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How to make concrete planters yourself? Instructions, ideas and tips

  • DIY

Large planters cut a particularly good figure in the garden and on the terrace. With them, you can visually separate the outdoor area, protect it from prying eyes or simply beautify it. Anyone who has already looked in the garden market, certainly knows that large tubs 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, tutorials and useful tips for homemade concrete planters.

Why concrete planters?

DIY round planter made of concrete for outside

Flower pots and planters made of concrete enjoy great popularity and for good reason. Unlike terracotta, concrete is frost-proof and very stable, which makes the planters weather-resistant and therefore ideal for outdoor use. Whether used as a privacy screen or just a decorative accent, concrete planters are an excellent choice for gardens and patios.

If you want to make the concrete planters yourself, you can choose any shape you like. With the appropriate formwork, the planters can be made square, round, narrow, high or low. If you do not like the concrete look so much, you can color, paint or decorate the finished planters with patterns as you like. So the material leaves nothing to be desired!

Which concrete for a DIY planter?

DIY concrete planter round with succulents

To tinker with concrete, you usually take 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 craft project, it is worth buying one or more bags of ready-mix concrete and mixing it yourself. This is not as difficult as you might think, and is also much cheaper. Which concrete you choose usually depends on how the surface of the finished planter should look. Fine concrete screed, for example, creates smooth surfaces, whereas a planter made of screed cement would have a slightly rougher surface. On the other hand, if you want the planter to have a natural look, 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 planters beautiful and want some in your own garden, you do not necessarily have to buy them ready-made. We will now show you how to make a concrete planter yourself. The details in the instructions are for a square planter, which is 60 cm wide and 80 cm high. However, if you wish, you can make the concrete planter 1 m or even higher.

Necessary materials and tools:

  • 40 kg bag of ready mixed concrete
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • plywood 19 mm thick
  • circular saw
  • rubber mallet
  • screws
  • Armor tape
  • 5 cm PVC pipe cut to 10 cm height
  • Sandpaper or wire brush

Instructions: Building concrete formwork

Formwork for concrete planters DIY wooden boxes


The first step is to 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 desired size.

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

For the smaller plywood box, cut 4 55 x 75 cm panels and then cut each in half to 27.5 x 75 cm. This will make it easier to remove the interior pieces once the cement has hardened. Finally, cut a 55 x 55 cm plate for the bottom of the smaller box.

Drill a 5 cm diameter hole in the bottom of the large box and insert the PVC pipe through it. This will create 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 have 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 instructions 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 are ready to pour the concrete. First, pour a 5 cm layer of concrete into the large box. This is the bottom of your concrete planter.

Then place the smaller box in the middle of the large box. Make sure the edges are the same size all around. You can cut out 5 cm blocks of wood and screw them to the edges to make sure the spacing is the same all around.

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

Continue tapping all around the box to make sure the bubbles and voids in the concrete dissolve. The harder you tap, the fewer holes will appear in the concrete.

Allow concrete to dry and release mold

Large planter made of concrete for outside DIY


Once the concrete is completely dry, you can remove the plywood boxes to expose the planter. The outer parts are very easy to unscrew. The inside, however, is a little more difficult. If necessary, you can use a flat screwdriver and a hammer to pry out the plywood.

Then grind the edges and any rough spots that you want to smooth. After that, you can paint the finished concrete planter with stain and sealer.

Planting concrete planter

Large concrete planters planting with trees

Now it’s time to plant. For new plantings, it is recommended to use special potted plant soil. Before adding the soil to the tub, make sure the concrete is completely dry. Depending on the planting, you can lay a drainage layer on the bottom of the tub. Likewise, make sure you have enough soil on hand, as the amount needed is often underestimated due to the size of the tub.

Cool ideas for concrete planters in different shapes

Simple concrete planter box DIY

Concrete can be used to make planters of any shape and size. So all you need is a suitable casting mold. Here are a few original ideas, for which mainly old and unused objects were used to make pots and tubs. Get inspired for your own project!

Make a round concrete planter yourself

Concrete planter large round do it yourself from buckets

Round planters look a lot more elegant than rectangular models and can add a romantic touch to the garden. For example, to make a round concrete planter yourself, you can use two round plastic buckets of different sizes. To make the buckets easier to detach 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 top and fill the space between the two vessels with cement. To make sure the small bucket is stable, fill it with weights such as some bricks. After the concrete dries, loosen the buckets and the concrete planter is ready.

Use old furniture for interesting shapes

Make your own concrete planters for outside house entrance

Are you wondering how this bucket got its ornaments? No, it wasn’t bought that way, but made with the help of an old cabinet door. You can also create similar shapes by attaching various elements to the outside of the inner container before pouring the concrete.

Original idea for DIY concrete planter plastic stool as casting mold

In this idea, the procedure is even simpler. You simply take a plastic stool and use it as a casting mold for the homemade planter. To do this, first make a mold out of Styrofoam and wrap it with plastic wrap. Then you put the stool in upside down, pour some concrete for the bottom of the bucket and put a smaller container on top. After that, again, fill the gaps with cement, let it dry and detach from the mold.

Make your own flower pots in different shapes from concrete

Cool ideas for flower pots from concrete DIY

From concrete, you can make planters of any size. In addition to a large pot, you can also make a few flower pots yourself. For example, plastic bottles of various sizes are perfect as molds.

Embellish concrete planters

Lightweight concrete planter do it yourself with color pigment

You want to give the gray concrete a playful touch? Then you can either paint the concrete planter in any one or color the cement with color pigments. When doing so, choose colors that blend well with the surroundings.

Instead of pouring concrete – make your own planters from concrete slabs.

Simple DIY outdoor planter made of wood and concrete slabs

Here you can see 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 mounting glue. If you want to make a taller planter yourself, you can glue two or more concrete slabs on top of each other. However, this will make the planter much heavier.