Homemade Planters

My mom has started getting Martha Stewart Living magazine (I think she got a free subscription for some reason or other), so I am very excited because I literally visit Martha’s website everyday for new inspiration, and I think my mom will really like getting the magazine. (I may need to steal them from her when she’s done with them…)

I discovered a really cool project on marthastewart.com a little while ago – making hypertufa pots – that I really wanted to try out. And serendipitously, the project showed up in the first issue of the magazine that my mom got in the mail. I said, MOM! I think we need to make a bunch of these!

Our goal ended up being: make 6 big hypertufa pots to plant 6 arborvitae trees in. Take a look at what we did…

We followed the instructions from the magazine (which is actually slightly different from the directions in the link above). The ingredients are: Portland cement, peat moss, and Perlite.
We used two big plastic tote bins for our molds; they had a nice swirled design and were plenty big for what we wanted.

We started out trying to mix it all up in a plastic bin, but actually ended up transferring that to our wheelbarrow since it was such a big batch. (We mixed equal parts cement, peat moss, perlite and water)

And then all we had to do was pack the mixture into our molds. It didn’t look very pretty on the inside, but the important surface is the outside, so we didn’t worry about it too much – so long as we poked a few drainage holes in the bottom.

After letting the pots set for a couple days wrapped in plastic, my mom popped them out of the molds, and let them dry completely. And here we have the first completed hypertufa pot planted and done!

I love how rustic the pots look, and I think they really coordinate well with the new paver driveway/patio. I like to imagine they’re potted cypress in a Tuscan villa. 🙂

So we still have 4 more pots to make (since we can only make 2 at a time). Now that we’ve done the first ones, I think the rest will be much easier since we know what we’re doing.

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8 Comments

Filed under DIY, projects

8 responses to “Homemade Planters

  1. sophia marie

    hey jadeflower—-planning on similiar projects myself and was wondering how they have weathered life?! can you give me an update? i’m concerned with the thickness of your ‘walls’..i guess i was thinking more like 3 inches thick, urs seems much thinner in the pics…..i’d hate to have them crack after a few winters…lovely relationship w ur mom btw, i hope my kids share some of my hobbies which such passion when they are out of their teens!

    • RebekkaFerbrache

      Hi Sophia!
      Good question! It’s now been over three years since those pots were made, and they’ve lived at my parents’ house this whole time. I checked in with my mother to get an update. Only one of the pots is still in use (and it has held up well). She told me that the ones that “didn’t make it” were the ones that she ended up moving around a lot. Looks like they don’t do as well if they are handled too much. And I’m sure if you make yours thicker that they will be much more sturdy and hardy!
      Hope this helps!

  2. How did you get it out of the mould. Did you put anything on the mould so the cement does not stick to the mould. I want to try some big pots. Do you think they will work for roses?

    • RebekkaFerbrache

      Hi Tosca –
      We didn’t add anything to the mould (like oil or anything). I think so long as the mould is larger at the mouth, it will slide out once dry – maybe with a few firm taps. Also, our mould containers were plastic – if you use a more porous type mould (like a terracotta pot) you may get different results. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t work for roses! Good luck!

  3. I know these posts are old but if you paint the pots with yoghurt it will weather them nicely and make them look old….maybe a bit of moss will grow on them…it just looks less ‘grey’.

  4. kp854820

    Hi-
    some of the pots are soaked in water for a few weeks, for some plants don’t like the cement or something. Do you not do that, yet the plants live.

  5. How much do these weigh approx? (before adding plants)

    • RebekkaFerbrache

      I don’t know exactly, since we made these so long ago, but I would guess they were around 15-20 pounds – not nearly as heavy as ceramic or concrete planters of this size! This mixture is much lighter than those materials. But since the planters we made were big, they still have some heft to them. It all depends on the size and thickness you choose.

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