Whether it’s in your office or on your patio, keeping some green nearby can be quite refreshing, not to mention healthy and aesthetically pleasing. With this easy-to-follow tutorial on how to make DIY cement planters with budget-friendly ingredients and supplies you’ll likely have around the house, you’ll be making cement planters for all of your leafy friends! 

How To Make A Cement Planter: Video

Materials And Supplies Needed For A DIY Cement Planter

  1. Portland Cement

Portland cement is considered the best choice for casting and making any type of cement containers. It’s a finely ground cement powder that mixes easily to create a smooth result for your DIY cement pots for plants.

Portland cement is the base ingredient for making cement planters.
Portland cement is the base ingredient for making cement planters.

2. Water

When making cement planters, you’ll need water to mix with the Portland cement. You don’t need any special type of water—room temperature tap water is perfect.

Mix Portland concrete with water to make a DIY cement planter.
Mix Portland concrete with water to make a DIY cement planter.

3. Mixing Container

The next supply you’ll need to make cement planters is a safe and sturdy container to mix the cement and water. Any disposable plastic container or bucket will typically do, but if you don’t have anything sufficient around your home, you can purchase a shallow tub. 

You’ll need a mixing container for your DIY cement pots for plants.
You’ll need a mixing container for your DIY cement pots for plants.

3. Milk Carton, Yogurt Container, or Food Container

Whichever you choose, your carton or container will form the mold for your cement containers. Paper or cardboard cartons can be a little simpler to peel away from the dried cement, but many people who are learning how to make cement planters have had success with plastic containers, too. 

Your carton or container of choice forms the shape of your DIY cement planter.
Your carton or container of choice forms the shape of your DIY cement planter.

4. Plastic Cups

While your carton or container will form the outside of your DIY cement planters, plastic cups will form the insides and serve as a placeholder for where your plants will ultimately reside. You can use different types of plastic cups, in varying shapes and sizes, too!

Plastic cups form the inside of your cement planters.
Plastic cups form the inside of your cement planters.

5. Rocks, Stones, Glass Cups or Other Items to Keep the “Placeholder” Grounded

When you place the plastic cups into the mixing container filled with the cement mix, you’ll need something to weigh the cups down and ensure that they form the space for your plants. Craft rocks, natural stones, and even glass cups are all excellent choices. 

Small rocks and stones are great for weighing down your DIY cement planter placeholder.
Small rocks and stones are great for weighing down your DIY cement planter placeholder.

6. Sandpaper or Sanding Block

Once the cement mix has dried within your container and you’ve removed both the outside of the container and your placeholder, you will need sandpaper or a sanding block to smooth the edges and remove any excess cement that may be present. 

You’ll need sandpaper for the final step of this “how to make cement planters” tutorial
You’ll need sandpaper for the final step of this “how to make cement planters” tutorial

7. Optional: Peat Moss and Perlite 

Depending on the kind of texture you’d like your planter to have, you may want to consider adding peat moss and Perlite, which give a more open, porous texture. If you’d like a smoother texture, add more water to make your mix runnier, but keep in mind that it will take longer to dry and harden. 

Perlite and peat moss can add texture to your cement containers.
Perlite and peat moss can add texture to your cement containers.

Step-By-Step For A DIY Cement Planter

1. Mix Cement and Water 

When tackling the challenge of “how to make cement planter,” abide by a ratio of 4 parts Portland cement to 1 part water. 

Mix Portland cement with water for Step 1.
Mix Portland cement with water for Step 1.

2. Form the Milk Carton, Yogurt Container, or Plastic Food Container Planter

Pour the Portland cement mix halfway through the carton or container. Then, place a plastic cup or other “placeholder” inside and add rocks or stones to weigh it down. If your carton or container has an open top, cover it with a wrap of your choice and puncture the top to allow airflow and for the mix to dry. 

Create DIY cement pots for plants using any carton or container.
Create DIY cement pots for plants using any carton or container.

3. Let the Cement Planters Dry Overnight

When you make cement planters, you need to allow the mix to dry overnight to ensure that it is completely dry and won’t crack when you remove the container and the placeholder.

It’s important to let your cement containers dry completely.
It’s important to let your cement containers dry completely.

4. Remove the Layers

Once your DIY cement planters have dried overnight, remove the outside layer—your carton or container—and your placeholder to reveal the finished shape. 

Reveal the shape of your cement planter!
Reveal the shape of your cement planter!

5. Sand Your Planter

Once you’ve removed the container and your placeholder, use sandpaper or a sanding block to smooth the edges of your DIY cement planter and to remove any excess pieces or fragments of cement. 

Sanding your planter down is the second-to-last step.
Sanding your planter down is the second-to-last step.

6. Fill Your DIY Cement Planters With Your Plants and Succulents!

The last step in this process is admittedly the most exciting—it’s time to get your plants and succulents settled in their new cement containers! 

It’s time to plant your favorites in their new cement planters!
It’s time to plant your favorites in their new cement planters!

Want to Learn How to Better Care for Your Plants?

Happy Houseplants: Caring For Your Plants | Learn with The Sill