How to Make Concrete Planters

Like a lot of people I can get sucked in to Pinterest and end up killing an entire hour. I’ve gotten some good recipes on there and tried some of the crafty projects, some are great and some are complete failures. I’ve been on Pinterest for 2 or 3 years now and I’ve always seen the concrete planters floating around and I finally decided to tackle them. I’m happy to say this project came out just like I expected and was super easy.


  • 80 pound bag of Quickcrete Concrete Mix – $3.80
  • 1 Quart bucket (found in the paint isle at Home Depot) – $1.18
  • 2.5 Quart bucket (found in the paint isle at Home Depot) – $2.18
  • 6 Gallon bucket – not totally necessary but minimized the mess while making these inside – $0 I all ready had one but I think they go for a few dollars


Before I started I needed to do a little math to figure out how much concrete mix and water I would need. I found it easier to work in ounces so I converted all my measurements to them: 80 pound bag of concrete is 1280 ounces, 2.5 Quart container is 80 ounces, and my 1 quart container will be pushed down to the 26 ounce line. I subtracted my 26 ounces from the 80 ounces to figure out home much concrete I would need, 54 ounces of concrete.

To calculate how much water I would need to mix the concrete I looked at the directions on the bag which call for 3/4 Quart of water to an 80 pound bag of concrete. I did this a little backwards but I divided the 54 ounces that I needed to make my concrete planter by the 1280 ounces in the concrete bag to get the percentage of the concrete bag I would be using. The result was 4%, so I figured out the 4 percent of 3/4 Quarts of water which came to 3.84 ounces and I rounded up to 4 ounces.


  1. I started by filling my blue 80 ounce bucket with the concrete mix. I used my 1 Quart bucket to fill up the bucket. Loading it twice with 24 ounces of concrete and then a load of 6 ounces.
  2. With my bucket filled with concrete I created a little depression in the center and added my 4 ounces of water and began to mix the concrete with my hand. If you try this yourself remember to make sure and get all the concrete mix at the bottom turned up and wet down. I ended up adding another 6 ounces of water to create a more water downed slurry. The added water made it easier to mix the concrete. Be careful when adding water though, adding to much can keep your concrete from drying out (I ran in to this problem on the third one I tried).
  3. After the all the cement was mixed thoroughly I took my 1 Quart bucket and began twisting it into the concrete. I shimmied it down far enough that it aligned with the 26 ounce mark.
  4. To help my concrete container set up I turned my oven on its lowest setting, which was 170 degrees and set the concrete container inside the oven for 4-5 hours. When the concrete was dry enough it just has a little shine to the top lip.
  5. Once the concrete container was dried I pulled it from the oven and let the plastic cool down just enough so I could handle it easily. Working the container out of the buckets is easier to do with the plastic still fairly warm. I twisted the interior 1 Quart bucket out first and then flipped the concrete and 80 ounce bucket upside down. With a bathroom towel underneath it I began tapping on the bucket until the concrete container popped out.

That’s really all there is to create your own concrete containers. Now I only spent 7 dollars on this but if I were to use the entire concrete bag for planters I would get 23 concrete containers. That’s a total of 23 cents per concrete container, pretty cost-effective and way more fun then buying them from a garden store.

I’m going to be working on an article about all the possibilities to style and stain these concrete pots so check back later!

Published by


I'm no master gardener, but I'm always trying to learn new things. I'm always trying new gardening projects and I love to share them with our readers. I'm a landscaper designer by trade, but enjoy farmers markets and spending time with my family on the weekends.