I am a plant parent on the lookout for suitable planters that are functional, affordable, and aesthetic. While on this journey, I came across the idea of a DIY cement planter made using an old towel or cloth, which intrigued my creative side and I decided to give it a whirl. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I did a pretty great job on my first try.

While you can find decorative planters in locations or online stores, getting your hands dirty to make one is satisfying. Making cement planters with an old towel is fairly easy but it is a weekend project where you need to give it some curing time and a bit of polishing. It might seem slightly difficult if you have not DIYed things in the past, but that is the best part about this DIY as it can be done by anyone who has the ingredients.

The key ingredients are cement or concrete and an old towel or a piece of thick cloth. Cement is an amazing material, which is easily available and effortless to handle with a long setting time allowing to correct any errors.

What you need to make a DIY cement planter:

  • 2 lbs concrete for one planter
  • An old towel or thick cloth
  • Plastic bucket or container
  • Cellophane wrap
  • A bucket or open container to mix concrete
  • Safety gloves and dust mask
  • Stainless steel serving spoon or spatula

Also Read: 20+ Modern Concrete Planters Built to Last

DIY Cement Planter with Old Towel

Gather your material and don the safety gear because it is time to get to work.

Step 1: Prepare the Mold

By mold, I mean a bucket placed upside down to hold the concrete towel. I did not have a bucket at hand to use as a mold so instead I used two paint cans stacked one on top of the other. To prevent the cement towel from getting stuck on the mold, I covered the cans in cellophane wrap. The same can be done with the bucket. This way you ensure that when the planter is dried, it comes off easily from the mold.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 2: Prepare the Towel or Fabric

Once the mold is prepared, make sure your towel or fabric is to size. I placed my towel on the mold and whatever portion touched the ground, I cut it by folding the towel twice and trimming the corners to get a nice, rounded, somewhat oval shape.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 3: Mix the Ingredients

I chose standard construction-grade cement for its strength. Add the dry ingredients to an open container or a bucket and pour a small amount of water. Mix well and adjust the consistency of the mixture accordingly. As a general rule, it should be thinner than your pancake mix.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 4: Dip the Cloth in Cement Mixture

Take the towel or whatever piece of clothing you are using and dip it into the concrete mixture you just prepared. Make sure you have your gloves on as contact with concrete can cause skin irritation and dryness among other issues. We want the fabric to be nicely coated in cement. If you need to adjust the mixture consistency some more, do that and repeat the dipping until every portion of the fabric is coated.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 5: Shaping of Planter

Once the towel is coated in concrete, take it out of the bucket and place it in whatever mold you have prepared. Once it is on the mold, it is time to give shape to it. You can arrange folds of the fabric to give it a nuanced character. You can let the folds fall elegantly like a gown, or twirl the ends around to get a flat planter lip.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 6: Curing and Demolding

Once you shaped the planter, you can place it in a bright, sunny spot for drying. It will take 48 to 72 hours for the concrete to cure and hold shape. After that, you can take the planter off the mold and give it a bit of dusting or sanding, depending on how smooth a surface you want.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Step 7: Add Plants and Display

After sanding and dusting any loose concrete, add potting soil, add plants inside, and display wherever you want. You can add bushy plants or a big bunch of succulents.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Also Read: How to Make Concrete Planter Stand at Home

Making these DIY cement planters can be a great weekend project but you need to be careful while working with cement. You should consider getting some safety masks to prevent harmful concrete particles from entering your mouth and nose, and a pair of thick gloves to prevent the hand skin from damage.

Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma
Image: Homecrux/Rishik Sharma

Check out the full instructional video tutorial below:

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Listening to her grandmother weaving nighttime tales to penning down her own thoughts, Priya developed a penchant for stories and their origin early in her childhood. After her master's in literature, she started writing copiously on diverse topics including architecture, interior design trends, and home improvement while learning the ropes of copyediting. For the past couple of years, she has been crafting DIYs for Homecrux. Reading novels, painting, and baking are her favorites on her long list of hobbies. She also loves to eat, travel, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and listen to stories.

1 Comment
  1. Please say something about importance of wearing a mask. My daughter did bunches of these and didn’t wear a mask. The small particles of concrete dust can damage lungs and cause cancer.

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