All summer I have been thinking about making a DIY Concrete Planter and a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the perfect item for this project at Walmart of all places. A trash can! Now you might recall that I am no stranger to the trash can planter, but this was different. I wanted to cover it in concrete to make it look like one of those high end versions I refuse to spend $150 on. The moral of the story, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Now I am going to show you how to make your very own concrete planter for a mere fraction of the cost! Bonus, you get a peek of my fall front porch 😉
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Before I dive into how I did this let me give you a little back story. I picked up four of these trash cans from Walmart for $3.98 each! I knew I wanted to try my hand at the concrete planter look, but also loved the gray pattern. So I bought two of blue pattern and two gray with the intention of transforming the blue two. They are the perfect size for a taller more substantial planter and I figured for $3.98 the risk of it not turning out was worth a try. Worst case scenario I could simply use the gray ones.
DIY Concrete Planter
Pick up a trash can like mine or something similar. The ones I bought don’t appear to be available online but something similar in size should work. These are 11.38L x 11.38W x 14.38H inches. Just make sure it is fairly rigid and not too flexible.
Mix up a small batch of tile mortar. I used a leftover bag from when we renovated our bathroom since we don’t have a current need for it. But I imagine the Feather Finish I used on my concrete table top would also work. If you don’t have any on hand, you can buy pre-mixed mortar as well so you don’t need a mixing paddle. Just note that some mortar is fast drying and may set to quickly. The goal is for it to look like a concrete planter when you are done.
Cover the trash can in mortar making sure to cover the inside top edge as well. I wore nitrile gloves and used my hands to apply it. This was VERY messy and I definitely suggest laying out plastic. I did mine in the garage on a folding table which is basically my go to workstation. To see behind scenes footage, check out my DIY Concrete Planter highlight on Instagram.
Add a pattern. I used a half inch wooden dowel rod that we had in our scrap wood pile to make a fluted pattern on the outside. You have to wait until the mortar isn’t sticky anymore but not dry, about 45 minutes after application. As it sets it starts to have a consistency similar to play dough and that is when you can start adding a pattern. I patted the mortar down and then went around the planter with the dowel rod making an imprint.
If you do this too early it will just pull off the mortar. I shared some video of this process in my IG stories you can check out.
Add a plant of your choosing. Once the planter is dry, I let mine dry for 24 hours, you can plant something inside. Since fall is upon us, I planted some mums and decorated my front porch for fall.
This project was SO easy and inexpensive and brings so much texture to my front porch. And as you can see, I also used the unaltered trash cans I picked up with these plant stands that were just too good to pass up! If you missed the tutorial on how I made the door hanging, you can check that out here.
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