Wednesday, 5 November 2014

DIY concrete planter

I seem to spend an awful lot of time scouring 'Pinterest' at the moment, there is something so very addictive about pinning images of things I want to create or of gardens I think are amazing and at the moment pinning images for Christmas.
I'm sure most people are aware of Pinterest and what it's all about and no matter how many times I go on I still get a thrill each time I see one of my own images pinned by another viewer. 99% of the time there is a backlink to the blog post that the pinner found my image on and I guess I should be more upset and pro active the times where the link  - or any mention of me - are absent but I just can't bring myself to follow it all through, I guess I'm happy to accept that as soon as I put an image out there in the netherspace that it pretty much becomes open to the cyberworld to be used as people will. I know we all have rights etc etc and many people protect and police their images  methodically and I guess I would too if my livelihood depended it, alas..........
Anyway I digress, I was supposed to be mentioning an image I found on Pinterest, and has been all over FB too, of someone who made garden pots out of old towels and cement/hypertufa.  Of course I kept promising myself that I would give it a go at some point but tbh I can be a lazy gardener so often have a list of 'things to make' that should actually read 'things I'm too lazy to make'. Anyway one day a few weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and give it a go, here's the image that captured my eye

and here's the link to website (because I'm polite like that) Thehypertufagardener

My main problem is that like I stated before I can be a lazy gardener and I'm likely to lose interest in something if I have to keep rumaging around looking for things - I get distracted very easily, so i had to make sure I had all the equipment on hand to do this job. As it turned out I didn't read it properly anyway and so didn't realise that I shouldn't be using just cement - but oh well!

First I have to state the obvious, this is one messy job! Yes, I kind of did realise it would be but from the Youtube videos I watched of a lady swooshing the cement around and everything being neatly in place I thought the mess would be minimal - not so!

I mixed the cement up in a wheelbarrow to the consistency stated on Youtube (pancake batter basically) and excitedly dumped that towel in the mix (donning the marigolds of course). This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be - the towel didn't 'soak' the mix up like I thought it would and actually it just kept sliding off when I picked the towel up, also despite having a barrow full of cement it was barely enough for this bath sheet of a towel I was using.
I thinned the mixture a little and finally got to the point where I could chuck the cement towel over an upturned bucket which in turn was sitting on a table.
This is where my lack of attention to detail showed again - I did put a plastic sheet on the bucket so that the towel wouldn't stick to the bucket when it dried but a) the plastic was way too small and b) the towel just stuck to the plastic instead. If I do this again I would position the towel over an upturned plastic plant pot that could then stay inside.
Once the towel was over the bucket it was simply a case of messing with the flaps and folds to make it look nice and layering on more cement mix - this took more time than you would think.

See the mess!
I left this to dry for days and days, basically because I realised I should have used hypertufa so figured the thing wouldn't be right anyway.
When I did venture back to look at it I realised it had actually set - yay! BUT, it had stuck to that blue bucket as well which wasn't covered in plastic so I heard alot of crunching and cracking as I broke it away.
The finished product looks pretty naff it has to be said and for several reasons 1) I used too big a towel.  2) I didn't use the right polythene.  3) I didn't use enough polythene.  4) I used cement rather than hypertufa.  5) I didn't cover the folds evenly with cement so it still has that towelling look in many places. 6) because it's cement on a towel it has a flexibility to it.

The finished look

Can't say that I am in a rush to give this a go again - I'm too impatient.


  1. You did think rather big as a first attempt - maybe a napkin would have made an easier starting point.

    1. LOL Sue, you could very well be right there, I was a tad ambitious ;)

  2. Just catching up on blog posts after a break - and remembering that I, too, was intrigued by that very same Pinterest picture and determined to make similar quirky pots.
    Well, I have to tell you that you managed much more than me - I have yet to start the project!!
    And being honest, it's perhaps a good job as I have a bad record of starting on ambitious ideas only to leave them lying half-done. Hey ho!

    1. Lol. You should definitely give it a go just keep in mind that it's more tedious than you would think. The finished item has a very rubbery effect to it so I'm not exactly sure what use it will be lol. I may give it another go but on a smaller scale and I will leave a plastic pot inside from the start.
      I'll keep an eye out to see how it went if you give it a go 😊

  3. Now I've got visions of filling the rubbery container with compost, planting it up and watching it expand and bulge as the rootballs grow!! Lol, lol. Maybe I'll give this one a miss - somehow it doesn't seem such a simple project any more!


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