How to make concrete pots

cement candle holder

How to make cement pots

by Cybele
This post is part of our handmade Christmas series, because nothing says, ‘I’m thinking about you’ quite like gifts made with love.
Last week, Bub and I met up with the lovely Kinfolk Magazine and Blog Society crowd. Everything they do is beautiful.kinfolk We nibbled on zucchini flower and parmesan tarts and sipped from jam jars, while chatting to Katie Searle-Williams, the Cofounder of Kinfolk and Julie Pointer, the Community manager. My idea of heaven.
A story Julie told has stayed with me. It was about the time she made a plate of cookies for an elderly couple she didn’t know and they invited her into their home and she spent a magical couple of hours learning about their lives. In a roundabout way it’s how she ended up working for Kinfolk.
We’re so lucky to live in the digital community era, but it’s easy to forget about those who live nearby. I want to take some time this Christmas to reach out to people in my area. So, I’m dreaming up and searching for good gifts for neighbours. These concrete cups will work for some. For the others, I think it’s time to whip up some chutney and maybe some panforte too.
How to make a concrete pot
This is one of those projects that caught me by surprise. I’d been toying with making some cement candle holders for a while and since I had to do some repairs using cement and had some left over, it was the perfect moment.
Now, I’m hooked. It’s a lot easier and more fun than I’d thought it would be. Think, making mud pies when you were a kid. It’s also cheap, which makes it easier to just play, because there’s nothing to lose. I think I’ll play around with different moulds, maybe one of a little star or perhaps even a  hippo for the garden
How to make a concrete pot
Cement mix (this is cement pre mixed with sand)
PVA glue (optional: gives the cement strength)
Container to mix cement in
Trowel or spoon
Plastic cups, one large and one smaller to use as moulds
Something to use as a weight, like a hammer
To make cement cups
How to make concrete candle holderStir the cement with water according to the instructions (if using PVA glue, add 1 part glue to 4 parts water and use this to mix with the cement instead of straight water). Ideally, you want the mix to be about the consistency of yoghurt, as this will make it easier to work with.
How to make concrete candle holderPour cement into the larger cup, press the smaller cup in and place something heavier into the cup to keep it in place.
Weight-cementLeave to dry for a couple of days.
How to make concrete candle holderGently peel the plastic cups away.
cement candle holderPainted others with liquid copper to use as candle holders and popped dried flowers in another.
What do you think makes the perfect neighbourly gift?
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About the Author


Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

13 Comments on "How to make concrete pots"

  1. Crystal 29/11/2013 at 7:08 am · Reply

    Great tutorial! What is in the 5th picture down starting from the start of the tutorial? Looks like brown sugar syrup or something.

  2. BlahBlahMagazine
    Blah Blah Magazine 29/11/2013 at 8:15 am · Reply

    It does look like sugar syrup in the photo – that’s amazing. It’s actually the wooden handle of the rolling pin I was using to weigh the inside cup down and hold the mould together.

  3. Crystal 30/11/2013 at 9:43 am · Reply

    ooOOOoh :) makes a lot more sense!

  4. Mary 17/05/2014 at 11:44 pm · Reply

    Love this idea. Seems like you would need a drainage hole, if you were making planters.

    • BlahBlahMagazine
      Blah Blah Magazine 21/05/2014 at 3:27 pm · Reply

      Good point. I should’ve clarified I find them good for succulents, as you can just give a little water occasionally. However, you could do as Matthew suggests or trying stabbing a hole with something sharp when the concrete is halfway dry. I hope this helps.
      Bele x

  5. Matthew 19/05/2014 at 6:06 am · Reply

    Beautiful! Gonna try them soon. I raise succulents and these are perfect.
    @Mary, you can buy masonry bits cheap for a drill and with a soft hand and good bit, you could easily put a drainage hole in them.

    • BlahBlahMagazine
      Blah Blah Magazine 21/05/2014 at 3:27 pm · Reply

      Thanks, that’s a great suggestion. I’m going to try that next time. Bele x

  6. Lindsey 31/05/2014 at 10:24 pm · Reply

    Hi! I tried this DIY aswell, I found my mixture of cement to be ok except when I poured the cement into the mold it formed a layer of water on the top, did yours do this?

    • BlahBlahMagazine
      Blah Blah Magazine 01/06/2014 at 7:16 am · Reply

      How interesting. Mine didn’t do that. I wonder why. Did yours dry ok in the end?

      • Lindsey 01/06/2014 at 11:28 am · Reply

        I did them yesterday and they are still quite wet. Maybe I didnt put in the correct quantity of water to cement. I wanted the mixture quite runny so the top of the pot would be quite smooth instead of clumpy but maybe a dryer mixture is the best way to go.

  7. Alannah 04/04/2015 at 10:25 am · Reply

    Hi! So in love with your planters?
    Just wondering what colour/type of cement you used to make these?

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