As the weather is starting to (finally) get warmer, I find myself having a serious case of green thumb syndrome and wanting to hoard ALL the succulents. As a graphic designer, I feel like I'm a bit OCD when it comes to potting my plants. I look at each plant as a design prompt (LOL) - and always set out to find the perfect "home" for each. Salvation Army and Goodwill have been great for cheap $1-$2 finds, but sometimes I have something specific in mind and no matter how many different thrift stores I hit - I can't find what I'm looking for. I've really been wanting to plant my newest purchase (a little zebra haworthia succulent) in a geometric cement planter, but haven't really found one that I really love (at a price that I also love, lol). So when you can't find the right planter - what's a girl to do? Welp, make one - DUH!
I was EXTREMELY excited when Jenni of I Spy DIY posted her DIY triangle cement airplant holders to Instagram! Thanks to Jenni, I've been introduced to the wonderful world of Darby Smart. They have so much fun stuff that I never knew existed, and the free shipping = YES PLEASE. I immediately ordered a couple boxes of quick dry cement - eager to make my own cement planters.
REAL TALK: you will probably mess up at least once. I mean, hopefully not - but if you do, know that you are not alone, haha! I feel like with every DIY project, there is some form of trial and error. I actually tried to follow Jenni's way of creating molds using cardboard - but totally missed the memo about covering the cardboard ENTIRELY using tape, and the cardboard ended up getting stuck to the cement. I also made the mistake of waiting too long before pouring the wet cement mixture - and it hardened before I could finish pouring it into the mold. I actually thought that I had made the mixture too watery, and was trying to wait for it to get a little bit thicker - but DON'T DO THIS haha. Even if you you think it's too watery, you should pour it anyways - because it dries SUPER fast.
After that first mishap, I decided to play around with some empty juice cartons (instead of cardboard). I figured the waxy coating would prevent the cement from sticking (like it did with the regular cardboard). I also wanted to minimize the taping because I imagined it could get a bit crazy with how many sides I wanted to try to mold.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- quick dry cement (1 box should be plenty, but it doesn't hurt to buy a spare)
- container (to mix your cement in)
- mixing spoon / spatula (something sturdy enough to mix the cement)
- empty juice or milk carton
- plastic cup / something to create the center space in the planter (I used a mod podge container)
- thin Sharpie marker
- box cutter / x-acto knife
- cutting mat
- masking tape
- neon yellow paint
- foam brush / paintbrush
WHAT TO DO:
First, you're going to have to create a mold to pour the cement into. This is probably the most time-consuming part of the process. You'll want to measure and cut out 20 identical equilateral triangles. To make life easier, I measured out one triangle, cut it out with my x-acto knife, and then traced it with my thin Sharpie marker for the other 19. I made my triangles 2x2x2 inches, but it really depends on the size of your plant. You can add or subtract the amount of triangles or change the size of the triangles themselves (i.e. 3x3x3) in order to make your planter's diameter larger / smaller.
Divide your triangles into 2 groups of 10. With your first group of 10, start taping them together in an alternating pattern like this:
I recommend not taping them while laying flat on the table because it'll be harder when you go to try to connect it as a full "ring." Try taping the triangles while angled inwards (see the photo on the left).
Repeat the same thing for the second group of 10 triangles.
For the bottom of the mold, I roughly cut out a pentagon-ish shape from the juice carton. You can use your mold as a loose tracer to make sure it's big enough. It doesn't have to be perfect - just big enough to cover the bottom. Attach the bottom of the mold with masking tape.
Stack the two "rings" on top of each other to create a taller structure. Tape together.
Make sure that you completely taped over all edges (or you'll have leakage when pouring cement).
Now you're ready to mix the cement! This is when it starts getting messy, so I recommend laying out some newspaper / brown grocery bags for easy clean up. Basically, just add water a little bit at a time until the cement is a good consistency to pour. You don't want it to be too thick, but try not to make it too watery either.
Pour a little bit of cement into the mold to create a bottom (0.5 - 1 inch thick) - let this sit for a few minutes (4-5 mins), then place your plastic cup / (whatever you are using to create your "hole") into the center of the mold. I used a mod podge container for mine. If you use something like this with a label on it - I recommend covering it in masking tape so that the label doesn't get stuck to the cement. Make sure that when you put your "center creator" in, it doesn't sink straight to the bottom - or you won't have a bottom to your planter. If this happens, pull your object out and wait a little bit longer for the bottom cement to set.
With your "center creator" in place, pour the rest of the cement in. If you run out of cement, you may need to mix more on the fly. Try to work quickly if this happens, as the cement dries pretty quickly. WIthin 10 minutes, it'll be solid and you won't be able to reverse the drying process.
Secure the "center creator" using masking tape (to prevent it from floating up / tilting). Make sure that it isn't touching any of the sides of the mold.
Once the cement hardens, peel the mold off. You can use a box cutter / x-acto knife to chisel off any weird excess cement along the edges. Sand paper is another option. After this, I rinsed the entire thing under the sink to get rid of the excess particles and set it aside to air dry.
Now, it's time to paint! You can get as creative as you want here (or not paint it at all). I added some neon yellow touches along the edges to make it feel more pineapple-y! I wanted some of the natural cement color to show, which is why I didn't paint the entire thing yellow - but if you want to try that, go for it!
After the paint dries, you can pop your little plant in! I think my little zebra haworthia succulent makes the perfect pineapple top, but you can use whatever plant you want!
You could basically create ANY shape you want using this quick dry cement. This shape is on the more complex side, but you could also keep it super simple and do something with less sides.
The possibilities are ENDLESS!
If you try to make your own cement pineapple planter, I'd love to see it! Feel free to share with me on Instagram @amyventures! :)