DIY Marbled Concrete Planters

I had been dreaming up how I would love to make high contrast, shibori inspired planters or votives when a friend mentioned the wonderful Buddy Rhodes Artisan Concrete Mix. Where have you been all my life? Guys, this stuff is magic. And if you are thinking concrete is concrete, it is like saying that a tent and a mansion are the same thing. Nope. This artisan concrete is like the Rolls Royce of concrete. It’s easy to work with, pours like a dream and better yet…. works magic in silicone molds. In walks Bold Print Shop silicone molds. It truly was a match made in DIY heaven. So I got looking at the products and what they were capable of together and my beautiful DIY marbled concrete planters are the love child.

tutorial concrete planters

I need to put this out there, I have zero training in working with concrete. But this stuff is totally dummy proof. I was initially intimidated. Spent an hour talking to a charming man who works at Buddy Rhodes… And still, I was nervous. What if I screwed it up? He kept reassuring me it was simple…Especially when you are working with cool silicone molds. And now that I have played around with it, I couldn’t agree more. Both were so easy to work with and even ‘mistakes’ turned out to be a piece of art. That said, I have some tips for all us normal folks. You too can make marbled concrete planters using silicone molds.

DIY concrete project - www.rowhousenest.com

Materials for DIY Marbled Concrete Planters:

buddy rhodes concrete planters

No tools needed… Although if you want to be way more professional then me, a hammer drill plus paddle would be amazing. I don’t have that so I just mixed my concrete up by hand. No big deal. Because the concrete is soooo smooth, it mixes up like a charm.

concrete planter tutorial with silicone molds

Instructions and Tips:

My first tip – don’t panic. Prior to cracking open my artisan concrete mix, I spent a lot of time reviewing Buddy Rhodes catalog and online information about their products thinking I needed to become an expert before I even got started (WRONG)… Based on what I saw, I was a little over whelmed with some of the things mentioned (Reducer? Do I need it? How will I know if I have added enough?)… All of this is made simple in a beautiful little handout provided with your product. DUH. If I had just opened up my mix, I would have seen that. Well and there is a label stating as much on your container. I have had a lot on my mind lately, so don’t judge me (more about that another time).

Full tutorial for how to make colored concrete planters on www.rowhousenest.com

So instructions are super simple to follow as provided by the Buddy Rhodes handout. As instructed, I added my chosen pigment to a small amount of water beforehand so it could dissolve and added this directly to my dry concrete mix slowly… Then added additional water if needed. There is a measurement for water but to be honest, I followed it at first but then got a ‘feel’ for it. Also know that if you add too much water, you can add a little of the water reducer… problem solved. In your artisan concrete mix, you are provided with the appropriate type of water reducer, gloves, mix and instructions.

how to work with artisan concrete

Another tip I would recommend is to have everything ready and set up, with the ground protected. Us inexperienced folks make a mess…And work more slowly while we figure things out.

How to use silicone molds for planters and candle holders

Once I mixed up my desired batches (super white and oyster shell), I got to work. Since Toronto is having an insanely hot and humid summer, I was worried about my concrete drying too quickly. It wasn’t too bad but it did mean that I was cautious about curing (or drying time) and allowed for a full 24 hours. This was probably the hardest part, working away on my master pieces then waiting 24 hours to see how they turned out. The silicone molds were incredibly easy to work with, they came off easily and washed up nicely between uses. I couldn’t speak more highly about how wonderful it was to use the artisan concrete with the molds.

Easy DIY concrete project - marbled concrete planters by Row House Nest

To achieve the best outcomes for this look, the mixture needs to be fairly fluid. As warned by the folks at Buddy Rhodes, you need to be careful about not adding too much water as it weakens the concrete. Since this pieces are ornamental, it is less important but you want your piece to dry appropriately. This is also where reducer becomes key!

DIY instructions for how to make marbled concrete planters - www.rowhousenest.com

So here is my technique for how I got the beautiful marbled look:

Take your mold and slowly drip in your desired color (I tried both). I recommend dripping a good amount on the interior and exterior parts of the mold.

Marbelized concrete planters DIY

Now take a contrast color (so if you used a dark color, grab the white and vice versa) and pour in a small amount (I played around with different amounts, but 15-20% full works best). Now drip in a little more of the ‘drip’ color in. This guarantees lots of beautiful streaks. Pour in another 15-20% of the ‘pour’ color. Repeat this until the mold is full.

Once you have filled your mold using this method, gently place on it’s drying spot (a warm, dry place is best). Once there, I took a clean painting stick and gently knocked my mold. By knocking it, you are encouraging the different colored mixtures to blend slightly creating the cool marbled look.

how to diy concrete planters

Fun variations for method:

So I tried a few different methods to get different effects/looks. I did some color blocking (which were cool but not as cool as the marbled effect). I dripped in two colors to see how it would effect the marbled look and also layered in a third color. I also attempted a few ombre effects. I haven’t quite mastered it yet… It is difficult to get enough of a contrast that it gives an ombre effect. Honestly, each turns out beautiful… Just remember to drip and pour often. I found that being generous with the drips is best for the marbled effect.

colored concrete DIY's

The last tip is the get rid of any rough edges. I used some extra sandpaper I had laying around to finish off rough edges.

Details on how to make these beautiful concrete planters on www.rowhousenest.com

 

 



Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this blog post were supplied to me by Buddy’s Artisan Mix  and Bold Print Shop. That said, all words and opinions are my own. All images are also my own. Thanks to Buddy’s Artisan Mix and Bold Print Shop for making my vision come true!

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  • aprettylifeinthesuburbs

    These are beautiful Meagan! I had no idea you could get moulds like that to make planters…gorgeous!

    • Thanks so much! Silicone molds are a wonderful thing!!!

  • ramblingrenovators

    These look SO good! Love the different colour variations. I find the triangular shaped one in the last photo really intriguing.

    • Thanks Jen! The shapes are beautiful in person and make for beautiful coffee table decor as well (no plants needed!)

  • Laurie Dickson

    I love these Meagan! Your colour choices are prefect! I must say, I am chomping at the bit to work with these guys I was so intimidated by the fact I am not an expert, thanks for sharing how easy it is to use and the fact you don’t have to be an expert to make these gorgeous planters and work with this product! 🙂

    • Oh my gosh don’t be intimidated!! You can totally rock these Laurie! Thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Ariel Garneau

    These guys were at Haven! I’m hoping to work with them 🙂 I really like the pigments and the molds. Great job!

    • Thanks Ariel! Yes they told me they were heading to Haven and I saw some pictures! They are expending their DIY section. A few others have worked with them as well 🙂

  • Christina Dennis

    These turned out fabulously! I love the marbled look and those molds are awesome.

  • Angelique

    I want to make some large enough to put outside in my covered entry way! Is it possible to make these big?

    • Hi Angelique! Thanks so much for commenting. You could contact Bold Print Shop to see if they could custom built you larger molds. At this time, most of their molds are smaller. I would also love to make larger scale ones for outside!!!

  • Lynette Archer

    Beautiful job! I have been making cement planters for a while but am very interested in these products. I also live in Toronto and haven’t been able to source out white concrete. Can you tell me where you purchased these products?

    • Morning Lynette! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. As suggested in the post, my concrete and pigments are all from http://buddysartisanmix.com/. They are wonderful and ship to Canada. The pigments are beautiful and so easy to work with. Hope that helps and keep in touch!!! Are you on Instagram? I would love to see your work! Meagan

      • Lynette Archer

        Yes, I had found this company online several months ago prior to them having teamed up with their silicone mold maker. Their website listed a couple of Ontario retailers but nothing in Toronto. I was hoping maybe there was a location in the city. I can only imagine how much shipping would cost for a big bag of cement! I am on instsgram@ ellkarcher

        P.s. check out this amazing contraption I found online last night. I must have this: https://www.mayku.me/

        • Very cool!!!! That is amazing (Mayku!). The pigments wouldn’t much as much to ship as the cement buckets. No locations in Toronto yet sadly!

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  • These are amazing!! Would be so beautiful with a bunch of succulents! <3

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Hi Clarissa,
      That is exactly what I envisioned as well – or wee candles!
      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  • Mes Voyages à Paris

    Awesome decoration dear! so cool!

    xx

    Mónica Sors

    MES VOYAGES À PARIS

    NEW POST: PFW STREET STYLE BEST OUTIFTS OCTOBER 2017

    • Thank you! So glad you stopped by,

      Meagan

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