Display your favorite succulent in a planter that is easily “handmade” !
If you are anything like me, you have a serious plant addiction and you need a unique planter to go with all those plants! I’ve been known to adopt one too many plants from local nurseries! From kitchen plants to tropical plants (yes in Ohio) I have quite the collection. I’m always looking for fun and interesting ways to display my plants. Homemade and recycled planters are the best! The more unusual the better!
A simple but very unique planter to make is a concrete hand planter. This planter is good for plants like air plants, and also succulents. I like to use a combination of succulents and moss with this planter. You can display this planter in many different ways. It has a very connected-to-nature look to me, and is a conversation piece for sure.
To create your own concrete hand planter you will first need to gather some supplies. You are going to need a rubber glove or 2. Since concrete can be a little unpredictable, I suggest making 2 planters, just in case. Speaking of concrete you will need a small bag of concrete. For my hand planter, I did use traditional concrete, and it worked well. The only downside is there were larger rocks in the mix.
At your local hardware store, there are different options when it comes to concrete. If you would like a smoother look, look for concrete for casting. You will also need protective gloves, and a bowl to “form” the hand. I used a plastic 6” planter saucer. I found using this, you will get the hand form you would like, with a flat bottom.
In making a few of the hand planters, the flat bottom is so much easier for displaying. You will need a larger rock, can, or something heavy to place in the center of the glove. This will form an area for your plant to sit in, and the rock holds your hand in place while it hardens. Lastly, grab a clothespin for closing up your glove after it’s full of concrete. Since concrete is fast to set, make sure you have all of your supplies laid out, and easily accessible while you are forming your hand planter.
Mix It Up!
Following your concrete mix instructions, mix up about 2-3 cups of concrete mix. You want your concrete to be fully mixed, without having too much liquid in the mix. Be sure when mixing up your concrete your eyes and hands are protected.
Next, you are going to fill up your rubber glove with concrete. You can stretch your glove over the opening of a plastic cup to keep your glove open. If you have a helper, have them hold the glove open while you add your concrete inside. You want to add a little at a time, making sure to fully fill the fingers, working out the bubbles.
After your glove is full, you will want to seal the end of the glove. I suggest the twist the end of the glove method with a clothespin. The reason I do this is because if you find, maybe it’s a rainy day, and your concrete mix is more liquid than you wanted, you can carefully open the end of the glove, and release any water that may have pooled.
Time To Rest and Cure
Gently place your concrete-filled glove into the bowl or saucer you are using to form your hand shape. You can form the hand however you would like, just think of a hand holding a plant. Feel free to use paper towels, rocks, etc to hold the fingers in place while your planter is curing. A big tip is to make sure that there is plenty of concrete at the connection of the hand and fingers. You don’t want the fingers of your planter to bend sharply. This will result in your fingers being very fragile on the planter, and they could fall off.
You want an even thickness from the “palm” of your planter to the “fingers”. Add the larger rock in the center of the hand last to form an indention where your plant will go, and hold your hand planter into place while it’s hardening. I used a chunk of plumber’s lead to hold my hand planter in place. I am married to the Classic Woodsman, so we have some of that laying around for his lead casting projects.
Now place your planter in a safe, and allow it to harden completely. I usually let my planter sit for 2-3 days, just to be double sure it is totally hardened. After 24 hours, I like to take the clothespin off and open the end of the glove to help with drying.
After your hand planter is totally dry, it is time to remove the rubber glove outer. You want to do this very, very slowly, and carefully. The fingers can be still a little fragile at first, so gently cut the rubber glove pieces out a little at a time. You can even use tweezers to get out any stuck pieces of the rubber glove.
After I have the glove off of the planter, I let the planter set another day to again be sure the planter is totally hardened. Now, at this point, don’t be discouraged if a finger falls off. When trying this for the first time, it could happen. If this does happen, allow your planter and the “finger” to dry the extra 24 hours. Before you plant, glue the finger into place with a clear outdoor, waterproof adhesive, and you will be good. No worries! That the excitement in creating, every project is a little different.
After your planter is all hardened, it is time for planting! I like to use a simple succulent in the center and add some moss around to keep the succulent in place and help keep moisture in place after watering. To water your hand planter, you can spritz some water around the base of your succulent, and moss. Find the perfect place to display your planter and are you all set!
Hopefully, I’ve given you some inspiration to create a planter that is a showstopper, and so easy to make! Happy creating!
Looking for some great seeds for your garden? Be sure to visit True Leaf Market!