The Self Life took on a Do-It-Yourself Pinterest challenge and landed on DIY Concrete Planters; we couldn’t be more thrilled that they did!  The result was easy-enough instructions and some great tips for the rest of us!

 

We couldn’t get to the hardware store fast enough to mix up some cement of our own and get started.

 

Please click here to visit The Self Life and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Attempt a DIY medium I have never even thought of working with – cement – to create an adorable home for some sweet little succulents.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Amanda - Planter 1bFirst mistake was not mixing my cement in a separate container. I of course didn’t realize just how much of a mistake until 24 hours later when I pulled the hardened cement out of the containers.

Also, I wished I would have let it harden for another few hours. It seemed like it was not completely dry on the bottom. Once I got them out I realized the largest container was a great size but I did not fill it high enough and didn’t push the cup low enough. Sadly that one may need to be a candle holder or a giant paper weight!

Oh, and use a sturdy spoon. My plastic number didn’t hold up well!

Amanda - Planter 1a

Pros:

The cement is a really cool look. The texture is very industrial and the color is fantastic.

Cons:

Practice. Practice. Practice. Not so much a con as it is a “to-do” for next time. Definitely make sure you fill your container high enough so you have enough space for your plant.

Tip: use a clear solo cup instead of colored so you can see how deep your hole will be.

Amanda - Planter 2

Conclusion:

I will definitely be making these again. I feel like I have nailed down the “what-went-wrong” and would love to make a larger pot and maybe paint it partially or something. Plus I have about half the container left over so I HAVE to do some kind of cement project.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at using cement in a DIY project!

 

Details:

Maren, Kristy and I were able to do this project as a group – it is always more fun crafting with your friends.

We set up shop in Maren’s kitchen – placing old towels all over her counter top before beginning.

Getting the Quik Set Cement container open was a process in itself! Maren brought out her big guns to get the job done and we had a lot of laughs in the process!

Maren is always prepared and she had tons of plastic containers for use as well as a watering can for water.

  • I had brought a gallon ice cream container to use for my pot and borrowed one of Maren’s smaller ones for the inside inset.

I began by filling my container about half-full with cement and then added the necessary amount of water and started stirring. This is when the stress set in. Knowing we had a limited amount of time to mix this before it began to set drained me. It was hard work!

After I had it mixed I placed the plastic container for the inset in and pushed it down about 3” into the cement. I then used the spoon to smooth out the top and let it sit until the next day.

Once it was dry, I pulled the inset container out and popped the cement planter out of the gallon container. I decided to not use sandpaper to smooth out the top as I really like the rough, natural look of it. I then transplanted my orchid into the pot and I really hope it continues to thrive in there!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have your water handy in a watering can – this way it is at the ready if you need to thin out your cement mix.

Use mixing utensils that you don’t mind end up in the garbage as they get pretty gunked up during the process.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Very minimal items needed to create these and they turn out darling!

Cons:

A little intense during the process of mixing – we used quick set cement and it got us a bit fired up to be speedy so we would get them prepped before they started to set!

After I had mine mixed, I wished I would have put more cement mix in to make it a larger pot. I only ended up filling the gallon container about half full and though I like it, I think had I filled it the entire way, it would have been more of a statement piece.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

These are very darling, but I am curious to see how my orchid plant does in the long run.

I am not sure I would ever attempt to do these again – it honestly stressed me out too much during the process! But, the idea of a large one outside my front door is pretty intriguing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I could not wait to try this project.  I have been dying to get my hands on a concrete planter ever since I first laid eyes on one.  Although I have seen several listed on Etsy, as Elisa mentioned, they were a little pricey and I couldn’t help but think that I could probably make one myself.  Yipeee!  Thank you The Self Life!

Details:

  • I saved up every dang container that we had from the past couple of weeks to make sure that we had a good selection.  I also raided the house for party cups and other small containers.  The best choices for me ended up being a 32 oz cottage cheese container, one of Kristy’s $1 store bowls and those little 9 ounce party tumblers (for the inside cavity).  I used a Keg Cup for one, and that worked great as well.
  • I couldn’t find the Sakrete that Elisa used in her post, but did find Quikrete Quik Set Cement which is basically the same thing – per my husband.
  • In my head I swore that I was supposed to sand down the top of the planter when I was done.  Apparently not, although I did with my handy little Black & Decker Multi Sander.  I love that thing!
  • My succulents are babies from my Succulent Tea Cup and my Terrarium!  I snipped them off, put them in these cool little things called Rootcups and Wallah!  I feel so proud!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Holy shit.  Add extra water and be ready to stir!  After nearly giving myself a hernia from trying to open the container of concrete, I was not totally prepared for the rampant stirring activity that was before me.  I lived though, and it was much easier going forward.

We (myself, Sarah and Kristy) thought about mixing the concrete in one big container and then adding it to our individual containers.  Then we read on the package that we only had 5 minutes and realized how unrealistic that was.  This was a wise choice since we had a hard enough time as it was getting a frickin’ cottage cheese container mixed in time.

I did have one planter that didn’t get totally mixed and was a bust.  One side was so shiny that it looked like marble, the other was gravely and falling apart.  Lesson learned.

Here’s a good tip: Holding the cup that you plan to use for the inside of the planter next to the container filled with cement and mark a line on the inner cup so that you know how deep to push it into the cement without going all the way to the bottom.

Other tip: Be patient.  The cement sets really quickly, but isn’t ready to be removed from the container for at least a day or so.

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

Super easy and très chic!

Cons:

Opening the concrete container almost killed me.

Maren - Planter 2b

Conclusion:

I love my planter just as much as I thought that I would.  I have already received several compliments on it, and am excited to make them for friends as gifts!  They are that easy!  Once you have the process down, I bet you could crack one out in less than 10 minutes!
Next up though, I want to make a big one!  A great reason to finally get a Paint/Mud Mixer attachment for the drill.  Also a great reason for picking up a gallon of ice cream.  Tee Hee!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Rustic piece of art for your plants!  I love cacti; they have such character and don’t die!

 

Details:

Group project!  Maren supplied the Quik Set Cement and we supplied our own molds.

  • I went to the Dollar Tree and bought take away dishes in more of a square shape.
  • Maren had cups for the center that worked perfect
  • Picked up some fabulous cacti from Home Depot

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to have water on hand!  Maren was prepared with a cute watering can that worked perfectly!

Stir, stir, stir quickly…the concrete had to be mixed and set within 5 minutes!  Doesn’t sound like long but it goes by fast!!

Don’t forget to tap the bottom to let out most of the air bubbles within the concrete.

Be sure to measure the depth on the cup, you need to know how far to push down when you center inside your mold! VERY IMPORTANT! Mine were pretty shallow!

Kristy - Planter 1

Pros:

Very rustic and easy to make!  Fun group project!!

Cons:

Just be sure to work quickly and be prepared to know the depth of the interior cup!

My plants roots were exposed as my bowls were too shallow in the center.  Cacti are difficult to kill, so I hope they survive!

Kristy - Planter 2

Conclusion:

This would be a great gift!  I love mine; perfect for a window ledge!

It has chips and a few holes on the sides from likely air bubbles but it gives such character!!  The plants come in so many different colors, that it gives such a fun pop of color!!

Next time I might make them a little taller to give plants more room for their roots in the center of planter!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Katie

Mission: Make your cement planters for those oh so adorable succulent plants you’ve probably seen everywhere.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be patient, and check the label!  I purchased and used cement vs. cement patch and that may have negatively affected my finished product or my lack of patience could have contributed to the less than perfect results as well….

Katie - Planter 1

Pros:

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a few succulents and I think the planters will look cute on the windowsill in my office…imperfections and all!

Cons:

Messy!!

Katie - Planter 2

Conclusion:

While this wasn’t an especially expensive project, I tend to prefer the instant gratification of purchasing small planters and not having to deal with smoothing out cement, worrying about air pockets and making a mess from start to finish!

All in all, I’m happy with the results and am excited to display them in my home.

 

Concrete Conclusion


The lovely
DIY Concrete Planters and photo by The Self Life


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More Design Please showed us an easy way to spruce up our spaces with her adorable Succulent Tea Cups!

We loved the simple and charming look of these living crafts, so the gals of The Crafty Collaborative just had to try this project out for ourselves!

 

Please click here to visit More Design Please and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Create planters out of tea cups to brighten my office space.

 

 

Details:

  • Materials
  • Surface

I opted for rocks found in my landscaping instead of purchasing pebbles.

I also used some tea cups I had purchased (cheaply) at a second hand store for a tea party I threw for my daughter. I actually spray painted them because they were definitely old but not in a good way!

I ordered my succulents from this lovely Etsy shop at a steal ($10 for 10!) Bkyard Paradise

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Trying to get all of my little succulents into the tea cups was hard with just two hands. It would have been helpful to have another set handy. Maybe next time I will let my kids help!?

Pros:

This is a great way to re-use and an even better way to brighten up a space.

Cons:

I am not totally sure that the succulents will handle the cup size well and actually survive but that is more my mistake than anything written in the original posting for this DIY.

Conclusion:

I have to admit I am in love with my new little buddies. They actually bring a smile to my face and would make a great get well gift or really for any occasion.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: To make a sweet little gift for myself!

 

Details:

  • Succulent from the grocery store (I grabbed the smallest one they had and it still seemed huge!)
  • The biggest mug that I could find, for $3 at Marshalls
  • Tiny river pebbles from the JoAnn

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Do this outside.  If you do it inside, like I did… and near the sink… like I did… you may end up with little rocks in your garbage disposal.  Shit.

There was a ton of dirt in the little pot that my plant came in – so I didn’t get any extra.

Don’t water these suckers until they’re bone dry.  I am a [unintentional] plant murderer; but I have learned that I can handle a succulent.  They love neglect!  Seriously!  I once tried to be better about watering the one I had at my office… dead.  Now I just accept that they’re perfect for me, and do what I do best, forget about taking care of them.

Also – succulents seem to do better when their roots are a little crowded.  I think that this cup should be a good size for now, but my plant will have to get an upgrade as it gets bigger.

Pros:

Quick!  This project only took about 5 minutes to actually complete and I am in LOVE with the result!  What a little cutie!

I think that this is a nice way to get smaller succulents started.  You can enjoy them on a table or shelf while they’re little, and then replant them somewhere else when they get bigger.

Cons:

None, unless you’re me and you like to put rocks down your drain.

Conclusion:

This project is totally easy, and would make a great gift!  I think that they have a lot more character and charm when in a cute cup, than the plastic pot they come in from the store.

Succulents are my favorite, and they seem to be pretty popular these days, too!  I will definitely do this project again – so I’ll be on the lookout for those lonely cups at the thrift store!
 
 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: I was not born with a green thumb, everything I touch dies within 2 weeks.  Case in point, my formerly green and beautiful basil and chives plants… dead after two weeks. This is why I chose this project, as I figured succulents are hard to kill so maybe I could actually keep a plant alive.  Let’s hope!

Details:

  • Two beautiful succulents that I picked up at Home Depot.  I am hoping they remain this beautiful.
  • This was simple. There was enough potting soil from the plant to replant.  I simply flipped over the plant and the dirt stayed intact by the roots. Placed it in a tea cup (ok, coffee mug) and it looked perfect.
  • I really wanted to reuse my pots from my old dead plants so instead of keeping my succulent in the coffee mug I used an old pot.  When transferring to these new pots, I needed more soil so I used a portion of the soil from the old pot at the bottom then added the new plant with soil intact.
  • Once inside the pot, I placed more soil from the old pot around the edges to stabilize the plant.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use what you like and if the finished project isn’t exactly what you like then modify and make it your own.

Pros:

Easy, the small plant chosen was perfect for the small teacup or coffee cup. No additional soil needed. This would be a cute idea for an office plant! Cheap décor!

Cons:

Dirty nails and a little messy!

 
 

Conclusion:

Don’t be afraid to have real plants, just find one that can keep up with your lifestyle.  If you have a busy lifestyle then a succulent could be the best for you! Lol, it sounds like I am referring to a pet!

The beautiful Succulent Tea Cups photo by More Design Please


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With the help of Better Homes & GardensHouse & Hold shows us how to create a Simple Terrarium!

Terrariums are everywhere these days!  We thought we had better get on board!

 

Please click here to visit House & Hold and check out the post that we loved!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To plant darling succulents in a terrarium setting.

 

Details:

  • Succulent Plant(s)
  • Clear Glass Jar/Pot
  • Potting Soil
  • Rocks (for filler)
  • Embellishments

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not only are succulent plants adorable – they grow fast!

And, you can use little trinkets you have around the house to adorn your terrarium planting. I had seashells from a previous vacation, a mini deer found in my kids toys and some cute hand-stamped spoons I added to one.

Pros:

This is an easy and fun project to do – all you need is dirt, a darling glass jar/pot and plants. And, you can have fun adoring the finished planter as well! Definitely worth a try for anyone out there!

Cons:

Can’t think of any! What’s not to love about a succulent plant bringing life into your home?!?!?

 

Conclusion:

I LOVE gardening of all kinds and enjoy having greenery in my home. Creating a terrarium is easy, fun and a great addition to the home. I plan to do this many times over!

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Can I really make a delightful little terrarium like I have been seeing EVERYWHERE myself?!?!

 

Details:

  • Vase
  • Pebbles
  • Dirt
  • 2 little Succulents
  • 1 tiny rubber Deer

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be careful what you stick in there… initially I had these little mushrooms from the craft store and within a couple of days they were totally furry with mold.  Gross.

Pros:

One of the quickest, easiest and most impressive-looking projects ever!!

Cons:

None!  I love this thing!

Conclusion:

Thank you, “Do-it-Yourself-Terrarium” for making me feel like a professional gardener and look like I really have my shit together to all who come to my home!

 

Simple Terrarium photos by by BHG


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