Ribbed DIY Concrete Planter for Christmas

How to make a ribbed DIY concrete planter for a handmade Christmas gift.

With Christmas coming, people are looking for homemade present ideas. If you love working with cement, then why not use that as your medium for gifts? 

What can you make out of cement and concrete to give as gifts for Christmas? Here are some ideas:

Concrete crafts are perfect for handmade Christmas gifts, and with this planter, the shimmery paint, as well as the holiday mesh accent wrapping, adds holiday accents. 

However, this type of DIY cement planter can be made as a gift for any time of year. 

christmas looking concrete planter on wood planks

I gotta say, making this cement planter was a blast. I had leftover closet shelving liners and was storing them away when I realized how great of a texture these had specifically for something made with concrete. 

I could totally envision a nice, DIY ribbed concrete planter being made from this. And by the way, if you want to see the clay version of this planter, take a look at the Easy Ribbed Air Dry Clay Planter.

Lining the cardboard tube with this shelving liner was a win-win because the liner is soft plastic.

Video For A DIY Concrete Planter Christmas Gift

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Cardboard can be used for concrete molds, but the concrete will stick and not have a very refined texture.

And cardboard demolds very easily because you can just peel it off.

I wanted to be strategic on how I made this because I didn’t want this Christmas gift to be used only during the holidays.

The paint colors lend themselves to the holidays, but can be used anytime of year.

The Christmas mesh is only used as dressing so it can be removed and the planter can be used throughout the year!

If you’re not set up for making cement crafts in the winter months, then check out the post with 99 DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Crafts & Decor ideas.

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DIY Difficulty Level | Easy

Materials For A DIY Concrete Planter With Ribbing, For Christmas

Finishing Materials

materials for ribbed DIY concrete planter handmade christmas gift

Before starting the tutorial, it may be helpful to read my article comparing the different concrete mixes and sealers– Cement & Concrete Crafts Tests!

Another important article is Making Cement Crafts Techniques & Tips with info on cement materials, mixture consistencies, demolding, safety and clean up!

Tutorial Steps For A Ribbed DIY Concrete Planter For Christmas

Step 1. Make A Straightedge For The Planter’s Outer Mold

straightedge made from flashing for tube shape

Take a piece of aluminum flashing and cut it to 1 ½” x 14” long. Be sure to leave one side of 14” length with the factory cut edge. 

Now run a piece of blue tape along the non factory cut edge. Ensure that you overlap the tape on both ends.

Step 2. Cut The Concrete Planter Mold To Size

wrap concrete mold tube with flashing straightedge

Decide what height you want to make the planter and measure up the mailing tube, from the worktop, and mark this in 3 places around the tube.

I made mine 3” tall.

Now take your homemade straight edge and wrap it around the tube, ensuring you line it up with the marks. 

You also want to be sure that you have the flashing covering the piece you will use, this way if the blade slips, it will cut the side you aren’t using.

cutting cardboard tube to fit as mold for the DIY planter

Now use a utility knife, with a fresh blade and hold the blade against the factory edge of the tube and cut through. 

Step 3. Prep The Ribbed Liner

measuring liner

Trim the liner to the height of the planter. You want this liner to be straight and even when it’s inside the tube, so use a T-square to keep everything square.

fitting concrete mold with ribbed liner

Next,  wrap the ribbed liner around the tube and let it overlap an inch or two, then use a permanent marker to mark this and then trim it to fit, with the slight overlap.

Also, trim the liner in height to fit. 

clay pressed on ribbed liner showing ribbing imprints

If the liner has different types of ridges on each side, decide which side you want to touch the cement.

Test this first by pressing some of the plasticine clay against each side and be sure to mark the side that will be against the clay.

Step 4. Fit The Liner Into The DIY Ribbed Concrete Planter Mold

taping liner for concrete mold

Take a piece of double sided tape and run it along the side of the liner that doesn’t have the mark you made.

Be sure this is correct before sticking the tape to it. 

Now fit the liner inside the tube and press the tape against the sides. It’s best to start at one end and slowly roll it around the tube while pressing.

Step 5. Create The Base For The Mold

glueing acetate to tile
caulking around concrete mold tube

Cut a piece of acetate that is wider than the tube (4×4”) and use spray adhesive to stick it to a tile.

Use either silicone caulk or hot glue to secure the tube to the acetate. 

If you use silicone caulk, you will need to wait an hour or two until it dries. 

Step 6. Cut The Materials For The Inner Mold

Take the water bottle and cut it to the height of the plater, but be sure to subtract ¼” from the number.

This will give you ¼” floor thickness for the concrete planter. Mine was 2 ¾”. 

measuring inner mold line on bottle
cutting bottle

Cut the bottle the same way you did the tube, by measuring up from the worktop and marking in three locations around the bottle. Then use the utility knife to cut through. 

Roll out a piece of plasticine clay to about ¼” thickness and use the water bottle to cut it out so the clay fills the bottom of the bottle. Leave the clay there at the bottom.

trace bottle

Next, trace two circles around the bottle and onto the acetate, and cut them out with scissors. 

Step 7. Fill The Inner Mold

firmly packing sand into acetate cylinder

Fill the plastic bottle with damp sand and be sure to pack in the sand and go up to the top so the packed sand is flush with the top lip of the bottle.

I left a bit of a recess which made removing the acetate require a little elbow grease.

Next, take one of the circles and mark an x through the center with the utility knife. Now push the straw through the hole of the acetate circle. 

make x cut in acetate for planter straw drainage

The straw needs to be long enough to protrude at least an inch past the top of the inner mold.

glued end of straw for planter drainage

Use either caulk, hot glue or a bit of clay to plug the hole at the top of the straw to prevent cement from accidentally dripping down inside.

press acetate against circular clay bottom

Now take the other circle and use spray adhesive on one side.

Press the unglued side against the clay and then press the glued end and press it firmly into the center of the cardboard tube. 

centering concrete form tube

Note: The inner mold should be ¼” below the height of the outer tube mold.

Step 8. Mix And Cast The DIY Concrete Planter Mold

pouring cement into ribbed concrete planter mold

Mix the cement to a thick milkshake consistency and carefully pour it into the empty space between the molds. 

The consistency in the photo was a little too thick, but a thick milkshake consistency will be perfect. 

Fill this so it completely covers the inner mold and is filled to the top of the outer mold.

leveling concrete planter with trowel

Next, level off any excess cement and vibrate the mold to release air bubbles.

Don’t do this too vigorously, as you don’t want the inner mold to dislodge. Just tap and lift gently and keep tapping the sides of the cardboard tube.

Let this cure a couple of hours. The cement will heat up quite a bit, after it has gone through that process and has cooled, then it should be ready to demold. 

Step 9. Demold The Concrete Planter

Demolding this should be relatively easy. Just remove the straw and pull the planter off of the acetate/tile. 

peel away clay

Now, peel off the clay and dump out the sand.

peeling off ribbed christmas planter liner

Use a utility knife to slice through the cardboard and unravel and then peel off the liner.

pulling inner form from diy planter

The final piece to remove is the bottle. Just dump out the sand and if it was packed fully to the top with sand, then you should be able to pull it right out. If not, then grab some needle-nose pliers.

sanding around concrete planter

Finally, sand any rough edges with a diamond grit sanding sponge, or you can use a regular 150 and 220 grit.

Step 10. Paint The DIY Christmas Pot

painting diy ribbed concrete planter with christmas theme

Let the planter dry for a full 24 hours before painting it.

Once dry, add the shimmery paint colors to the paint tray and add some water to a few of the other compartments. 

This ribbed DIY concrete planter is a nice unique texture, so look for ways to accent that lineal texture.

Though I only used one cup of water, I recommend having three so you don’t have to keep emptying and refilling each time you use a different color paint.

Also, keep a couple of paper towels on hand.

To paint this handmade Christmas gift, I just basically white washed this by watering down the gold and red colors and using the foam brush to blend the colors in.

I alternated the gold with the iridescent. 

The iridescent paint, since it’s a medium, is actually made to be blended with other paints, but it can be used by itself.

You can add more water if you feel you went too dark, or go back over areas and continually blend.

Step 11. Plant The Pot And Add Some Christmas Flair

Aside from using Christmas mesh as a dressing, here are some other ideas on how to make this handmade Christmas gift throughout the year.

You can get some pebble filler and spray paint it green, gold, red or silver and dress the plant with that.

Then it can be changed out after Christmas. You can just wrap ribbon around the planter, or stick a bow on it.

Or how about planting a seasonal looking plant like a Christmas cactus or even small ornamental pepper plant!

And if you are looking for other ideas for DIY gifts, take a look at my post on 25 Handmade Gift Ideas With Concrete, as well as my Round Cement Christmas Candle and this Burlap Bag Planter.

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