Learn to make your own cement balloon planters with ease. Ditch the more complicated methods and embrace the ease of use using a balloon as your mold.
And the secret ingredient? Cement, not concrete, will ensure your success.
My initial attempts to create these unique round planters were a fiasco.
I went through exhaustive digging and researching tutorials for making round planters like these using a balloon, and they all showed them using concrete.
When I tried following this method, using concrete, I faced nothing but frustration, from popping balloons to unintentional environmental mishaps on a particularly windy day.
After numerous failed attempts, I finally stumbled upon a tutorial on another DIY website where the maker used smooth cement to make a planter.
It was a game-changer when I realized you could use smooth cement for making a planter.
The “ah-ha” moment hit me – cement was the solution.
Specifically, Rapid Set Cement All became my go-to material, providing the perfect balance of ease and efficiency for this project and future ones.
Another helpful thing to know is that when choosing your balloon, select one that specifies “round” to help the planter maintain its rounded shape.
A size of 7 inches is ideal, though you can adjust the size of larger balloons to compensate.
Prepping your workspace and setting up your materials in advance is crucial, as the quick-setting nature of this cement doesn’t allow for much working time.
It helps to use a container with a wide collar to hold your balloon stable while molding.
I found a wire mesh strainer to work great.
Join me in this fun and easy DIY cement planter tutorial for creating the ultimate round planters.
As always, feel free to ask me any questions you have about how to make these in the comments at the bottom of the page.
What Not To Do:
Don’t use concrete mix (refer to the intro above to see what disaster ensues).
Watch The DIY Cement Balloon Planter Video Tutorial
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DIY Difficulty Level | Easy
Materials For Making Cement Balloon Planters
- 7″ round balloons
- Cement All, Rapid Set
- * If you are in Australia, use this mortar mix. Check out Brenda’s comment at the bottom of the post (in the comments section), she used this mix and it turned out great. You should also check out her photos of the planters- amazing!
- Durable nitrile gloves
- Old wire mesh strainer with hooks
- Disposable plastic mixing bowl
- Plastic grocery bag
- Disposable measuring cup
- 3 Q-Tips
- Large sponge
- Succulent soil
- Succulent plants
Important Materials Notes!
The type of cement you use for this project is very important. The reason this works is that this cement is smooth and quick setting.
For more info on the Rapid Set Cement All, please see my post comparing the concrete and cement craft mixes, as well as other good information on cement making. Making Cement & Concrete Crafts Tests.
And if you are outside the US, here is general help finding good mixes.
Note: The measuring cup and mesh strainer will get cement on them, so only use these items for crafts.
In place of the mesh strainer and mixing bowl, you can use a container such as a cup with a wide collar, but I recommend you weigh it down with stones or sand. I used the sifter because I did this outside and it was windy so the extra width was helpful in holding the balloon.
Note: In this written tutorial I started applying the cement to the tied end of the balloon.
In the accompanying video, I switched it to applying the cement to the non-tied end of the balloon. It really doesn’t matter which end you start with.
For the video, I made these round planters inside, so the mesh strainer wasn’t necessary.
For in-depth, general information on making concrete planters, check out this comprehensive guide on how to make concrete planters.
And another cool tutorial for a round ball ornament, is this easy concrete sphere for the garden.
Cement Balloon Planter Tutorial Steps
**Not all plants do well in concrete and cement planters. While they are loved by most succulents, other plants may not share that love.
There are easy fixes for this. Please see Are Concrete Planters Safe For Plants? to learn more.
Step 1. Inflate The Balloon
Inflate your balloon but keep in mind, the finished piece will end up being larger than the balloon because of the thickness of the cement.
So make the balloon smaller than what you want your finished planter to be.
The round planter size I wanted was about 6″ and I have one of those 5″ round globe light bulb covers, the common ones you see at every big box store for probably 9 bucks.
So I used that for reference and blew the balloon up to be the same size as the globe. The finished planter ended up being the perfect size.
Step 2. Set Up The Balloon
Pocket Guide to Concrete & Cement Mixes For Crafts
(See pic in Step 4 for how this looks) If you are using a mesh strainer, then take a mixing bowl and cover it in a plastic grocery bag to protect it.
Otherwise, use your weighed down container. Have the cup of water next to you, along with a rag for clean up.
Step 3. Mix The Cement
In the big disposable plastic bowl, pour in about 1/2 a cup of water. Add a little bit of cement and mix with your hands. Make sure you wear gloves!
These newer gloves I found since I originally posted this tutorial are amazing and have yet to tear.
They aren’t the least expensive option, but last longer so you use less of them, making them still cost-effective.
Mix the cement slowly, adding more cement as you go. You will do this a few times until the cement is the consistency of cake frosting.
This doesn’t have to be an exact science, just play with it.
If it feels too thick when applying it to the balloon, take the cement off, put it back in the bowl and add a tiny bit of water. If it’s too thin, add cement.
Step 4. Mold The Balloon With Cement
Start with the tied end of the balloon facing upward. Scoop the cement onto the top balloon, but leave the tied area free of cement, this is where you will leave the opening for the plant.
Leave it large enough to get your hand inside for ease of planting. If you get it too close together just push it apart.
Start molding it and work your way around, shaping and smoothing as you go.
You can keep wetting the cement or your hands as you are sculpting, and also add cement to any areas that it may need to be built up.
Be careful not to let the cement touch the edge of the container or strainer.
Doing so will cause a bump and even more importantly, if the cement pushes against the strainer, it can cause it to crack.
So keep the cement free and clear of everything except the balloon.
The second side will be easier, so don’t worry about trying to get the first side fully covered, a third will be good.
The cement will cure within an hour or two. Be sure to keep this out of the sun while it’s curing because the balloon may expand and pop.
Keep it somewhere where the temperature won’t vary widely over this hour or two period.
Step 5. Mold The Other Balloon End and Create Drainage Holes
Once the first side has cured, you can flip it over and rest it on the sponge to work on the other side. The sponge will alleviate pressure while you are working on it.
Continue adding cement around the 2nd half of the balloon. Pay special care to the edges where the two ends meet in the middle and smooth as best you can to give it continuity.
After you are done, carefully use a Q-tip to press a few small holes for drainage, just sort of spin the tip to create the space. You may need to wet the Q-tip to get the holes free of cement.
Step 6. Pop The Balloon
Let the cement dry, you can just let it rest on the sponge, or in the strainer.
It should take about 1-2 hours depending on climate conditions, then you can pop your balloon.
If you wait too long to pop it, the balloon may be more difficult to pull out and could stick to the cement.
To pop it, just use scissors and snip the spot where it’s tied, then pull the balloon out of the cement planter.
Step 7. Reinforce The DIY Cement Planter
You should reinforce the balloon by adding more cement inside with a skim coat of cement.
To do this, mix up more cement, it should be a soup consistency, and pour it into the sphere. Make sure to keep your drainage holes clear and use the Q-tips again if you need to.
I made my skim coat build up about 1/4-1/2″ thick on the bottom, then built up the sides just a bit, not as thick as the bottom.
Your planter may be durable enough without this step, but better safe than sorry.
Step 8. Plant Your New Cement Balloon Planter
Add soil and then your plants! What types of plants will you use? Succulents?
If you like round planters, then you may want to see my tutorial on making round magnetic cement planters!
And, have you seen the clay version of this cement balloon planter? Yep, you can also make this with clay. You can see the clay balloon planter here.
Or how about the textured cement balloon bowl planter? I named him Barry! 🙂
And for total inspiration, take a look at these 21 unique concrete planter tutorials!
- Rapid Set Cement
- Balloon - 7"
- Safety Glasses
- Please see the FULL materials list above the tutorial.
- Inflate The Balloon To The Size You Want The Planter
- Set And Stabilize The Balloon
- Mix The Cement
- Place Cement Onto The Balloon And Sculpt
- Create The Drainage Holes With A Q-Tip
- Pop The Balloon And Remove It
- Reinforce The Cement Balloon Planter WIth A Skim Coat
- Pot The Cement Balloon Planter WIth Succulents Or Your Favorite Plant
Don’t forget to Pin it for later!