How to make concrete planters with 14 steps

How to make concrete planters with 14 steps

Concrete planters look great in a garden or even inside your home. If you are looking for the perfect planter for a plant in your home this is the way to go. They can easily be painted to match your home’s décor or paint can be even used in the mix to create light-colored concrete. Here is a guide on how to mix paint and concrete.

The process of making concrete planters is a simple one and can be achieved by anyone. All you need is the following tools to get you started.

The materials that you will need for the concrete planters

Concrete ready mix bag

Old plastic food containers in different sizes or some other plastic shape that can be used as a mold

Non-stick cooking spray

Straws that are sturdy enough to be places inside the mold

Plastic sheeting

Plastic bucket that you can use for mixing the concrete

Sturdy stick to mix with or a trowel

Measuring stick

Measuring cup


Sanding pad

Rubber coated gloves

Outdoor patio paint (it’s made of the same material after all)

Optional: concrete drill bit and hammer drill if you don’t want to use straws for drainage

Learn how to make concrete planters DIY style below

14 steps for concrete planters

Step 1: Thoroughly clean and dry the plastic food containers. Basically, you want one bigger one and one that fits inside that while leaving some space on the sides so the concrete can get all around it. I think it’s good when you can fit one finger all around the small cup.

Step 2: Spray the mold (plastic container) with non-stick cooking spray. Using a light coat of non-stick cooking spray allows the concrete planter to easily remove from the plastic container/mold.

Step 3: Now we need to make drainage holes. There are two easy ways to do it. The first one is to use straws on the mold, the second one is drilling the holes after the concrete has cured.

To use the straw tactic, you will need to cut holes in the bottom of the larger mold and the bottom of the smaller plastic container that gets set inside the larger one. Once the holes are punctured place straws through the holes in the smaller container and then insert the same straw through the hole in the larger container.

You don’t have to glue them or tape them, small holes won’t have concrete coming through them. You just need small enough holes for the straw to go through.

Step 4: Now you will want to spread out the plastic sheeting and put on the rubber gloves. There is always a little bit messy when you work with concrete so it’s good to cover your working spot. Concrete can dry your skin fast so rubber gloves will protect against that. You can also use your hands a bit that way if you have trouble getting the concrete in the mold.

Step 5: Mix the concrete according to the manufactures directions. Depending on the size of the bag, it can be a lot. If possible, pick the amount you need for your planters project. If you can’t get small size bag, I got you covered.

First, place the amount of dry concrete mix in the bucket that you need to fill the planters mold. You can use the same size plastic container to fill it or measure by eye. Then start adding water little by little.

Usually, you need something like 1/5 of the amount of the concrete but add carefully. You don’t want it to be too runny. When it’s hard enough to make a ball in your hand, but still soft enough to mold easily and pour from the bucket it should be good enough for this.

Step 6: Now pour the concrete into the mold. Be careful that it doesn’t remove the straw. If it does you will no longer have a drainage hole and have to use the drill to make them.

When you reach the level of your smaller plastic container give the mold little taps to the bottom and sides to help the first air bubbles escape. Then continue pouring more until you have mold full of concrete with the inner plastic container inside as well.

Step 7: Gently tap the mold a lot of times. This allows any trapped bubbles to escape. If you skip this step the surface of your concrete planter might have small craters where the bubbles were left. If you like this look might give it a try as well.

Step 8: Add some rocks or something a little heavy to the smaller container that is set inside the mold. Another good way is to use some kind of wood piece on top of the mold so the smaller container cannot lift higher than that of the surface.

This will help to keep the container in the cement since it likes to rise. Make sure that the concrete has gotten in all the nooks and crannies. Before you leave it to cure for a while.

Step 9: Sit your mold on a level surface. If the surface is not level then the plant holder will not be either. Depending on how thick or thin the concrete is.

Step 10: Before the cement is going to solidify remove the inside mold only, not the straws. You know this when you touch the surface of the concrete planter and it’s hard enough to give in, but it can hold its form. You will notice when you remove the inner container.

Step 11: Sometimes after you have removed the inner container, you can remove the straws. You could give it as long as 8 hours before you remove them, depending on the conditions. If it’s very hot the concrete might cure faster, at cold it will take longer. At inside conditions, I’d say 8 hours.

Step 12: after 24 hours, remove the outer container by shaking. If you used cooking oil, it should come off easily. Use the sanding pad to sand away any rough edges and sides. It’s easy to sand the next day, but after the concrete keeps on curing, it will get harder and harder.

Step 13: Let the planter dry for another 48 hours. I give it three days’ time just to be sure. This really depends on how thick the concrete planter is. Something like a concrete slab has to cure for 28 days.

If you didn’t use straws to make drainage for water, you can use a hammer drill and a concrete bit to drill them now. If you don’t own a hammer drill, a power drill can do it as well, but you have to do it 24 hours after the pour so the concrete won’t be so hard yet.

Step 14: Use your outdoor to paint the planters in the style that you choose. Then you just need to let it dry.

Congratulations! Now you just need to plant a plant in the home made planter and you are done.


This should have showed you how to make concrete planters. It’s not hard a hard task and everyone should be able to accomplish this.

One way to customize it, even more, would be adding pigment or latex paint into the concrete as stated before in the beginning. The pigment can create deeper colors while latex can make beautiful light colors.

If you’re hungry for more concrete crafts, here is a guide on concrete garden spheres and candle holders as well.