How can you make concrete planters yourself? Instructions, ideas and tips

Large planters look particularly good in the garden and on the terrace. This allows you to optically separate the outside area, protect it from prying eyes or simply beautify it. Anyone who has already searched the garden market knows that large buckets are anything but cheap. If you want to save some money, you can roll up your sleeves and make the beautiful planters yourself. Read on to discover great ideas, guides, and useful tips for making homemade concrete planters.

Why concrete planters?

DIY round concrete planters for outdoors

Concrete flower pots and boxes are very popular and for good reason. In contrast to terracotta, concrete is frost-proof and very stable, which makes the planters weather-resistant and therefore ideal for outdoor use. Whether as a privacy screen or just as a decorative accent – the concrete buckets are an excellent choice for the garden and terrace.

If you want to make the concrete planter yourself, you can opt for any shape. With the right formwork, the planters can be square, round, narrow, high or low. If you don’t like the concrete look so much, you can color, paint or decorate the finished planters as you wish. The material leaves nothing to be desired!

Which concrete for a DIY planter?

DIY planter made of concrete round with succulents

For handicrafts with concrete, you usually use special craft cement or poured concrete, which are usually fine and somewhat more fluid. Since you would need significantly more concrete for a planter than for a small handicraft project, it is worth buying one or more bags of ready-mixed concrete and mixing it yourself. This is not as difficult as you might think and it is also much cheaper. Which concrete you choose usually depends on what the surface of the finished planter should look like. With fine concrete screed, for example, smooth surfaces are created, whereas a bucket made of screed cement would have a somewhat coarser surface. If, on the other hand, you want the planter to look natural, you can also opt for peat concrete.

DIY project: make large concrete planters yourself

Large concrete planter planted with pink hydrangeas

If you find the large concrete plant troughs beautiful and want some in your own garden, you don’t necessarily have to buy them ready-made. We will now show you how you can make a concrete planter yourself. The information in the instructions is for a square bucket that is 60 cm wide and 80 cm high. If you wish, you can make the concrete planter 1 m or even higher.

Necessary materials and tools:

  • 40 kg sack of ready-mixed concrete
  • trowel
  • water
  • 19 mm thick plywood
  • circular saw
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screws
  • Duct tape
  • 5 cm PVC pipe cut to a height of 10 cm
  • Sandpaper or wire brush

Instructions: Build concrete formwork

Formwork for concrete planters build wooden boxes yourself

In the first step you design the concrete formwork. First, build two boxes – a square box measuring 60 x 80 cm and a square box measuring 55 x 75 cm by cutting the plywood to the size you want.

For the larger plywood box, cut 4 panels measuring 60 x 80 cm and a 60 x 60 cm panel for the bottom of the box.

For the smaller plywood box, cut out 4 sheets of 55 x 75 cm and then cut them in half to make each 27.5 x 75 cm. This makes it easier to remove the internal parts after the cement has hardened. Finally, cut a 55 x 55 cm plate for the bottom of the smaller box.

Drill a 5 cm hole in the bottom of the large box and insert the PVC pipe through it. This creates the drainage for the planter. The PVC pipe should be 5 cm above the bottom of the box. Cover the top of the PVC pipe to prevent cement from getting inside.

After you’ve built the two plywood boxes, you can move on to pouring the concrete.

Pour the concrete

DIY concrete planter xxl instructions pour yourself

Mix the concrete according to the directions on the bag until you get the consistency you need. Do not add too much water as this can cause cracks as the concrete dries.

Now you can pour the concrete. First, pour a 5 cm layer of concrete into the large box. This is the bottom of your concrete planter.

Then put the smaller box in the middle of the big box. Make sure that the edges are the same all around. You can cut out two-inch blocks of wood and screw them to the edges to make sure the space is the same all around.

Now it’s time to pour the concrete into the mold. Use a trowel to do this. While pouring the concrete, tap the box with the rubber mallet to make sure the concrete falls to the floor.

Keep tapping around the box so the bubbles and gaps in the concrete dissolve. The harder you tap, the fewer holes there will be in the concrete.

Let the concrete dry and loosen the form

Make your own large concrete planter for outdoors

Once the concrete is completely dry, you can remove the plywood boxes to expose the planter. The outer parts can be unscrewed very easily. However, the inside is a little more difficult. If necessary, you can use a flat head screwdriver and hammer to pry the plywood out.

Then sand the edges and any rough spots you want to smooth down. Then you can paint the finished concrete planter with stain and sealer.

Planting concrete planters

Plant large concrete planters with trees

Now it’s time to plant. Special potted plant soil is recommended for new plantings. Before you put the earth in the bucket, you should make sure that the concrete is completely dry. Depending on the planting, you can lay a drainage layer on the bottom of the bucket. Also make sure that you have enough soil available, because the required amount is often underestimated due to the size of the bucket.

Cool ideas for concrete planters in different shapes

Simple concrete planter DIY

Planters in any shape and size can be made from concrete. So you just need a suitable mold. Here are a few original ideas that mainly used old and unused items to make pots and buckets. Get inspiration for your own project!

Make a round planter out of concrete yourself

Make big round concrete planters yourself out of buckets

Round buckets look a lot more elegant than rectangular models and can give the garden a romantic touch. To make a round concrete planter yourself, you can, for example, use two round plastic buckets of different sizes. To make the buckets easier to separate from the concrete, you can coat them with vegetable oil in advance. The procedure is similar to the project above. You put some of the cement mixture on the bottom of the large bucket, then place the small bucket on it and fill the space between the two vessels with cement. To ensure that the small bucket is stable, fill it with weights such as some bricks. After the concrete has dried, loosen the buckets and the concrete planter is ready.

Using old furniture for interesting shapes

Make your own concrete plant troughs for outside house entrances

Are you wondering how this bucket got its decorations? No, it wasn’t bought like that, but made with the help of an old closet door. Similar shapes can also be made by attaching various elements to the outside of the inner container before pouring the concrete.

Original idea for DIY planters made of concrete plastic stool as a casting mold

With this idea, the process is even easier. You just take a plastic stool and use it as a mold for the self-made planter. To do this, first a form of styrofoam is made and wrapped with plastic film. Then you put the stool upside down, pour some concrete for the bottom of the bucket, and put a smaller container on top. Then again fill the gaps with cement, allow to dry and remove from the mold.

Make your own flower pots in different shapes out of concrete

Cool ideas for concrete flower pots DIY

Planters of any size can be made from concrete. In addition to a large bucket, you can also make some flower pots yourself. Plastic bottles of various sizes, for example, are perfect as casting molds.

Beautify concrete planters

Make lightweight concrete planters yourself with color pigment

Would you like to give the gray concrete a playful touch? Then you can either paint the concrete planter in any desired or color the cement with color pigments. Choose colors that harmonize well with the surroundings.

Instead of pouring concrete – make your own planter from concrete slabs

Simple DIY planter for outdoors made of wood and concrete slabs

Here is an idea for the lazy. Instead of mixing and pouring concrete, you can easily make beautiful planters from concrete slabs yourself. To do this, first build a frame out of wooden posts that you screw together, and then glue the concrete slabs to it with assembly adhesive. If you want to make a taller planter yourself, you can glue two or more concrete slabs on top of each other. However, this makes the planter much heavier.