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DIY Concrete Planter from Broken Decor

I consider myself a glutton for punishment. Not self-inflicted, mind you, but it definitely finds me no matter what I do. haha. A recent occurrence is after I went to the local hardware store to pick up a few things. On my way out, I pass by the clearance section and spy this swan. At first glance, I see the head/neck is loose and won’t set right. I turn it around and around and don’t see any other issues. However, I didn’t know I would be setting myself up for a DIY concrete planter project.

Broken Swan Before Upcycle by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Here’s why…my swan is thinking…”I’m feeling a little off”. After I arrive home, I pick up the swan to bring it inside and I find it BUSTED with a piece laying on the seat.Broken Swan Tail Open | prodigalpieces.com

Cracked Swan Tail for DIY Concrete Planter | prodigalpieces.com

All I did was set it in and rode home, so I know these flaws were there that I apparently didn’t see. sigh… Like a said, I’m a glutton. Because I don’t toss things like this in the trash, I am now challenged what to do with it. What would you do? BTW, you can see two other swan upcycles HERE and over HERE too.

BROKE DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED

I’m not a quitter, so first order of business is to glue this sad swan back up. However, I’m not worried about appearance so much as I plan to cover it up.

Glued Swan Tail for DIY Concrete Planter | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Then, once the glue cures, I begin mixing up my concrete. I’ve used concrete for many household applications in the past, so I feel comfortable doing this. However, for reference I’ll suggest you read up on a few different tips and tricks over at Artsy Pretty Plants. She has done her homework and has wonderful advice for beginners.

I choose to shop my local mom & pop hardware store (skip the big box stores) and grab Quickrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix. Before I begin mixing, however, I sift out the larger stones and set those aside. I’m using a colander from my kids Mud Bar, not my kitchen colander (just sayin’). Do note, I’m wearing nitrile gloves, a respirator, and goggles. This stuff isn’t what you want to fool around with. Be safe!

Separated and Sifted Concrete Mix for DIY Concrete Planter Tutorial | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, using the fine mix left in the top container, I mix up with water. I didn’t measure the ratio, but you can follow the directions on the bag. I have done it so often that I know the mix I’m looking for. It’s wet, but will hold shape when squished.

Mixing Concrete in Bucket | prodigalpieces.com

MESS MAKING TIME

Because I’m using the fast-set type concrete, I need to…well…work fast. That’s okay with me because I want this stuff to hold onto the swan. Thankfully, the swan has an etched surface which gives the concrete tooth to hang on to. I just press it on and shape starting from the bottom up. Also, notice I leave an empty space in the back for the later part.Applying Concrete to Swan | A DIY Concrete Planter Tutorail | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Why, hello there handsome. tee hee.

Concrete Swan Head | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

In addition, this will not have a super smooth finish because I’m apply the concrete with my hands and it’s not being poured into a smooth mold. This concrete is super easy to work with because it sets fast. Finally, I have to let it cure for 24 hours before moving onto the next step.

ALMOST DONE

Now it’s time for the planter part of our DIY concrete planter tutorial. Remember I left the back part open without concrete? Well, now it’s time to cut it out. I use my Dremel and simply cut it out.

Dremel to Cut Swan Open for Planter | prodigalpieces.com

While I could leave it as plain concrete, you know that’s far to simple for me. Thankfully, I saved my milk paint in my refrigerator that had gotten nice and chunky. I brush it on leaving bald spots here and there for an aged appeal.

Whitewashing Concrete Swan Planter | prodigalpieces.com

After that I use waxes to create even more dimension.

THE UGLY DUCKLING

Finally, my DIY concrete planter from a broken plastic swan is complete. While most would have thrown it away, I now have a sweet decor piece.

Farmhouse DIY Concrete Planter Swan from Broken Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #upcycled #homedecor

Rustic Swan Planter from Broken Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #gardening

Even though my planter doesn’t have a live plant in it…yet…I can still use it stuffed with other natural gems. The snow is still flying outside, so I’m enjoying it inside. However, once spring is in full swing Mr. Swan is ready for inside or out.

DIY Swan Planter Made by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #upcycled #diy #home #upcycled

Relcaimed Farmhouse Vignette with DIY Concrete Planter by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #garden #repurposed

Swan Back Opening | DIY Concrete Planter | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So, I’m curious…do you feel confident enough to tackle a project like this on your own? If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

DIY Concrete Swan Planter Created from Broken Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #home #diy #farmhouse

DIY Concrete Planter in Farmhouse Vignette by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #upcycled #diy

Likewise, if you’d like to add this sweet fella to your home decor, you can find it and more available in my online shop.

  • Set of 2 Floral Blue Upholstered Vintage Chairs available at Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #furniture #vintage
    Floral Blue Upholstered Vintage Chairs ~ $175

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Additionally, let’s inspire others to give this DIY concrete tutorial a try, or at least don’t toss something just because it’s broken. Aren’t we all essentially broken?

Take that broken decor and create a DIY concrete planter for indoor oro outdoor | Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #upcycled #home #repurposed

Before you head off, make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can see what I do with this loot I found in my neighbor’s trash.

Entertainment Stand in Trash | prodigalpieces.com

PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
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Also, more fun upcycles like this DIY concrete planter from broken decor:

Don't toss that broken decor. Repair it! It's simple and easy with the steps by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse #homedecor #homeBroken furniture doesn't need to head to the landfill. Upcycle it! Come see how Larissa of Prodigal Pieces created these new items at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #upcycled #home #homedecor

Comments

  1. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Hi Larissa, I think you did a great job. I have never actually used concrete or cement bug I have flipped some smalls to look like concrete. Great job. He was worth it.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I’ve done that too. So many fun textiles for us to make use of.

  2. Marie B. says

    Nice save Larissa and your now concrete swan will look so cute filled with a flowering plant this summer!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I’m so eager to make use of my green thumb. 😀

  3. Kim Banko says

    Well, I couldn’t love this more! I have never created with concrete but I’d like to give it a try!

    • Larissa says

      You will love it, Kim! I’ve always wanted to throw pottery and this is as close as I can get. haha. Thanks!

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