Well, let me just start off by saying that this was a challenge of a project for me. It probably had something to do with me being a fly by the seat of my donkey kind of person and just winging things. I skimmed a few tutorials on Pinterest, and then decided I was ready to start my own, without doing much research.
I started out with a metal bowl, and I sprayed it with cooking spray before adding the cement. I wanted smooth looking concrete planters, so I used straight Portland cement instead of cement with additives such as stones and other gritty materials. If you saw my story on Instagram, you will know how using metal for the planter ended, it was a sad sad day for that planter. Maybe if I hadn’t used a hammer to get it out, that might have improved the outcome. Needless to say, this one would not come out of its mold and ended up in a million pieces. At least it taught me that the next time, I was not going to try it with a metal bowl.
I used Portland cement as stated above…you can see the one I used in the photo above. I mixed it in this plastic bucket with a trowel. I was a little nervous about this process because I thought it was going to be really hard to mix. I have never worked with the cement before. It was actually so super easy and encouraged me to do a lot more of these types projects with cement. I just used water from my hose outdoors, making for less mess inside.
I chose many different bowls to use for the second time around, one being our “barf” bucket. I had full faith that the barf bucket would not disappoint. I sprayed the bottom bowl with olive oil cooking spray (I’m sure any cooking spray would work, that’s just what I had on hand). I then filled the bowl about half (or a little more than half) full and then pressed the blue bowl down into it, after I sprayed the bottom of the blue bowl with the cooking spray as well. I decided this time that I was going to try to remove the inside bowl before it was completely dry.
When the cement had set up enough, I removed the blue bowl, shown here. The cement was set up good enough that it didn’t cave-in and it allowed me to remove the bowl a lot easier. I let the cement set up the rest of the way and dry overnight before I removed the larger bowl underneath…also known as the reincarnated food bucket. Having the stones in the bowl allowed for the top bowl to be heavier and sit lower inside the cement to make the indentation for the planter.
I had many different plastic bowls and also a couple glass containers. From my experience, the plastic bowls are the way to go. It was tougher for me to remove the concrete from the glass. I had one glass bowl where it popped right out, but the rest I had to break the glass to get the concrete out. For the vase, I knew I was going to break the glass on that one anyways. I used a cheap vase that I had on hand and added a small vase in the top to make the indentation. If I was to do it again, I would go to the dollar tree and buy some plastic containers to use so they could be cut apart if needed.
Before I made these, I planned to use them for faux plants and other things in my home. If I was making a concrete planter for an actual plant, I may do it a little bit differently, as water can seep through the concrete. I would probably also use the hypertufa method that a lot of you suggested to make it more breathable for plants. There are lots of tutorials out there on the hypertufa method as well if you search for that.
I know there are so many ways this can be done, but I just wanted to share what worked the best for me. I really love the way they turned out! It’s such an easy and budget friendly way to make cute planters. I think my bag of cement was under $12 for that ginormous bag. I barely even used a quarter of it for this project. Below are a few of the ways I plan on using my concrete planters. I would love for you to tag me @vintageporch on Instagram if you decide to make some of your own and I would love to hear in the comments below what you think of my concrete planters.