Dyed Concrete Planters

Use DIY molds and cement to create these custom planters. They're easy to make and perfect for indoor and outdoor use.

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1.     For a short seed planter, use the Jennifer's Mosaics Stepping Stone Mold. For a tall cylindrical planter, build a mold by recycling drink containers and cardboard.

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2.      To make the cylinder mold, cut the top and bottom off a two liter bottle with an X-Acto knife or scissors. Place on a piece of cardboard and use a glue gun to seal the seam.

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3.      Do these next steps outdoors. Put on rubber gloves, the mask, and safety goggles. Decide how much cement to make (amounts of water and cement are listed on the cement box) and add the correct amount of cold water to a bucket. Mix a few shakes of the Procion MX dye pigment into the water. Stir thoroughly until you get the color you want. Add dry cement until the consistency resembles pancake batter. NOTE: A 12" flat mold uses 12 cups of cement and 28 oz of water.

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4.      Pour wet cement into the mold. Layer colors for interesting effects or mix colors with a popsicle stick. Repeat step 3 to make multiple colors of cement.) For the cylinder mold, press a cup sprayed with cooking oil into the center of the mold and hold up with tape. Add rocks or a small, heavy object to keep the cup level and in place.

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5.      For the flat mold, spray its bottom and sides with cooking oil. Pour in multiple colors of cement and swirl with a popsicle stick. Add weighted cups to create indentations for the plants. Gently tap the sides of both molds to release air bubbles. Let dry for 24 hours or more. Rinse mixing bucket immediately.

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6.      Drying times vary. The planter should feel room temperature when dry. After 24–36 hours, use an X-Acto knife to slice open the homemade mold. For the flat moId, remove cups and flip upside down to release stone. To ensure the integrity and longevity of the cement, allow it to cure (thoroughly harden) indoors for 28 days before using it outdoors. This will prevent cracking and crumbling. Sand away any sharp edges.

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7.      Once cured, you can either coat the planter with an outdoor sealer or leave it natural. If you're going to use the planter indoors, add sticky-back felt to the bottom so it doesn't scratch table surfaces. Fill the planter with potting soil and succulents or seedlings, and watch them grow.

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8.      Experiment with different color combos and container sizes to create a unique collection of planters to decorate your patio, window sill, or desk!

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Additional materials: Face mask, protective gloves