Super easy faux concrete pots and planters

A great way to re-purpose disposable plastic containers –

Love the homespun look of concrete pots and planters, but can’t stand lugging them around?  Or dropping one on your foot?

Or is it just too intimidating to work with pure concrete mixtures?

Try this super-easy and inexpensive method to make your own faux concrete pots and planters.  They are much lighter than regular concrete, too!  Even elderly people and children will have no problem filling and moving these pots.

Don’t have any fancy molds?

That’s the best part of these creations!  You can use anything as a mold, as long as it’s flexible and disposable.

Made with a plastic water jug mold

It’s a great way to re-purpose disposable plastic items–everything from milk jugs to soda bottles to red solo cups to water bottles to cottage cheese containers.  The wet mixture will fill in the crevices of the mold, which will create a cool design on the outside.

Be patient, though.  Even though this project is quick and easy to make, it can take up to two months to fully dry, unless it’s mid-summer.  This is a great mid-winter project, as you look forward to spring.

The faux concrete mixture has just three dry ingredients, and water.  Each of the dry ingredients–concrete, perlite, and peat moss–is easily found in discount stores, home improvement stores, and gardening centers.

Perlite, concrete, and peat moss

A little bit of this mixture goes a long way.  Get together with family or friends and make a party of it!

You’ll need two disposable containers for each creation.  One needs to be smaller–this is your insert that fits into the bottom mold, and creates the “bowl.”

The process –

First, protect your hands with disposable gloves, and wear long sleeves.  You don’t want this mixture irritating your skin.  You also don’t want to breathe in the dry ingredients as you toss them together.  Protect your airways by wearing either a disposable mask or a bandana over your mouth and nose.

Mix together equal parts of:

(1) Dry concrete 

(2)Perlite (porous volcanic rock), and

(3) Peat moss.

Then stir in enough water to turn it into a goopy cottage cheese consistency.

Pour the mixture into your mold, until it’s about 2/3 full.  Then take a smaller container and push it into the mixture until it works its way up to the top of the bottom mold.

Leave the smaller container in the bottom mold!  Make sure it’s centered.  You can weight it down by tossing some small rocks into it, if it doesn’t want to stay down.

Then put your creation into a plastic bag and tie it off.  Unless the weather is hot and dry, it can take up to two months to dry.  Just find some place to tuck it away.  Write the projected “dry” date on your calendar.

When your faux concrete mixture is thoroughly dry, just tear off the outside and inside molds.

Solo cup outside mold, plastic cup inside.

Fill and enjoy!  Use your imagination.  I am starting a new batch of herbs from seed this month.  These would make nice herb pots!

If you make a large enough container, you can use it outside to hold hand tools.  It will be light enough to move around, but sturdy.

If you seal the inside of your container with some spray-on (or brush-on) sealant, like varnish or lacquer, you can use it to hold silverware and napkins for picnics.  Or use it inside to hold pens, scissors, and other necessities that always seem buried in the back of a drawer.

Let me know how your projects turn out!  What other ideas do you have for this durable container?



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