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.
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
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.
For the holidays I filled it with moss and large ornaments that I covered with strips of handwritten script paper.
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.
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:
- DecoArt Americana – Cobblestone
- Craftsmart – Grey and Black
- Craftsmart Barnwood stain or Antique Glazing Liquid
Time needed: 2 hours
How to Make a Faux Cement Look Bowl Style Planter
- 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.
- 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.
- The Bowls Should Look Like This
The edges of the bowls should be level all around.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let Dry
I did not seal the bowl as I am not going to be planting anything real inside of it.
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.
I filled the bowl with shredded paper and then covered it with sheet moss.
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.
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.
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