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DIY Gold Leaf Cement Pots

I made these cement pots for our table at The Cream Event NYC and I have to confess that this is one of the most fun projects I’ve made to date. It’s so easy and quick, one could never tell you made one of these yourself in less the 20 minutes. And having never used cement in my life before, it felt pretty darn good seeing how they turned out in the first try!

diy cement gold leaf centerpieces
DIY gold leaf cement centerpieces

What you will need:

cement mix
water
disposable bowl or bucket for mixing
disposable cup
paint stirrer
containers for molds
gold leaf kit
mask and gloves

DIY cement bowl centerpieces

Mix 4 parts cement with 1 part water in a bowl. It doesn’t need to be exact, as long as the mix has a good consistency. Not to liquid, not too thick. Like making a cake! I noticed it was a bit easier for me to mix with a bit more water than what they recommend in the instructions, and it was fine. I used juice cartons and 1 quart milk cartons to achieve the square shape, but I’ve seen other pots using bundt cake molds, so options are endless :)

DIY cement pots

Grease your containers: the inside of the larger ones and the exterior of the small ones that will serve as the opening. I dabbed cooking oil on a paper towel to grease the containers. Have something to add weight handy in the smaller containers to hold them in place. I stacked paint sample bottles in the milk cartons, but you can use rocks or anything else you have around your house.

DIY cement pots

Pour the mix in the larger containers and pound them on the ground to release any air bubbles. I noticed that as long as the mix is homogenous, the pots will have a smooth solid surface. The mix should go 1/3 or half way to the rim – keeping in mind that once you add the smaller container in, the cement mix will rise up. Add in the smaller containers in the middle, with weights to hold them down in place.

DIY concrete bowls
DIY gold leaf cement pots
DIY gold leaf cement pots

DIY gold leaf cement pots
DIY cement pots with gold leaf

After about 10-15 min they were rock solid! Peel the containers out and let your cement pots cure overnight. For drainage, I drilled holes at the bottom of the pots. To add gold leaf designs, I started creating different geometric shapes on the pots and marked them with masking tape. Brush adhesive, and layer the gold leaf. I let it dry for an hour, then brushed off excess gold leaf and added sealant. Once it’s dry, you can remove the tape and add your plants, adding a a layer of gravel at the bottom of your pots before adding soil.

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