Today I’m making a cement planter DIY that uses a plastic baseball straight from the dollar store! I was inspired by this kid’s baseball mitt found at Value Village. And with baseball season stretching to October this year, this indoor cement planter is timely! I can get away with calling it an indoor planter for Fall :). It even makes a great gift idea for Christmas.
It’s time for another blog hop hosted by Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate and Andrea from Design Morsels! If you are visiting from Chas’ Crazy Creations, welcome! I love the Breast Cancer Awareness Wreath that Chas created and am inspired by her personal journey! At the very bottom of this post, I’ll be directing you to the next stop on this venture. But don’t forget to check out the other stops too. Be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!
Cement Planter DIY
This is my first cement planter project. So if you haven’t worked with cement before, I hope you’ll give it a try too! You know what they say in baseball: never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing in the game! Same goes for crafting cement baseballs :).
Before we get into gathering materials for the cement planter DIY, don’t forget to get your craft mojo on at Birdz of a Feather and subscribe! You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
I’ve always wondered what the best cement is for crafting so did a lot of reading before attempting my first project. If you’re interested in the definitive word on the subject, I defer to Artsy Pretty Plants for the Ultimate Guide to Concrete Crafts Mixes and Sealers.
Materials for Cement Planter DIY
[If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]
- Plastic baseballs
- Rapid Set Cement All
- Cylindrical container
- Utility knife
- Electrical tape
- 1 1/2″ mini planter pot (optional)
- Water bottle
For this project you will first need these hard plastic balls to make the cement craft mold to cast in. Hopefully you can find them at your local dollar store too.
You’ll also need a tiny planter pot. Together they’re going to make the cutest little cement planter.
Prep Work for Cement Planter DIY
Callipers makes measuring the tiny pot so easy. Make sure to measure down from the rim so you will have a lip the pot can rest on once the cement is cast.
Once you have the diameter, find a cylindrical container that’s the same size so you can use it to displace the cement. The cylinder will leave a depression the pot can rest in. I found this little squeeze bottle. You’ll see why it’s wrapped with electrical tape later.
Use the bottom of the cyclinder to trace a circle on the top and bottom of the ball. There’s a seam running horizontally through the middle so try to keep these two circles fairly straight up and down.
Cut Holes in the Ball
Make sure you have a new sharp blade. Did you know that accidents happen when the blade is dull?! Insert the tip of the utility knife into the ball and cut out the circle. Be very careful when cutting the plastic. Always point the blade away from you and keep the hand holding the ball behind the blade. If you press too hard the resistance could cause the blade to slip out suddenly. So don’t apply too much pressure.
When I got back to the beginning, I didn’t cut all the way through; I left a hinge.
Cut the Middle Seam
Do the same to cut on the middle seam of the ball. You’ll probably find that there’s a tiny hole somewhere along the seam (that’s how it’s vacuum formed). Just insert your blade tip into the hole and gently wriggle it back and forth to get started. Until you get half way around, you’ll find it a little more difficult to cut because the seam will want to stay closed, putting pressure on the blade. Once you’re past the second half, it becomes much easier!
Here’s what you’ll end up with after cutting through the middle.
I left the holes with a hinge because it will help hold the funnel and cylinder in place during the pour.
As shown below (middle), wind on four rounds of any thick tape around the top of the cylinder. I used electrical tape but I find it does tend to ‘melt’ in humid weather! Although the cylinder fits tightly to the hole in the ball, the tape will help bridge any gaps.
I forgot to show this on the video, but grease the inside of the ball halves and also the tube (as far as the tape). I used vaseline but you can probably use oil if you don’t have vaseline. It’s necessary to help you release the mold after casting the cement.
Seal up Your Cement Planter Mold
Make sure the tiny pot fits in the hole. Apply 3 strips of electrical tape around the horizontal cut seam to bring the two edges together. Electrical tape has stretch so you can pull the edges together tightly. I find that blue tape has stretch as well. Either way, apply one long strip of tape around the seam.
Insert the cylinder through the hole in the centre. Make sure it’s around 3/4″ shy of the hole at the other end to form a solid plug around the cylinder after it’s cast.
Instead of taping the tube to the ball, I applied some putty all the way around (the kind you use to tack things in the office). Once poured this part acts as the top where the planter goes. However, turn it upside down – because this will be the bottom when you pour the cement.
If you can see any gaps on the inside of the ball, add some blue tape as shown to further bring the two pieces together. You want it as tight as you can get it so the cement can’t ooze out through the horizontal cut.
This is how it should look ready for cement. There should be enough room between the bottom of the tube and top of the ball to allow for good flow of the cement once it’s poured into the top.
About the Set Up
At this point you might be scratching your head wondering why I cut two holes into the ball and inserted the tube ‘upside down’. I did try cutting only one hole in the top and inserting the tube after adding cement. But it’s difficult to tell if the ball is properly filled with cement after the tube is inserted. Also I found the force of air pressure in inserting the tube causes the sides to deform/bow out and ooze cement.
By doing it this way, there’s no guessing. After working the cement around the tube, you’ll be able to see that it’s full when it’s level with the top. The added bonus is that you’ll have a flat spot on the bottom so the planter doesn’t roll.
We actually did three tries before we got this project perfect. Luckily it didn’t end up being three ‘strikes’. I guess third time’s a charm! Everything is explained in the video below.
Make a Funnel and Stabilizer
Cut a water bottle in half – you’ll use both halves. Use the top half of the water bottle to act as a funnel while pouring the cement into the hole in the top of the ball. You can cut flanges, like I did below, or leave it as-is.
Rest the now upside down cylinder/ball combination in the bottom half of the water bottle. This will help stabilize it as you pour.
Ready to Cast
Get all your supplies ready to go: Rapid Set Cement All, gloves, mask, stir stick, containers for mixing, baseball mold and measuring cup. This stuff sets up really fast so you have to work just as fast.
Mix 1 part water to 4 parts cement. For this project I used 2 ounces of water and 8 ounces of Rapid Set Cement All. Put the water into the container first and then add the cement. Stir for about a minute until all the powder incorporates. Immediately pour the cement through the funnel into the mold.
You might notice in the video that the consistency of the cement was just right on the first pour but a little too thick on our last pour. Measure more accurately than I did for better consistency!
Tap the sides to release air bubbles and let it set up for about 1 – 2 hours.
Tip #1: Instead of tapping to minimize air bubbles, run a sander (without sandpaper) up against the side of the container. That will help vibrate the bubbles to the surface and leave a smoother finish.
Tip #2: the cement heats up as it cures. To help with dry time, unscrew the top of the tube (if using a similar one) to allow air flow to cool the centre of the ball.
Remove the tape and centre tube. The vaseline allows the tube and the plastic ball to release easily.
With some cleanup, you’ll be able to reuse the form again and again.
You can sand the seam if you wish. I wasn’t too fussed about it; I love the rustic look of the seam and even the air bubbles. A Dremel with a sanding attachment would make sanding even faster; just be cautious not to sand too much! It could ‘polish’ the cement leaving you with a shiny patch.
Paint the Lacing of the Baseball
At this point, you can leave the cement as-is and add your tiny plot and a plant.
Or you could do what I did and highlight the lacing with red paint. I practiced the technique first on one of my flubs (you’ll see what we did with the other one below).
Hubs rolls up a piece of cotton rag and ties it tight with an elastic. This acts as a dabber. Dab into red paint and then dab off onto a paper towel so it isn’t too wet. Lightly swipe it across the lacing feature. I use a light touch to keep it faint but you can darken it more if you wish.
Here’s another one of our flubs. Nothing goes to waste around here. The half ball is perfect for propagating a new baby succulent!
So what do you think of our very first cement planter DIY?
I think it’s a home run that will satisfy sports fans and plant lovers alike. It’s also suitable for either a child or adult space; just switch up the baseball mitt.
The Rapid Set Cement All dries so fast, you could easily make them in groupings!
If you’re interested in learning more about cement craft, don’t forget to check out Artsy Pretty Plants’ just published e-book called the Ultimate Guide To Concrete Crafts Mixes and Sealers. It tells you everything you need to know about cement craft – all the tips, tricks and troubleshooting!
You’ll find more of our unique planter ideas here.
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated:
Creative Craft Blog Hop
Now I’d like to send you on to Cecilia at My Thrift Store Addiction She has thrifty tips for crafting seasonal pillows for you! When you are finished visiting Cecilia, please remember to visit these other amazing talents below:
- Celebrate and Decorate – Dollar Store Skull
- Design Morsels – Mummy Door Decoration
- Chas’ Crazy Creations – Breast Cancer Awareness Wreath
- B4 and Afters – Crochet Scarf Patterns
- Debbees Buzz – Elegant Black Pumpkins
- The Painted Apron – Trick Or Treat Creations
- My Hubbard Home – Rustic Autumn Craft
- Purple Hues and Me – Whimsical Scarecrow
- My Family Thyme – Stamped Tea Towels
- Our Crafty Mom – Halloween Tiered Tray Ideas
- Raggedy Bits – How To Make Wooden Halloween Pumpkins
- Home Is Where the Boat Is – Halloween Witch Craft
- Decorate & More with Tip – Simple DIY Pumpkin Pillow
- Zucchini Sisters – Pumpkin Truck Sign
- BlueskyAtHome – DIY Pumpkin Wreath
Very creative!! Wow! I don’t know if I’ll ever try a cement planter…. I do love the look of stamped concrete walkways. I think I would end up hiring somebody though instead of trying it myself….
It’s not as scary as it seems and it’s pretty addictive once you start – lol!
Wow you really take it to the next level. Making your own cement planter from a baseball. How did you come up with that? What a great gift idea too. I love that you put the red stitch marks on. Thanks for being in the hop.
It all started with wanted to find a way to upcycle the cute baseball mitt + I love planters and have always wanted to try cement craft. And boom – lol! Always fun hopping with you Andrea!
This is so cool, Sara! I’ve been meaning to try making something using cement! I always envision a big mess, but you make it seem really easy! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! The baseball planter is adorable!
Thanks Gail! You really have to try it; you’ll probably get hooked like me. In my head, I thought it was harder than it is too but that’s really not the case!
I think I do shy away from cement projects because of what it will look like and of course the entire process!
You always have such imaginative diys, and you explain each step, that trying your ideas takes much of the apprehension away.
Thank you for another fun idea!
Thanks Rachelle! I shied away from cement crafting too. I’ve done lots of landscaping with poured cement but wasn’t too sure I could make something refined enough I’d want to display. A bit part of that is using the ‘right’ cement mix to start :).
That is so fun Sara! My son was a baseball player for years and I’ll have to show him this!
Wonderful crafting with you and thanks for sharing!
Thanks Chas! You may have to make him one – lol! I used an air plant and it’s so easy to keep alive.
Sara, you had me on “cement planter” and then through all the detailed how-to instructions and tips. I love the finished product! How absolutely clever and creative!
Thanks so much Debbee! This was a fun one.
This looks amazing, Sara! It would make a great Father’s Day gift. I’m intrigued by Rapid Set cement…I’m definitely going to check it out! I love the red laces. Thanks for sharing the detailed tutorial. It was fun crafting with you!
Thanks Rebecca; great idea about Father’s day! Fun crafting with you too 🙂
This is SO cute!! I have never worked with cement. I must admit, I was intimidated by the idea of working with it. You make it look so easy. I don’t know if I will try this sometime soon, but I do have a few ideas that I would like to try! Your step by step instructions make me think I can manage it!
I was intimidated too. It took me a year of thinking about it before I worked up the courage and tried it. But you just have to jump in and get your feet wet! You’ll probably love it once you try it!
Such great detail in your post! I’ve always been about using cement for an outdoor garden planter. Happy to be crafting with you again!
Happy to be crafting with you too Mary!
This is such a cute idea! You made working with cement look so easy. I love the way it turned out!
What a fabulous idea!! Love how the cement shows up all the detail! They’d make awesome gifts too!
Thanks Sam! The laces are a nice detail; turned out better than I planned 🙂
Very ingenious, Sara. I’ve never used cement in a DIY project so I’m really impressed. Thanks for the resource.
Thanks Carol; you should think about giving it a try. It really is fun; the adult version of muddies – lol!
That is crazy good!! And how fun…I love this accent, and I know many sports fans who would too!
Thank you Kim! When I saw the blue and white glove, it reminded me of our team the Blue Jays so I just have to find a way to use it 🙂
Very cute idea and sustainable idea
Thanks Maria; we’re all about sustainability at BoF 🙂
Your baseball planter is such a novel and fun idea and your tutorial is brilliant. So detailed. Thank you. I used to be so scared of cement. It all seemed terribly complicated 😀 Now I love playing with it.
I know, right! I was exactly the same way – so hesitant to dive in. Now I can’t get enough of playing around with cement 🙂
I have a couple of grandsons that will REALLY like this.
What a fun and creative idea!
Thank you Meegan! I love the idea of introducing kids to plants with something fun like this. Air plants are a breeze to take care of; for adults and kids alike.
Great tutorial. So many little baseball players I know would love that atop a Birthday gift!! Thanks for a great tutorial.
I know a few BIG baseball players that would love it too – lol.
I can’t wait to try this. Love the detailed instructions!!! They looks so amazing
Awesome Gina – so happy to hear you’re going to try it. Have fun 🙂
Love this! I have so wanted to play with cement and this gives me a push. Thanks!
You HAVE to try it Kristi; you’ll have a ball (pun intended) :).
This is so unique and creative, I love it.
Thanks so much Anita! I’ve got something new up my sleeve for next year’s IBC cement challenge :). Can’t wait!
How clever are you! Such a cool project and perfect for the baseball glove.
Perfect for a bsseball loving guy
… or gal :).
What an awesome tutorial, Sara! Your cement baseball planter is so fun and creative!
Thanks Marie! I’m loving playing around with cement. I’ve got a few more unique ideas coming in future post that will be just as fun 🙂
This is so cute! I’ve been looking for a clear step by step to make one! Thank you!
So glad you found our blog Amina. Hope you give it a try 🙂