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How to Make Stone Planters

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2009

Make your own stunning planter using stones and cement.

Tools and Materials

  • Plastic bin, a bit larger than desired size of finished planter
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Large, flat rocks
  • Cement All Rapid Set cement
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Latex gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Two 1/2-inch dowels
  • Soil, moss, and plants for finished planter

Planter How-To
1. Fill plastic bin about halfway with sand.

2. Wet sand until it is possible to make a ball of sand with your hands. Dig a hole in the sand in the shape of the planter.

3. Place rocks around sides of hole. Level the sand in the bottom of the hole, adding more water to smooth sand, if necessary.

4. Mix 4 parts cement to 1 part water, adding a small amount of black acrylic paint to tint the water before mixing.
Tip: Wear latex gloves and a dust mask during this step.

5. Pour mixed cement in base. Push cement in between overlapping rocks, and drag cement up the sides of stones inside the planter with your fingers and hands.

6. Grease two dowels with cooking spray, and insert into cement in bottom of planter to make drain holes. Leave dowels in place while cement dries (at least 24 hours), then remove. Remove planter from sand and fill with soil and plants. Fill in cracks and spaces between rocks with moss.

All materials are available at The Home Depot and garden-supply stores.

Comments (13)

  • barkbarkwoof 6 Jul, 2011

    I just found this today--it really looks great. I am lucky enough to have this stone all over my property, acres of it. My husband calls it useless, lol, he won't think so now.
    *For those seeking a natural free find, get the help of a local geologist, maybe even one from the local college.
    My land's in the northeast, southern/central PA. This project could be adaptable to many kinds of stone or materials. You could use cement mix to mold your own stones, which can be colorized.

  • Meg787 18 Jun, 2010

    I'm having a hard time finding some slate like the kind Martha used. Anyone know where to get this? I could probably find some other flat stone, but I really like the looks of the black slate.

  • madeinthe50s 21 Apr, 2010

    I made some of these and they turned out great! I used rapid cement so they were dry in a couple of hours, I also did it outside in the dirt instead of the bucket of sand. Great craft idea...I will be sharing this idea with a bunch of women at our craft night.

  • tammike 12 Apr, 2010

    I just made one. The first attempt did fall apart on me. The second one I let dry a couple of days and it held together just fine, of course you defintately want to handle it with a little care. I used regular conrete mix from HD not the quick set Martha used. My suggestion is just make sure you let it dry a couple of days and push the concrete mixure up the stones as far as you can get it. Good luck! :)

  • bevofan 11 Apr, 2010

    Has anyone had any luck with this? I've tried it twice and both times some of the stones fall off when I remove it from the sand bed. I'm open for suggestions!

  • GrannaSue 9 Apr, 2010

    This is pretty cool and so earthy, I just love this idea!

  • tammike 8 Apr, 2010

    What a great idea! The front of my house is stone and my flower beds are bordered with the same stone so these pots will match perfectly! Can't wait to make them.

  • WildeHilde 5 Mar, 2010

    Try roofing tiles and break them ..I'll bet Orchids could enjoy a pot like this if stones were placed apart slightly ;)
    .@eyesovgold.. It may be possible to "sculpt" some feet in the sand before you pour..I will be trying that so thanks for the question, helped me design in a solution from the start!

  • ankh27 31 Jan, 2010

    This is probably meant to be used outside, so any leakage shouldn't be a big problem.

  • ankh27 31 Jan, 2010

    Garden centers, or a place that sells patio stones.

  • LittleHunter 7 Jan, 2010

    Does anyone know where you can get the slate stones to make this project? I checked THD and they don't have them.

  • eyesovgold 20 Nov, 2009

    What a great idea! I love it! But what do you use underneath the planter so it doesn't leak all over the floor or wherever you place the planter without it looky tacky?

  • deborahjane55 14 Nov, 2009

    when will you have a picture of the stone planter?