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Geometric Concrete Planters Made With Paper Molds

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I wanted to make my own geometric concrete planters for quite some time. There are many different designs and ways to make them. I planned mine to be for small succulents.

When you want to make a concrete planter, you first need some kind of mold for the wet concrete. Silicone molds are great if you want to produce a large number of items but can be overkill if you just want to make a few pieces. I decided to use a mold made from paper and cardboard to make my concrete planters. If the shape you want to create is not too complicated, then using paper and cardboard is much cheaper and also quicker than using silicone.

Below is a list of all the material and tools you are going to need for this project.

Material:

  • 4 mm plywood
  • cardstock paper (200 - 300 gsm)
  • cardboard
  • tape
  • concrete mix
  • sand or small stones
  • sandpaper
  • wood glue
  • linseed oil (optional)
  • soil and small plants

Tools:

  • laser cutter or utility knife and saw
  • scissors
  • small putty knife or stick (for mixing concrete)
  • cup (for mixing concrete)
  • jar

Step 1: Cut and Engrave the Paper, Cardboard, and Plywood

To begin, you will need to cut out the shapes from the template files which are available for download.

I used a laser cutter for the cutting, but you can also use just scissors or a utility knife and a saw. There are three templates: for the cardstock paper, the cardboard and for the plywood.

In the template for the cardstock paper mold, there are red and black lines. The red lines are for cutting and the black for engraving/scoring. The engraved lines mark where the paper will be folded and also act as a score line so that you will get very clean folds. Just make sure that the engraving is not too deep because then the paper might tear when you fold it.

If you don`t know the settings of your laser for cutting and engraving paper make some test cuts first.

In the template for the cardboard and plywood, there are just red lines. Cut out all the pieces, and you are ready for the next step.

AKOldman14 days ago
Great design and instructions. I am not a greenthumb. Do you want them to eventually leak? If not, how about applying a concrete sealer before filling them with the dirt?
If they are being used for succulents, as the author has shown, then yes, you do "want them to eventually leak." :) Succulents don't like too much water so if they are being used for that purpose, then sealing the planters might not be a good idea.
I did not know that. Thanks!
Maker Design Lab (author)  AKOldman13 days ago
I think this would be a good idea. You just have to watch that you don't over water the plant.
NIce instructions! You have my vote!!
sabu.dawdy5 days ago
These look lovely, I will try these someday.
mlduffy5 days ago
vury niice. I'll have to try your technique of washing; any time I use a low-aggregate concrete (mainly quickcrete, which seems more like glue than anything else), I get a dust shedding for a long time. This could certainly help I think!
You specify "concrete mix," but the material in your photos appears tobe Portland Cement (no aggregate apparent).
Might ou share exactly what sort of 'Concrete' ou did use?
The package was labeled as self-leveling concrete mix. It was not just portland cement but there were also small stones/sand in the mix.
Once concrete begins to set-up (harden) you should be able to 'finish' the opening with a trowel or (given the small scale) a piece of flat steel or aluminium. When we create slabs and such with concrete we keep them damp for days upon the premise that doing so hardens the concrete - if this supposition is correct (ask a mason!!), then submerging the vase in water to help remove the paper/cardboard might kill the two proverbial fowl in a single step. Also, folks add 'stuff' to strengthen even color concrete - I recall adding a latex sort of solution ears ago to help adhere faux brick to the cementitious stuff spread on the vertical surface to adhere the pieces of 'brick.' I suspect that one might find something to turn the concrete into an impervious material when hardened off.
"High Performance Concrete Additives. Concrete additives are added to the mixture of water cement and aggregate in small quantities to increase the durability of the concrete, to fix concrete behavior and to control setting or hardening. They can either be liquid or powdered additives."
ALSO:
"The greater the strength of the concrete the greater is its water-resistence (4000 psi or above is recommended).High strength concrete has a low water:cement ratio."
AND
"The greater the strength of the concrete the greater is its water-resistence (4000 psi or above is recommended).High strength concrete has a low water:cement ratio."
Sock Puppet14 days ago
Those are great! They'd make attractive loudspeaker housings.
Maker Design Lab (author)  Sock Puppet13 days ago
Intresting idea!
Better put some rock in the mix "rock" hahaha
Maker Design Lab (author)  GregS27813 days ago
nice ;-)
That's exactly what I was thinking!
GregS27814 days ago
I would have never thought of using concrete but they look cool, I guess you could make them all kinds of sizes! You could use dam it concrete sealer either on the inside or the out side paint the outside and the concert will hold water might be a good idea make watering last longer!
Your result has excellent eye appeal, especially combined with your choice of plants. Thank you for the share.
JorgeM32714 days ago
Awesome!
I love the look of the concrete and wood together :)
Absolutely gorgeous photos!
Maker Design Lab (author)  jessyratfink16 days ago
Thanks, still trying to improve my photography skills...
I LOVE these!
Thanks :)