Cement Planter Molds – Packaging Upcycle

Think you can’t make a cement planter because you can’t wrap your head around making cement planter molds? Look no further than the recycle bin for this easy eye-catching upcycle idea!

We’re back with another variation on how to make a cement planter using upcyled light bulb packaging. If you love air plants, you’ll adore this unique standing air plant holder. I guess once you start doing cement crafts, the ideas just keep on coming. Keep reading for easy cement craft ideas!

Cement planter made with cement planter molds using recycled light bulb packaging. The air plant holders holds a spiky air plant

Today we’re taking part in the Creative Craft Hop. While our regular hosts are on hiatus, we’re hosting for the summer months! If you’re dropping in from Jane and Sonya at Sustain My Craft Habit, welcome!  Don’t forget to check out the other projects at the bottom of this post. And be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!

Before we get into the tutorial, 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.

What you Need for Cement Planter Molds

These are the easiest DIY cement planter molds you’ll ever create with! Gather the following supplies:

Materials for cement planter molds include LED plastic packaging, a standard base adapter, scissors, marker, binder clips, plastic bottle and vaseline to release the mold

[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. 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!]

Cement Planter Molds

The recycle bin is full of cement planter mold ideas! We upcycled the outer plastic shells from LED light bulb packaging.

So if you’re upgrading your light bulbs, save all the packaging – and accessories! In addition to the plastic shell, we also combined it with a standard base adapter from this chandelier bulb packaging. These adapters are the trick to getting this cement planter to stand on its own.  But don’t worry, these adapters are also available separately. 

Here’s a closer look at the base adapters that allow the cement ‘bulb’ to be screwed into a porcelain lamp holder socket – just like a real light bulb!

Hand holding standard base adapters used in plastic packaging for cement planter molds

Air Plant Stand

To allow the cement planter to stand, use a thrifted porcelain lampholder like the one shown below. You may even have some of these if your basement is unfinished. So don’t forget to save them for cement crafts when you renovate and upgrade your light fixtures!

Cement Planter DIY

If you’re a visual learner, watch our video for all our tips and tricks.

How Do You Make Cement Crafts?

 

Step 1 – Prepare Mold

Use any straight side round object, like a film canister or hair spray cap, to create a hole in the top.

Notch out the lip where your round object touches the top of the bulb packaging so you can get it to sit flush. Then trace around it with a marker.

Cut a hole in the top as shown with scissors or a utility knife.

The film canister should be able to slide into the hole to displace the wet cement. That’s what will create the hole in the top for the air plant to sit in.

Hand holds up light bulb packaging used for cement planter molds. Also shows a film canister through the middle that will be used to displace the cement, creating an area for the air plant.

Step 2 – Grease the cement planter mold

You’ll need a cement release agent so the cement mix doesn’t stick to the mold. An oil-based release agent like petroleum jelly, aka vaseline, is perfect for the job.

Use a piece of cotton to spread a coat of vaseline onto the inside of the mold. If it’s too thick, you’ll see texture when you pour the cement into the mold so a little goes a long way.

Shows plastic packaging being greased with vaseline as a release agent for the cement planter mold.

As well as the mold, the metal base adapter also gets a light coat of vaseline before it goes into the bottom of the mold. And don’t forget to grease the film canister too.

Then place the base adapter into the cement mold so it sits at the bottom of the light bulb shape.

Step 3 – Seal the Mold

To seal the cement planter mold and prevent leaks, secure all sides of the light bulb packaging with binder clips.

In fact, put them tightly side-by-side so the cement will stay inside the mold.

Step 4 – Create Support for Cement Mold

Cut the water bottle in half, as shown. While the bottom half is used to support the mold, ready to receive the cement, the upper half is used as a funnel. It will help direct the cement into the mold.

Setup for cement planter molds. Binder clips hold side of plastic packaging together so cement can be poured into it.

Step 5 – Mix and Pour Cement

For the cement mixture, the ratio is one part water to four parts cement. Our air plant holder uses 8 ounces of power and 2 ounces of water.

Mix the Rapid Set Cement All with water according to package directions, stirring for only a minute until the water is well absorbed.

Mixing cement for cement planter molds

Pour the cement into the makeshift plastic bottle funnel.

Pouring cement for cement planter molds

Before inserting the film canister, tap the side to release air bubbles (I did it after on the video).

Now insert the film canister and tape it down. Then let the cement dry for 1 – 2 hours.

With the leftover cement, let it dry in the plastic container. Nothing goes to waste: we’ll use it later as a sanding block.

Step 6 – Release Cement Mold

Take off the binder clips.

Remove the plastic light bulb shell.

The base adapter will likely have a light coat of cement on it.

Break off as much cement as you can.

A metal punch helps remove the rest. Tap it, as shown in the video, to crack the remaining dry cement on the base adapter.

Step 6 – Sand

Now use the cement puck you made from the leftover cement to sand the ridges on the sides of the cement planter.

Once sanded, screw your DIY light bulb planter into the porcelain base and pop an air plant right into the top.

Didn’t we tell you cement craft molds are easy? And using recycled light bulb packaging is easy on the pocket book too! Now that you know what to use as a mold, a grouping of these air planters would look great lined up on a window sill.

Cement planter molds are finished! A single cement light bulb air planter is shown standing in the porcelain base with an air plant in the top.

FAQs – Working with Cement Planter Molds

Here’s a few FAQs and recap about crafting with cement.

Mixing Cement for Crafts

What Kind of Cement is Used for Crafts?

The best cement for crafts is one that’s strong and fast setting. For crafting, you also want a cement mix that will give you a smooth finish like Rapid Set Cement All. Cement All is a multi-pupose product used for levelling and concrete repair. But its quick set time and low shrinkage make it idea for cement crafts like our diy cement planter.

Mold for Cement Planter

You don’t really need fancy cement molds for crafts! Sure, you can spend money on silicone molds. But our cement planter mold is upcycled from the plastic waste packaging that comes with LED light bulbs. Easy AND cheap is always a win-win!

What’s the Difference Between Cement and Concrete

Some tend to use the term cement and concrete interchangeably, However, cement and concrete are not one in the same. In fact, cement is an ingredient that’s used in concrete mixes.

What Can I do With Spare Concrete?

Let leftover cement dry in the bottom of the container you mixed your cement craft in. Once dry, you can pop it out and use it as a sanding block to smooth the seams of your cement planter.

Want more cement crafts? Check out these cement planter ideas.

Pin DIY Cement Planter Molds

Pinable pin showing cement crafts, cement planter molds, air planter display

Creative Craft Hop

We hope you enjoyed our post on how to make a cement planter mold. Now go check out Terrie’s DIY Christmas Picture Frame. Then pop back in to visit these other talented bloggers for more creative craft projects:

18 thoughts on “Cement Planter Molds – Packaging Upcycle

  1. Really interesting project, Sara. Love reusing the light bulb packaging. So smart to keep it out of the landfills. The little plant looks great with the cement holder. Thanks for hosting.

    • Thanks so much Carol; we’re on a mission to keep as much out of landfill as we can. Every little bit helps 🙂

  2. Amazing Sara! Your tutorials are so thorough with your step by step photos and supply lists. I love how you Upcycled your lightbulb packaging and incorporated a socket holder as a stand. Thanks once again for your organizing efforts!

    • My pleasure Mary! For a while I was thinking about writing a planter book but then realized I’d be writing an encyclopedia. I can’t help but include all the details; no one could afford to publish me – lol!

  3. Wow Sara, this is crazy cool! How cute to use a porcelain lampholder…it looks so pretty! I would probably have a disaster if I played with cement, but your tutorial is so detailed and thorough, thank you! And thanks for hosting our hop this summer!
    Jenna

    • My pleasure Jenna – by the end of the summer I should get the knack for it, then I can hand it back to Andrea – lol! This project is a great beginner project if you fancy giving cement a try – you really can’t go wrong when you start out small. Plus there’s the fun factor – it’s just like playing with sand in the sandbox. I feel like a kid again when we craft with cement!

  4. Looks great, Sara! I love that you used recycled materials for your planter. Thanks again for hosting! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    • Thanks Cecilia! I enjoy coming up with new ideas to recycle things you’d typically toss in the garbage. Makes us so happy to keep it out of landfill!

  5. Oh my, Sara, you always come up with clever ways to create the best crafts! How amazing is this! And what a terrific idea to use the lightbulb packaging! You go!

    • Thanks so much Kim! I wish I had more time for crafting; we’re overwhelmed with decluttering right now.

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