I loved making the DIY balloon planters so much that I wanted to make them again, but this time I wanted them to be darker to give a more dynamic color contrast between the planters and the plants. This is a similar tutorial to my Cement Balloon Planter, but this shows the parts of the process that were different for these minis, including how to make them darker using colorant.
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Difficulty level- Easy
- 5″ round balloons
- Cement All, Rapid Set-10 or 20lb bag
- Cement colorant powder in Charcoal
- Latex/nitrile gloves– lots of them
- Disposable water bottle
- Disposable large plastic mixing bowl (these can be re-used -see the hint in Step 4)
- Disposable plastic cup
- Disposable measuring cup
- 3 Q-Tips
- Large sponge
- Succulent soil
As always, please ask me any questions you have about how to make these. Just use the comments section at the bottom of the page. Comments and suggestions welcome.
Mini Cement Balloon Planters Tutorial Steps
Step 1 | Inflate The Balloons:
Blow up your balloon to a little larger than you want it to be, then push it into a round shape and let some air out. This helps make it round, because even the round ones can get oblong.
Step 2 | Weigh Down The Cup:
Place the balloon in a cup that is weighed down with stones or sand.
Step 3 | Prepare The Colorant:
Using the disposable measuring cup, mix up the colorant by adding 1/3 of the powder to 2 cups of liquid. If you want your planters to be lighter or darker, adjust the powder accordingly. Now stir it in the measuring cup using a wood popsicle stick.
Once mixed, pour it into the disposable water bottle, put the cap on and shake well. You will want to shake it very well every time you add it to the mix because it separates quickly. If it separates, you will have uneven coloring.
Step 4 | Mix The Cement:
In your big disposable plastic bowl, pour in about 1/2 a cup of water, then add some colorant until it’s the color you want. Add a little bit of cement and mix with your hands. Make sure you wear gloves! Mix the cement slowly, adding more cement as you go. You will do this a few times until the cement is the consistency of a milkshake.
This doesn’t have to be an exact science, just play with it. If it gets too thick, add water and if it’s too thin, add cement. You can also just add only the colorant as you are mixing if you still need the cement to be darker, but make sure to mix it well.
Since the cement is rapid set so you need to work quickly. If your mixture starts getting too thick as it starts to cure, you can add water to thin in. It’s important to keep the color consistent so make sure you add the appropriate colorant amount.
*Hint- When you are done making these, you can keep the bowl and re-use it by gently pushing on the sides of the bowl. The cement will crack and you can throw it away. Do not wash these, cement will ruin drains.
Step 5 | Mould The Balloon:
Start with the tied end of the balloon facing downward. Scoop the cement onto the top of the balloon and mold it, working 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 or it will cause a bump. The second side will be easier, so don’t worry about trying to get the first side fully covered, a third will be good.
Immediately 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 | Apply Cement To Second Side:
The cement will cure within an hour or so. Once it is set, you can flip it over and rest it on the large sponge. The sponge will alleviate pressure on the cement balloon planter while you are working on it. Leave the tied area free of cement since this is the area where you will leave the opening for the plant and also be sure to leave it large enough to have working space to get your hand in so that you can add the soil and plants.
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.
Step 7 | Let Cement Cure:
Let the cement dry. In this photo you can see each of three I made at different stages, including a finished one from the original Cement Balloon Planter post. It should take about 1 hour to 1 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 tied piece, then pull out the balloon.
Step 8 | Reinforce The Planter:
You should reinforce the balloon by adding more cement inside. Mix up some more cement into a slurry so it is thinner than you made it before. This makes it easier to pour in and coat the insides. After pouring it in, just roll the planter back and forth till the edges are coated. Make sure to keep your drainage holes clear, use the Q-tips again if you need to. I made mine about 1/4-1/2″ thick on the bottom, then built up the sides just a bit. Your planter may be durable enough without this step, but better safe than sorry.
Add soil and then your succulents to your mini cement balloon planters!