DIY Cement Centerpieces

I made these cement centerpieces 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 too 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 planters 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 centerpieces
DIY Cement Centerpieces
DIY Cement Centerpieces

DIY Cement Centerpieces
DIY Cement Centerpieces

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.

17 Comments
  1. Omg!!! I love you! You just saved my wedding! This is so absolutely perfect for me! My future husband is a concrete finisher and while he is so busy at work I have been putting everything together. But I have been stumped on my centerpieces, and this is so perfect!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. Hi there! Love this idea, tried it with concrete but there’s a lot of concrete dust coming off it. Did this happen with yours? It creates a big mess of it whenever I move it anywhere in the house. I wonder if there’s anything I can do in the mixing/curing that would stop this? Or is cement different to concrete?

    1. Hi Jenna,

      I had the exact same problem, I switched my bag of concrete for a bag of sand and cement. No yucky concrete dust (which also ruins a paint job if you are planning to paint your concrete planter).

  3. I thought I should do something like this and i did. The result was great. the things you can make with concrete are infinite

  4. So cute! I am going to make these for Xmas gifts. Can’t wait to get started!!
    I, too, am curious about the sealant you used.

  5. Hi, love these!
    Besides the gold leaf idea what’s the best paint type to use on cement objects?
    Thanks

  6. so cute! do you remember what kind of sealant you used? Is there a sealant that allows the gold leaf to remain shiny and cement to be matte?