Concrete objects definitely flaunt a certain charm, a raw feel that can usually be found in industrial designs. Often they are discovered in the form of unique plant accessories that will last a long time in your home or garden. That is why, today, we'll introduce a cool DIY project that makes use of concrete – and this is quite easy and suitable for beginners. With just a few steps, you'll be able to achieve great results!
Just six steps is all it takes before you’ll be able to enjoy your very own concrete plant pots, in various shapes and sizes. And you can even add decorative shells or broken glass for beautiful effects. Whether you want to make small pots for cacti or large tubs for the garden, this DIY piece is sure to be fun!
Before you start, you will need:
• Concrete screed (which you can find in hardware shops)
• Kitchen (or working) gloves
• Paraffin oil or other lubricant
• Moulds or cartons and scissors for making moulds
• A bucket or wheelbarrow for mixing
• Glass flakes, glass beads, shells, pebbles (depending on your decorations)
• Some plastic film or a bag.
You will first require an outer and an inner mould. Both should have the same shape, but differ in size. The smaller shape should fit into the larger shape, leaving about 5 cm of space between the two forms. This place is then filled with concrete and will determine the thickness of your planting dowel. If you want to make a particularly large planting bucket with dimensions of more than 60 cm in height and width, make sure that the thickness of the bucket is at least 7.5 cm.
You can also create moulds by making two boxes, for example, from cardboard. That way, you can decide which size and shape the moulds should be. Glass, plastic, cardboard, stainless steel or Styrofoam are suitable to be used as moulds.
The inside of the moulds that will come into contact with the concrete should be sprinkled with some paraffin oil, sunflower oil or other lubricant. This will make it easier for you later on to remove the concrete bucket from the mould. Should you use a glass mould, be careful not to break it when removing the bucket from the encasing.
Note that you are free to try out different mould shapes and sizes for this DIY project, as you undoubtedly want the finished result to be unique to your personal taste and garden style.
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Of course you should protect your hands when mixing the concrete in the bucket or wheelbarrow, which is where those working gloves come in. It is best to use high-strength concrete for enhanced results. Pour the concrete into the bucket or the wheelbarrow, gradually adding the water, while stirring constantly. Make sure you abide by the necessary mixing ratio, which you will find written on the packaging of your concrete mixture.
For concrete mixing, you can also add glass shards, stones, shells, pearls or other decorative items. This will allow you to create fabulous and unique potters – just keep in mind that the consistency of the concrete should remain the same.
Let’s move on to the casting of the concrete. When pouring the concrete mixture slowly and evenly on the bottom of the outer mould, the bottom of your planter is produced. If your planting hole is to have holes for drainage, you can stick pebbles into the ground or drill a few holes later, but wait at least two more days after the concrete has dried.
Smooth the concrete with a spatula or a masonry trowel and place the inner mould on the concrete mix. Press them until you reach the desired thickness of your planting bucket. The bottom and walls of the potter should have approximately the same thickness, although the bottom can also be slightly thicker, as long as your plant pot is stable.
Now the remaining concrete is poured between the two moulds. Using a spatula or trowel, press the mixture to avoid air bubbles. When you have poured the top edge of the pot, it should be smoothed once more with the spatula.
Patience is now required, because here is where the bucket and casting moulds must be carefully wrapped in a plastic tarpaulin or a plastic bag and left for about 36 hours. Also pay attention to the prescribed time on the packaging of your concrete.
Afterwards, test with a knife or corkscrew to see if the concrete is already dry enough. If you can pierce the concrete, it is still too wet and must be left standing a bit longer.
When the concrete is dry at last, slowly remove your planter from the mould. You should be able to easily remove it from a cardboard material. With sandpaper you can sand the surface and smooth it.
More patience is needed, as the potter should be left to dry thoroughly for about an entire week. Rub the potter with a wet sponge or cloth once a day until the colour is darkened. After about two days, you can drill holes into the bottom for drainage.
Good luck and have fun!
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