How to make a concrete planter

John, Team member
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How to make a concrete planter

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Project Overview

You can make the perfect planter to suit any size indoor plant with this easy project. We’ll take you through the steps to make a cement planter, and show you how to paint them to match your décor. Continue to step-by-step instructions
clogged paint spray
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How to unclog a spray can

Occasionally the nozzle on a used can of spray paint can get clogged and stop working. A quick and easy solution is to pour a small amount of mineral turpentine into a bucket, then remove the nozzle from the top of the can and place it in the bucket. After about three minutes, remove the nozzle, dry it off and reattach it to the spray can. Shake the can well then give it a spray, with the blockage gone your paint should come out no problem at all.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the PVC pipe
2 Cut the pipe lengthways
3 Make the inner cavity
4 Mark the tube
5 Mix the cement
6 Fill the mould with cement
7 Remove the mould
8 Paint the planter
  • Step 1. Cut the PVC pipe

    You can make your planter as tall as you want. Measure and mark for the height of the pot on the PVC pipe. Wrap masking tape around the pipe where you need to cut, to help the saw grip. Clamp the pipe to the workbench and cut it with the handsaw.
  • Step 2. Cut the pipe lengthways

    Clamp the pipe to the workbench and cut it lengthways. This will allow you to remove the mould when the cement is set. Then put the pipe back together with masking tape so that cement doesn’t leak.
  • Step 3. Make the inner cavity

    Use a paper towel holder to make the inner cavity in the pot. Wrap masking tape around one end of the roll to stop cement getting in. Don’t put the tape too far up though, the tube needs to absorb the moisture and be easy to remove once the cement is set.
  • Step 4. Mark the tube

    Mark the tube with a pencil at the depth that you want it to sit in the cement mould. It’s best to do this now, so that when the mould is full of cement, you know how far to push the tube in.
  • Step 5. Mix the cement

    You can use any colour or type of cement you like. We used real white, so that when we paint it the colours will stand out. We also added some quick set to ensure a quicker set. Mix your cement according to the instructions on the back of the pack. Add the water slowly. It needs to be about the same consistency as porridge. Make sure you wear the appropriate safety equipment when mixing the cement.
  • Step 6. Fill the mould with cement

    Sit the mould on form ply, plastic or a smooth, flat material that won’t absorb moisture. Use a scraper or filling blade to fill the mould with cement. Don’t fill it right to the top because when the paper towel tube goes into the centre to make the cavity for the soil, it will displace some of the cement. Tap the top with the cardboard tube to remove any air bubbles. Insert the cardboard tube in the centre of the mould, down to the mark. Leave the cement to cure.
  • Step 7. Remove the mould

    Once the cement is cured, remove the inner cardboard tube and the outer mould. Then give the planter a light hand sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Use a masonry bit to carefully drill a hole in the base for drainage.
  • Step 8. Paint the planter

    You can paint the planter in any colour or design you like. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to plant it up using a good quality potting mix and the plant of your choice. These planters look great on their own or in a group. You can even use the planter as a tea-light holder.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Bucket x 2
  • Clamps
  • Earmuffs
  • Handsaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Mixer or stirrer for cement
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Scoop to measure out the cement and quick set
  • Scraper
  • Utility knife with extra blades
  • Ventilator mask
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 90mm PVC pipe
  • Disposable gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Paper towel roll
  • Quick-set mortar
  • Spray paint
  • White cement
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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