Make These Concrete Planters Using Your Recyling Bin

How to Make Concrete Planters

These DIY concrete garden planters are simple to make in just a weekend and with materials you may already have around the house. They look modern with unique shapes that come straight from the recycling bin!How to Make Concrete Planters

I made these planters many years ago, and have since made many more for gifts or to decorate my home garden.Make these concrete planters using your recycling bin!

At the time I didn’t write out the whole tutorial with steps and materials so here it is:

Materials

  • Plastic containers as molds – choose all sorts of shapes for the molds, but make sure that the plastic is strong enough to hold the shape of heavy concrete. If the sides of the container are too flimsy, they will warp and you will get some stranged shaped planters (although they may also turn out kind of fabulous!).
  • Cooking oil
  • Foam brush
  • Fine concrete (topping or repair concrete) – standard concrete has gravel in it and these larger stones will affect the overall look of your planters. Look for a smooth concrete made of sand and no large rocks, typically used to repair concrete or as a top coat for rough surfaces. As long as the planter isn’t huge, this will be the best concrete to choose.
  • Trowel
  • Rocks
  • Instructions
  • Drill
  • Concrete drill bit

How to Make Modern Concrete Garden Planters

Instructions

Thoroughly grease the containers with cooking oil so that the concrete doesn’t stick. I’ll write it again for emphasis: thoroughly. It can be tough to get the concrete out of the molds so take some time and grease them up well. You will thank me later.How to Make Concrete Garden Planters (step 1)

Mix the concrete by following the instructions on the package. Scoop concrete into a large mold and set a second, smaller mold into the first one. Make sure that you grease both the outside and the inside of the smaller mold. You can fill the smaller one with more concrete and insert an even smaller mold in that one. Keep going until the planters get too small and fill the final one with some pebbles to weigh it down.How to Make Concrete Garden Planters (step 4) How to make these concrete garden planters from plastic containers

Top up all of the planters with more concrete and tap them to remove bubbles. Smooth the surface so they even.

Let the planters dry for 24 hours. Unmold them by shaking the concrete loose, or cutting it away where it is too difficult to remove. It may take a bit of work but if they were well oiled this is where you will thank me.Make garden planetrs from concrete and yogurt containers

I have used the same containers many times over now so it is possible to get them out with some upside-down shaking.

Now let the containers cure for another week or so to ensure they are fully ready for drilling. Use a concrete drill bit to drill a hole into the bottom of the planter for drainage.

Plant them up with sedum or annuals and keep them well watered. Set them around the garden and enjoy!gorgeous and unique square planter DIY project

I like to use concrete for building outdoor projects and I have used it quite a lot. To me, it is like making garden sculptures!

I made a version of these planters with concrete dye layers for my book, Garden Made. I added PVC pipe for drainage in that project.

Garden Made Book concrete Planters project

The PVC pipe requires measuring it and cutting it to the right height to go from the inside planter to the outside one. Oil it well and pour the concrete around it. You can certainly use this method or the drilling method that was described above for making drainage holes. Each has it’s merits and both require some finicky work.  With the PVC pipe, you will inevitably be chipping at it (or drilling it!) to get the excess concrete out of the hole, so choose the method based on what you have on hand. How to add drainage into concrete planters with plastic pipe

You can also make some stepping stones while you are at it. Like these

Leaf Print Stepping Stones

Leaf Imprint Stepping Stones DIY Project

Large Leaf Cast Stepping StonesHosta Leaf Concrete Stepping Stone DIY (via Garden Therapy) #garden

Adorable Hopscotch Stepping StonesHow to make concrete stepping stones for the garden with numbers set in rocks (1)

I recently made these leaf-printed stepping stones for my eBay blog. How to make inexpensive garden stones from leaves and concrete

Or you can visit here for my other concrete garden projects.

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Mary Jane
    Mary JaneJuly 18,15

    Would it be possible to put a piece of 1/2 inch pipe in the bottom and cement around it to get your drainage hole instead of drilling? Or something similar.

    • Stephanie
      StephanieJuly 18,15

      Yes, I have also done this by setting in a piece of PVC pipe into the bottom of the concrete. from trying both methods, I think they both have merits. You may need to still use the drill with the pvc pipe, but it will be easier.

      • Gary Hopper
        Gary HopperAugust 2,16

        Try using a piece of styrofoam. It dosent even need to be round.and it’s easy to pick out .

  2. Carolyn McCartt
    Carolyn McCarttApril 26,16

    I am so excited to try making all of these beautiful cement pieces. I am also very excited to receive your newsletters…can’t wait!!

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    (480) 335-7373May 2,16

    Geat delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the good work.

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