How to Make Cement Planters


If you want to use plants as part of your landscape, you will need planters for them. While commercial planters are nice, they are also expensive. You can make your own cement planters out of a variety of materials; you need two forms, one larger than the other, to make cement planters and one plastic tube to create a drainage hole at the bottom. You can make forms that are easy to assemble and disassemble, as well.

Building the Forms

Step 1

Lay out one of the plywood sheets. Use the measuring tape to measure and mark four sections, 18 by 15 inches each. Use the saw to cut out each section and set these aside. These are your outer walls.

Step 2

Lay out the other plywood sheet. Use the measuring tape to measure and mark four sections of plywood, 14 by 11 inches each. Use the saw to cut out each section and set aside. These are your inner walls.

Step 3

Use the remainder of either sheet to make the bases for the outer and inner shells. Measure and mark an 18-by-18-inch square. Use the saw to cut the piece. Measure and mark a 14-by-14-inch square. Use the saw to cut this piece.

Step 4

Find the center of both base pieces by measuring across the plywood end to end. Mark the middle of the sheet. Move the measuring tape to the adjacent sides and repeat the procedure. Your marks should be found at the same location.

Step 5

Place the end of the plastic tubing over the center mark so the mark is in the center of the hole. Draw an outline around the outside of the tubing. Remove the tubing and use the jig saw to cut the hole. Do this for both pieces.

Step 6

Create the outer frame by nailing the four 18-by-15-inch sections together so the 18-inch sides create the top and bottom of the frame. Place one nail at each corner, top and bottom; this allows for easy disassembly and reassembly later to use the form again. Put the larger base over the frame. Nail down the four corners. Flip the form over and set the base on the ground.

Step 7

Repeat the step above to create the smaller frame of 14 by 11 inches.

Setting the Concrete

Step 1

Apply the oil to exterior of the plastic tubing and the exterior of the smaller form. This will help in removing them after the concrete sets.

Step 2

Insert the plastic tubing into the hole of the larger form. Make sure it is snug in the hole.

Step 3

Pour the cement mix into the 5-gallon bucket. Slowly add water according to the manufacturer's instructions on the cement bag. Mix the water into the cement until it forms a semi-solid state with no clumps.

Step 4

Pour the mixture into the form until it reaches a height of 2 inches. Insert the smaller form so the hole in the base fits over the tubing. Slide the form down to sit on top of the concrete. Continue filling the outer form with concrete to the top of the top of the small form. Tamp down the cement as you go with the end of the chisel.


Step 1

Allow the cement to set for 24 hours. Pull the inner form out. Pull the tubing out. Disassemble the outer frame.

Step 2

Soak the towel in water. Lay the towel over the cement planter.

Step 3

Allow the planter to sit in a sunny area for up to seven days. Keep the towel moist to help control moisture into the cement so it cures properly. Remove the towel after seven days.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 - ¾-inch plywood sheets
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw
  • Jig saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Cement mix
  • Water
  • 5-inch plastic tubing
  • Chisel
  • Mallet


  • - Concrete Planters
  • - Wastecasting
  • - Build a Quickcrete Planter
Keywords: cement planter, make a planter, outdoor planter

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.