These concrete and gold DIY plant pots are a bit modern, but a bit industrial at the same time. And with the gold leaf, there’s some glamour in there, too. Glam-modern-industrial, is that a thing? If not, it is now. And it requires plants.
After my concrete and gold leaf jewelry project, I was eager to experiment more with the leftover supplies. And since I can always use more places for plants, DIY plant pots were the obvious choice. I kind of had the same problem with these that I did with the soap rocks–I was having so much fun experimenting, that I just kept making more. If you’re not looking for excuses to add more plants to your life, you could use these for lots of other stuff, like a pencil cup, or kitchen utensil-holder (just came up with that idea–gotta try it).
One of my faults is that I tend to be a perfectionist. Irregularity is something I try to avoid, so for the polka-dot version of this project, I tried doing it with circle templates that I cut out of tape. The circles didn’t end up perfect, since some of the gilding came off when I took the tape template off. But I also tried it with just dabbing adhesive on with my fingers, and I ended up liking that version better. Plus, it’s easier.
So this project is a good reminder to let go of perfection and predictability. You’ll probably end up with bubbles in your concrete pots, and the gilding might have some gaps in it. Embrace it! If you wanted something that looked like it was mass-produced, you could buy that in stores. Although working with concrete is easier than you might think, if you don’t want to pour your own pots, you can definitely add gilding to pre-made ones.
Concrete and Gold DIY Plant Pots
Plastic outer mold – I used large 32 oz yogurt containers
Plastic inner mold – I used plastic cups
Gold leaf kit
Electric sander – I used this random orbital sander
Heavy-duty, 60 or 80 grit sanding discs
Piece of wood or something heavy to weigh down the inner containers (optional)
Hole punch (optional)
1. Before you mix the concrete, hold the inner cup inside the outer container with the bottom of the cup about 1/2-inch above the bottom of the container. Mark the side of the plastic cup where it lines up with the top of the outer container. This will help you push the cup down to the right depth in the concrete.
2. Mix up the concrete according to the directions on the package. I always ended up having to add a little bit more water than the instructions said to use. Pour a layer of concrete in the bottom of the larger container about half as tall as you want your pot to be. Press the inner cup down to the depth you marked above. If you want it shorter, scoop out concrete, or add more if you want it taller.
Either tape the cup in place, or put something heavy on top to weigh it down. Gently shake the concrete to help release air bubbles and even out the top.
3. Let the concrete set overnight, then pull out your inner container. I really had to cut up the cups to get them out, but that’s because they have tiny ridges at the bottom, which hold them in place. Other containers that I tried, like a plastic bottle and a tall plastic sour cream container, slid out much more easily.
4. Turn the container over and press on the bottom to release the pot. All of mine slid out very easily.
5. After the containers have completely cured (at least 24 hours), if you want to you can sand the top edges smooth. I tried doing it by hand, but it goes a lot faster with an electric sander. Remember to wear a mask and eye protection!
6. Time to add bling! Start by taping off your designs with painter’s tape. I did a couple of different designs. For the big and small triangles, I just put down pieces of tape in triangle shapes until I got designs I was happy with. I didn’t measure anything, I just freestyled it.
I tried two different ways to make dots. For one I punched circle templates out of painter’s tape, and stuck them on pretty randomly.
For the other method, I marked the pot with an x where I wanted my dots to be.
7. Paint the adhesive on inside the templates. For the pot with the smaller dots, I just dipped my finger in the adhesive, and pressed it down on the pencil marks I’d made. (I bet a Q-tip would work for this step, if you don’t want to use your finger.)
Let the adhesive dry for the recommended amount of time.
8. Place pieces of the gold foil over the adhesive, and smooth it down gently with your fingers.
9. Let the adhesive dry, then gently pull away the excess gold leaf that isn’t stuck to the pots or the tape. You can try to fill in any gaps with another layer of adhesive and foil.
10. Paint the gold leaf with the recommended number of coats of sealer. My instructions said to do at least two.
11. Carefully pull away the tape. With practice, I found that keeping the tape as flat to the surface as possible minimized chipping on the edges of the designs, but it might be impossible to avoid completely. Embrace the imperfection!
Now fill ’em up with plants! Since they don’t have drainage, I just popped in plants in plastic containers.
I still have one without any designs on it. What should I add, or should I leave it plain?
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DIY Gold Leaf Plant Pots
Today I’m sharing how to make these simple fresh and beautiful DIY gold leaf plant pots; perfect for bringing spring indoors with some natural greenery.
It feels super crazy to be sharing my first “spring” post with you today. Things have been so busy with the renovations that January and February completely whipped by. On the one hand, I feel like I blinked and it’s the last week of February. On the other hand, it feels like it’s been a looooong time since Christmas ended and we started the renovations.
We’ve had some very wintery weather with a good amount of snow this past month but the last few days have been gorgeous and clear and sunny (though still frosty). You know, the kind of weather that makes you start thinking about the fact that spring is just around the corner!
Spring Is Coming
I finally got our Christmas greenery on the porch cleaned up this past weekend and I’m looking forward to adding some fresh springy touches indoors really soon. I really need something springy for the coffee table in our living room, and these sweet little DIY gold leaf plant pots perfectly fit the bill.
To make these I used some inexpensive clay pots, matte white acrylic craft paint, paint brushes, gold leaf sheets, gilding adhesive, and a firm flat stencil type brush.
I started by giving the clay pots 2-3 coats of the matte white acrylic craft paint.
After that was dry, I brushed on gilding adhesive along the bottom part of one pot and the top part of the other pot, letting it drip down in sections. I wanted a more fluid look to the gold leaf and rough edges to the finished product, so I let the gilding adhesive naturally settle and drip a little bit. Alternatively you could get a much cleaner look with straight lines of gold leaf by taping off a straight line before using the gilding adhesive and adding the gold leaf sheets.
After letting the gilding adhesive dry for about an hour or so, until it was lightly tacky, I spread on the gold leaf sheets. This was a bit tricky, as the gold leaf sheets didn’t love to detach from their paper backing, but I was going for more of that rustic, crumpled look so I was fine with doing it in sections.
After I’d attached the sparkly gold leaf to all the areas where I’d used the gilding adhesive, I let it dry for a couple of hours before removing the excess with a firm-end stencil brush.
I filled them with a little spider plant and a jade plant that I picked up at a local nursery, but you could use flowers or even faux plants. I also covered the soil with dried moss to give them a springy look. Plus, I’m planning to display these in our living room, and it’s nicer to look at moss then the potting soil, right?
I love the rustic and fluid feel of these and the contrast of the rich gold leaf with the matte white paint. Gold and white is such a great combo!
I shared them on my spring mantel the other day as well…
And today I’m joined by a fabulous group of blogging friends who are also sharing their Spring DIY Projects as part of the Seasonal Simplicity Spring Series. You’re going to love all this springy inspiration…
The Happy Housie // Lolly Jane // Craftberry Bush
Inspiration for Moms // Rooms FOR Rent
Zevy Joy // Modern Glam // Hallstrom Home
A Pretty Life // Confessions of a Serial DIYer
Jenna Kate at Home // Life is a Party // Tatertots and Jello
Town and Country Living // Place of My Taste
Rambling Renovators // Home Made Lovely // The DIY Mommy // Sincerely, Marie Designs
Paint Me Pink // Amber Tysl
Southern State of Mind // This is Our Bliss // Tauni Everett
Finding Silver Pennies // Clean & Scentsible
Want to remember this? Then PIN it!
Next week we’ll be sharing our Spring Mantels or Vignettes!
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Plant pots gold
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