Faux Cast Stone Bowl Planter DIY

How to transform inexpensive large plastic bowls from the dollar store into looking like a high end, low-sided cast stone or cement bowl style planter.

Earlier in the fall I showed you how I made a thrift store shiny ceramic planter look like aged concrete using a faux stone paint technique.

I loved how it turned out.

Since the completion of that project, I found that I wanted an even larger concrete or cast stone bowl that I could place on the sideboard in my foyer that had a Zen-like quality.

I have a vision for the decor in my house, especially for the foyer, kitchen and living room. I have been working on adding less decor. What I do add, I want to be clean lined, a little over-scaled along with a nod to nature.

So I went in search of a large stone or cement, low-sided planter and found one from West Elm. I like this stone planter, but not the $330.00 price tag.

So what does a DIY’er do when she can’t afford what she wants? She makes it! Making this large DIY bowl was truly… EASY!

How I Transformed Plastic Party Bowls To Look Like a Heavy Cast Stone Bowl Planter

Cast stone planters are made from composite mixtures that mimics the look and feel of actual stone, but at a quarter of the weight.

Two large clear plastic bowls on table. One bowl has 3 small pieces of white Styrofoam inside.

To make my large faux cast stone bowl style planter, I used 2 large plastic bowls that you can buy at a party or dollar store.

I had them in my entertaining stash, but since we never use them anymore… Thank you 2020! I decided to use them for decorative purposes. I also used plastic grocery bags to make my low-sided bowl planter.

My DIY Faux Cast Stone or Cement Bowl Planter

Faux paint cement paint technique used to create the look of a cast stone planter.

Here is my finished bowl. Exactly the size (6 – 1/4″ high x 18″ diameter) and look I wanted to place on the sideboard in the foyer.

Large fake concrete planter DIY filled with white ornaments with black script. Cedar wreath underneath

For the holidays I filled it with moss and large ornaments that I covered with strips of handwritten script paper.

Close up shot of finished fake concrete bowl planter. It is placed on a wreath on a sideboard.

The two thin plastic bowls now are one that looks thick and heavy, but it is very lightweight.

How to Make a Large Faux Cast Stone Bowl Planter

I didn’t use any concrete or cement and there was no messy mixing needed to make my bowl style planter.

Paints and materials used to transform a dated thrift store planter to a trendy planter.

supplies needed:

I checked The Party Store website and they still sell both of the bowls I used, but you can use any bowl as long as you have two of the same style with one being slightly smaller than the other.

  • Large plastic bowl
  • Medium plastic bowl
  • 3″ square blocks of foam or wood about 1-1/2″ high
  • Hot glue
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • White spray primer
  • Painter’s tape or duct tape
  • Ready-Mix Stucco Patch – 1 quart tub – home improvement store
  • 2″ wide paint brush
  • Old toothbrush or stiff bristle brush
  • Water-based paint or stain – acrylic, latex or chalk paint. I used craft paint bought at Michaels and Hobby Lobby:

Time needed: 2 hours

How to Make a Faux Cement Look Bowl Style Planter

  1. Find 2 Large Plastic Bowls

    Check your kitchen cupboards for rarely used plastic bowls. They can be any color, but you will need two of the same style. One larger than the other.

    Two large clear plastic bowls on table. One bowl has 3 small pieces of white Styrofoam inside.

  2. Add Riser Inside Larger Bowl

    Place the smaller bowl inside the larger bowl and measure the difference in the height. The smaller bowl may need to be raised so that the edge is at the same level as the outer larger bowl.

    I used Styrofoam from packaging to make a riser for the smaller bowl to sit on. I hot glued it to the bottom of the larger bowl.

    Use hot glue on the bottom of the small bowl and center on the Styrofoam to secure the small bowl. Let glue cool.

    Smaller bowl placed inside large bowl with Styrofoam blocks under small bowl.

  3. The Bowls Should Look Like This

    The edges of the bowls should be level all around.

    Close up to show how edges line up t the same height.

  4. Fill Gap Between Bowls

    To make sure that the smaller bowl stays put, fill the gap between the bowls with plastic bags. Stuff them in all around until they meet the top edge of the bowls.

    Filling the area between the bowls with plastic grocery bags.

  5. Add Strips of Tape

    Add strips of painter’s or duct tape all around the open edge of the bowls as shown. Run your fingers over the tape’s edges to smooth.

    Adding painters tape around the top edge to connect both bowls that makes it appear that outer bowl is one thick bowl.

  6. Spray Prime

    Sand the surface of the bowl with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface. A quick going over is all that is needed.

    Add one light coat of spray primer all over the outside and inside of the bowl. Let dry. Priming will help the next layer better adhere.

    Spray painting primer on large clear plastic bowls.

  7. Apply Stucco Patch

    Using a 1″ – 2″ wide paint brush, brush a thin layer of stucco patch over the surface of the bowl inside and out. Let dry.

    Spreading layer of stucco patch on bowl with a paint brush.

  8. Add Second Coat

    When first coat is dry, apply one more light layer of stucco patch if needed. My bowls had a dimpled surface and needed two light coats to cover it.

    Bowl drying outside.

  9. Brush On Craft Paint

    You may like the color of the bowl planter with only the stucco patch. It is a light tan color when dried.

    If you want the look of cement, using a paint brush, apply a mix of water and the colors – grey and cobblestone craft paint. Half water – half paint mix.

    Using a dry and then damp paper towel, rub and wipe away some of the paint in areas to make the color on the surface look slightly uneven.

    Keep adding more of the watered down paint and then removing using a circular motion with damp paper towel until you like what you see.

    You don’t want the paint to go on as one solid color, more of a transparent wash that you dab on and wipe around will make the paint look like cement, stone or concrete depending on how tan or grey you want to make it.

    I was going to make the color a darker grey brown, but liked this lighter version that looks better with the other items in the foyer.

    You can make yours any color you want. The steps will be the same.

    Close up of painted Cobblestone layer of paint on edge of bowl.

  10. Splatter Grey/Black Paint

    Find an old toothbrush or stiff brush and dip it into a mix of grey and black craft paint that is swirled together and not fully mixed. Or you can use Antiquing Glaze.

    As you hold the paint or glaze loaded tooth brush in your hand, hold it over the surface of the bowl and run your thumb hard across the bristles. This will make the paint splatter onto the surface.

    TIP: If you have never done this, practice a few times splattering the paint onto a piece scrap paper to get the hang of it.

    Close up of finished bowl after splatters of grey-black paint were added.

  11. Let Dry

    I did not seal the bowl as I am not going to be planting anything real inside of it.

    Close up shot of finished fake concrete bowl planter. It is placed on a wreath on a sideboard.

Where to Use a Faux Cast Stone Bowl Planter

A large bowl style planter can be used for many decorative purposes besides holding plants or succulents.

They can be placed on any table surface or sideboard and filled with just about anything from moss, ornaments, fruit to stones with a large candle. Try adding a collection of small objects.

Shredded paper in a faux cement look large bowl.

I filled the bowl with shredded paper and then covered it with sheet moss.

Low Zen bowl style planter on sideboard decorated with white and green for Christmas.

Then added Christmas ornaments. Placed on a faux cedar wreath, my foyer sideboard is all ready for the holidays in a simple clean-lined way with a nod to nature.

Just the look l was after.

DIY faux large cast stone planter bowl filled with white glittered Christmas ornaments.

Buying Option:

Cast stone planter with succulents

If you like the look of my faux cast stone planter but don’t want to make it yourself, here is similar one I found to buy that isn’t too expensive.

Large faux cement bowl on a wreath on a sideboard. Text overlay says DIY large faux stone bowl style planter.

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  1. Can it be put in an outdoor garden? It rains alot in NZ, do you know if it will hold up?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Theresa – I keep mine on a table that is set up in a covered gazebo. It stays outside in the hot weather, but does not get wet. I am not sure if it will hold up for a long time if it is set where it will get wet. It may last for awhile, but if an area softens and water gets under it, I think it eventually will wear over time. I hope this helps you figure out if making one will work for your needs.

  2. Dawn Earles says:

    As a stager, I am always looking for creative ways to save money and still style spaces in an eye catching way. You completely knocked this out of the park. So brilliant and clever! Thank you for this! 😊

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dawn – Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a nice comment on my faux cast stone bowl. It has become one of my favorite DIYs.:-)

  3. BRILLIANT! Real concrete has a nice look but it is ridiculously heavy (and therefore impractical) in many instances. Thank you for this wonderful alternative!

  4. I love this idea. Perfect! Will be doing this diy this summer

  5. Lee Ann Kuhn says:

    wow this is brilliant!!

  6. Julie Briones says:

    Wow, Diane! Your stone bowl is just lovely! And the DIY is so easy to follow! Congrats on being featured at Embracing Home! We would love to have your link up at Tuesday Turn About each week! Hope to see you there! Pinned!

  7. Jennifer Dynys says:

    I am featuring this at our link party tomorrow! Thank you for joining us!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – Thank you. I enjoy your blog and the links every week. I always come away inspired.

  8. Jennifer Dynys says:

    No way! I cannot believe how well this turned out! It looks better than your inspiration to me! Thank you for taking the time to share with us at Embracing Home and Family!

  9. Hello Diane Henkler, thank you

  10. Dee | Grammy's Grid says:

    Looks great! Pinned.

  11. Hi Diane! I’m impressed how clever taking two plastic bowls and transforming into a beautiful faux stone planter! Love it!
    You should start selling some of your creations. Seriously! Everything you make is so beautiful!

  12. This is a great idea! How innovative you are.

  13. Clever and thrifty. My favorite kind of DIY. Wasn’t crazy about the first items you did with this technique but this one I LOVE! Also would like the resource of your faux cedar wreath.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi KJ – You know the saying… the third time is a charm. :-) I bought the faux cedar wreath at TJ Maxx. I tried to find a link for it on their site, but it is not on it. I bought it about a month ago.

      1. Thank you for the reply and yes experience is helpful. You are bold at trying new things and I like that about your blog!

  14. Sue Bauman says:

    Diane, you are absolutely amazing with your D I Y ideas! That bowl is just like the $330.00 item!

  15. REBECCA PLATT says:

    Love!!! I thought you were filling ini between spaces as well. Can’t wait to try this.

  16. Oh my word I totally thought you were going to fill in the space between the bowls as so many are currently doing. This is brilliant! You are such a creative. Thank you!

  17. You always amaze me with your creativity. Thank you again!

  18. Wowza such a good idea, you truly amaze me.

  19. Pamela Caudill says:

    Diane – that is absolutely brilliant!! Good job..this one goes in my keeper file!

  20. Romeogirl says:

    That looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try this!!

  21. valarie sanford says:

    Thank you so much Diane, I will definitely do this !

  22. This is amazing! You come up with the best diy ideas. I will definitely give this a try. I love creating things for my home that I make myself and love doing it for less. Once again, you hit it out of the park!

  23. Love it! Can’t wait to try this.Your instructions are always so simple and easy to follow. Thanks for taking the time to share your ingenuity with us :)

  24. I thought your lamp makeover was a ‘wow’ and this another one!

  25. That is really impressive Diane! Thank you for your directions. I am curious as to what you would use if you wanted to use it as a planter though? It really looks great! Stay safe! ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donnamae –

      If you wanted to use the bowl as a planter, you could add another bowl inside of it that isn’t finished – another clear bowl that same size as the smaller bowl.

  26. Love the bowl !!! I have it on my “To Do” list now . Lots of possibilities.

  27. Christine Reilly says:

    WOW! Your creativity is amazing Diane!

  28. That is truly impressive.

  29. Wow! That bowl is amazing! I love all your creations- thank you!

  30. Stacy See says:

    You are a genius! I love your creativity!

  31. Wow I can’t believe this!! Absolutely beautiful.

  32. Genius idea! I just love your “can-do” spirit and creativity.
    Your bowl looks wonderful.

  33. That is incredibly clever.
    it is amazing what you come up with.
    Keep ’em coming!!

  34. Omg! Simply brilliant!

  35. Wow! Once again I am amazed at your beautiful creation. I love the bowl and the shredded paper ornaments. I am going to try this. I love the Zen and nature feel this brings to a room. Thankyou!

  36. Teres Counts says:

    LOVE IT!! What a very clever way to make a stone bowl….I’d never come up with that on my own and I have MacGyver in my blood too! SO cute and I’d never known it was faux just looking at it

  37. This was so clever!!! Normally when I see DIYs I have an idea of how they were made just by looking at them… I was absolutely stumped as to how you could have made this, it looks so much like the real deal! I bet even knowing how you made it, I’d still be afraid to pick it up, it looks so heavy, lol. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Cate Cooper says:

    Yet another good idea without breaking the bank. Well done, Diane!!!

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  39. WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!! OM Goodness! That is beautiful! I love it! I have got to try this but I am so not crafty at all! These would make great gifts!!

  40. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    Diane! I have always wanted a stone bowl or even make one using the hypertufa method. I love how easy your tutorial looks and much less mess. Thanks for sharing!

  41. This is lovely! Do you think this could be reproduced over those club foam type meat delivery boxes? Like a faux hypertufa. Thanks for all you do. It always helps me to think outside the box.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Suzanne – Yes you can cover just about anything using the method and materials I used. I would just check to make sure that the foam type meat box is rigid. You may also want to see how the it reacts to the spray primer – it may eat the foam. If this happens, you can use a brush-on primer or rough up the box surface very well to provide enough “tooth” for the stucco patch to adhere.

  42. Diane, it’s amazing how you come up with creative ideas to get what you want! My brain says “do without”! Ha! The bowl is beautiful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Terry :-) My brain is always in creating mode, I can’t turn it off.