried, overnight, or for about 24 hours, you’ll notice that the top rim will be shiny. I rubbed the top with sandpaper to rough it up a bit so it wasn’t so shiny, but that is personal preference.

Hip Tip: Make sure to spray oil or use a paintbrush and cooking oil to cover molds before pouring concrete mix. This step is a MUST if you’d like your dried planter to easily come out of the mold. I had one that I must have not oiled, and it did not want to come out at all. 

DIY Concrete Planters


DIY Concrete Planters

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Supplies Needed

  • Portland concrete mix
  • bucket
  • water
  • shovel or trowel
  • molds - 2 plastic food storage containers, one bigger and one smaller
  • spray oil, or cooking oil and a paint brush
  • rocks to hold top mold down
  • sandpaper
  • faux flowers or succulents, as desired

Directions

1

To a bucket, combine concrete mix with water. Start with a 4:1 ratio of mix to water. (I filled a disposable red cup four times with concrete mix, and once with water, then mixed with the shovel). You may need a bit more water, so add a couple of tablespoons at a time until you get a thick oatmeal texture.

2

Find a bigger- and smaller-sized plastic bowl or container to use together as a mold.

3

Spray the inside of larger container and the outside of smaller container generously with cooking spray oil.

4

Fill the larger container with the prepared concrete. Level it out by gently holding sides of the container, and move it in a back and forth motion a couple of times on the counter.

5

Press the smaller container in the middle, and weigh it down with a few heavy rocks. Let the whole thing dry overnight or for about 24 hours.

6

Once dry, remove the molds to reveal your planter. Because you’ve oiled it well, they should come out rather easily, or you may need to turn over and tap the bottom.

7

Rub the top rim of the planter with some sandpaper if desired to get rid of the shiny texture. It’s personal preference, but I like the sanded look. 

8

Add any faux flowers or succulents as desired.


dollar tree moss rocks and succulents inside a DIY concrete planter

Last step: Fill your planters!

This is the super fun part!  I pretty much raided my stash of faux flowers and succulents to put together these examples. You can find inexpensive faux succulents and the rock shaped moss I’m using (above) at Dollar Tree, which looks super stylish in this cement planter!

Hip Tip: Consider adding felt pad bumpers to the bottom of your planters to protect any unwanted scratches to surfaces.

tabletop with a collection of concrete planters styled with flowers and succulents

Hip Tip: I’m confident you’d be able to plant living succulents in these planters if desired; however, you may want to use succulent soil and place rocks at the bottom for drainage before adding soil.

Don’t want to make your own concrete planters?

Concrete Cactus Pot Set

Consider these options:


These farmhouse style decorative orbs are made from what?!

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