Pinterest Challenge: DIY Concrete Planters
Here’s the nitty gritty – Young House Love, coupled with a few other bloggers, are doing a seasonal Pinterest Challenge – over the weekend hundreds attempted to tackle many unique, fun, and crrrazy things out inspired by the holiness that is Pinterest. As for me, I’ve had my eye on these beautiful succulent planters.
After doing a little Googling, a little kitchen raiding and a trip to Home Depot I came up with all the supplies I needed:
5 tupperware containers, the size and shape that I wanted the planters.
1 tub Sakrete Fast Setting Cement Patcher – recommended to me because it was the smoothest finish with the fastest drying time.
As well as a few utensils and solos cups that I didn’t mind donating in the name of science – specifically an old knife for mixing and a measuring cup that had been used for other non-food things.
And last but certainly not least, the cutest tootiest rootiest succulents known to man.
They even give them cute little names – which is how some of the succulents made it home with me – on name alone.
Time to get to work. The directions on the cement tub instructed mixing 5 parts cement with 1 part water – so I mixed one cup of the powder with just under a quarter cup warm water and then I started stirrin’.
Stirring then led to dumping the concrete mix into my clean mold. This is one where I went a little lighter on water and it looks a bit too clumpy.
But with a little bit of pounding to remove air bubbles the surface began to spread out nice and neat.
On the other hand, here’s another mix that included more water – about a 4 to 1 ratio. It’s instantly smoother and fewer air bubbles were released when tapped.
For the center, where the little succulents will live out their adorable lives, I used a simple solo cup as a mold. My thought process was that the cup was smooth enough and even if the cement held fast I should be able to crush to the cup to remove it – since the hole would be filled with dirt I wasn’t concerned about how smooth a finish I’d get inside.
Here’s the “finished” product – five little planters laid out ready for a
long 24-hour winter’s nap.
Cue Jeopardy music, sit around doing stuff for a while…. end Jeopardy music.
Monday night I busted those babies out of their molds. Set ‘em free with a little bit o’ elbow grease. < ~ that line could totally be in a country music song.
This planter was a 5:1 mix with just a dash of extra water. Came out fairly smooth, only with a few air bubbles that got trapped under the solo cup.
There was a few air bubbles on some of them – I probably could have gotten them all out if I had originally sat there banging the wet mold against the garage floor for a little longer, but I like the impurities. We’re using concrete here, so it’s not meant to be perfectly polished and shiny.
Here’s my first planter which used more water than the rest. It definitely came out the smoothest with the least amount of air bubbles, but as you can see it was a bit easier to chip away, likely because their wasn’t as much cement mixer to hold it strong.
Then I got to the dirty job of planting. Honestly, this was the hardest part. Succulents are just so little and easily breakable — I did find myself wishing I had built these planters a bit taller and deeper – simply to make planting easier. Of course, I was rewarded within minutes:
Now the baby succulents sit next to their much larger counterpart. It’s like a mama duck with all her little ducklings and it makes me smile. Especially in the mornings when I want to kill all humans.
I’m super pleased with how these turned out. Succulents seriously appeal to your puppy-kitten-baby side and they make an excellent and happy decoration.
Here’s the budget breakdown for my DIY concrete slash cement planters:
5 tupperware tubs – $5
1 tupperware tub for mixing – already owned
Mixing tool and measuring cup – already owned
5 solo cups – already owned
Sakrete Fast Setting Cement – $9
Succulents – $15 – 5 at 3 bucks a pop
Total: 30 buckaroos. With a ton of materials to spare. I think I could easily make 20 more planters this size.
Anyone else take on the Pinterest Challenge this time around? DID IT INVOLVE CEMENT AND/OR CONCRETE? Do you even know the difference between cement and concrete? (I sure don’t).
Linked up to A2D’s 2011 Year in Review.