Have you ever decided to make something, rushed into it without doing your research, and had your project fail miserably wasting the only day of sunshine and warmish weather in a week necessary to do it again?
I set out to make a geometric planter out of cement after having seen some darling ones from Martha Stewart and others floating around Pinterest.
When Brett and I were first married, he worked at a cement plant making decorative pieces from rubber molds. So I knew I could probably come up with something slightly more interesting than a milk carton shape—if I could figure out the rubber problem.
I made a mold out of cardboard, used some spray rubber to seal it, and then filled it with cement. Even though I asked the employees at the hardware store if this was the best kind of cement to use, it was too chunky and broke off at the corners.
I know there are finer cements available, but I didn’t want to go searching all over town and buy the wrong kind again. So I switched gears and found some plaster at a hobby store. It was cheaper and didn’t require as much drying time.
And I didn’t need to use the rubber spray, because plaster is easy to sand for smoother edges after it’s dry. Sometimes trying something new means learning what to do better next time!
Supplies: cardboard panels, plaster, a ruler, duct tape, a pen, scissors or an X-acto knife, spray cooking oil (not shown), water, plastic bottle for the negative space, a bucket to mix your plaster in, sandpaper, and whatever paint you’d like to use to finish it.
1. For the planter I used a 12″ long and 6″ wide diamond shape for my template. Then I cut out two more and then a regular triangle measuring 6″ on each side. For the smaller shape I used a 3″ x 6″ diamond template.
2. I taped the three diamond shapes together with their bottom points aligned and then taped the triangle shape to the outer top edge of one of the diamonds as shown.
3. I folded them all together and taped my edges making sure to align all of my points.
4. Spray the inside of the mold with cooking oil and mix your plaster as directed. Fill the mold with plaster about 3/4 full, spray a plastic bottle that isn’t touching the edges of your mold with cooking spray and insert until the plaster fills the mold. Add extra if you need to, but do it quickly as plaster sets really fast.
5. If you’re not making a planter, just fill your mold to the top but don’t over fill. Follow directions for dry times but remove your plastic insert after you can tell your plaster has firmed up nicely.
I waited too long and had to break my glass with a hammer and chip away at the inside. It’s still a little messy, but you can’t see it if there’s plant in it.
6. Sand your plaster piece and paint it. I used white paint and gloss for my planter. But due to freezing temps outside, I had to resort to Plan B for my decorative piece.
7. Since I wanted a metallic piece and couldn’t use my spray paint, I resorted to my Essie metallic nail polish. It dried quickly and has a rich metallic hue. Note: This planter doesn’t have holes through to the bottom but you could make them by placing a straw or two under the bottle.
I’m so happy these pieces turned out well in the end! It’s so fun to start exploring with a new medium and thinking about options for future projects. –Rachel