If you know what fiddle leaf fig trees are, you're probably already in love with them. I heard someone say that they are the kittens and puppies of trees, in that it's their exaggerated proportions that make them so cute (like giant eyes or ears on baby animals). Several of us have been drooling over the photos of these little guys for years, but it's pretty tough to find these plants in our midwestern town—until now. I saw that a nursery nearby started stocking them this year, and I immediately snatched one up for my own home and one for the studio as well. A special plant deserves a special planter though, don't you think? I was so impressed with how well our DIY concrete countertops came out that I thought it would be a great material to try on a planter project as well.
–Ardex Feather Finish (most quick dry cements would probably work too, but this is the kind I used)
Step One: Mix your concrete according to the instructions, but add a little more water so that it's thinner than usual. You'll want the mixture to be on the liquid side without being too thin and runny. The consistency of pancake batter is what you're looking for, so just keep adding more water or more mix to achieve the right amount.
Step Two: Once your concrete is the right consistency, turn your planter upside down on a sheet of cardboard and place a few pieces of wood underneath so it sits off the ground (you'll notice the wood pieces aren't pictured until a later step because I forgot to do it first—whoops!). Pour your concrete on the bottom of the planter until it fills the circle and is just about to run over the sides. Use your putty knife (or even your mixing stick) to push some of the concrete over the sides and allow it to run down to the bottom. Do smaller amounts at first so you can gauge how much and how fast it runs down, and do more as needed. Repeat process on each side and smooth out the leftover concrete that remains on the planter bottom so it will still sit flat when it dries.
Once the concrete sets a bit, use your small putty knife to fill in any holes or gaps in the drips and smooth the area with your knife the best you can (you can sand off any imperfections when dry).
Step Three: Once the concrete is fully dry, use a fine-grade sandpaper to smooth out any bumps or ridges that you want to get rid of, and wipe the excess dust off the planter with a dry cloth.
Step Four: Apply the concrete sealer with a brush all over the outside and bottom surface of the planter and allow the sealer to dry. Once the sealer is dry, repeat with a second coat of sealer. When your second coat is dry, add your plant to your new planter!
I love the visual texture that the the drip pattern creates coupled with the variation in surface smoothness between the porcelain and the concrete. All in all, this technique creates a one of a kind planter that will give the special plant in your life a fabulous new home. Happy dripping! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection.