I’ve always loved making whimsical, one-of-a-kind planters that complement whatever happens to be growing inside. It’s one of the best ways to encourage people to look closely and hopefully admire what Mother Nature has to offer. Plus, it gets my creative juices flowing. And today’s DIY stone planter with a vine handle does exactly that IMHO.

 

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

The gorgeous rustic textures create a perfect backdrop to show off a few of our favorite succulents.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

Plus the round, stone-like appearance was so easy to achieve with the help of a balloon and a few simple ingredients.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

If planters aren’t your thing, then you can use the same steps to make any kind of decorative bowl for your garden or home.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

 

But, before we get to the stone planter  tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

  • Balloon
  • Strong, curved vine, root, or branch
  • Wet wipes
  • Permanent marker
  • Scrap fabric
  • Water and mixing bowl
  • Casting stone/cement

What you need to make a stone planter with a vine handle

 

What is casting stone

Casting stone is a composite material made from finely ground stone, mineral fillers, and bonding agents. It’s basically plaster of Paris (PoP) on steroids and the bonding agents make it stronger and more durable. They both contain calcium sulfate hemihydrate, but casting stone has different additives to PoP to make it denser and more durable.

Just like PoP it stays watery for a few minutes and then hardens really quickly so you need to work fast or in layers. If you can’t find casting stone, white cement or premix/rapid mix concrete will work too. PoP is not suitable for a planter. It will disintegrate at the first sign of water. If you’re making a small fruit bowl or something like that, PoP should be fine. I used casting stone for my planter.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

How to make a stone planter using a balloon

Prep your lungs because we’re going to start by blowing up a balloon to use as a mold 😀 The size of the balloon will determine how big or small your planter will be. Mine is medium-sized. Knot the balloon and place it on a bowl or large roll of masking tape. I switched over to a bowl once I started adding the casting stone. The masking tape roll wasn’t deep enough to keep the balloon in position. Use a permanent marker to draw a line around the balloon. We’ll use the line as guide. If you mark the balloon closer to the knot, you’ll end up with a deeper planter vs. if you mark it in the middle.Use a permanent marker to draw a line all the way around the balloon

Mixing the casting stone

Mix up a batch of casting stone (or cement). It’s normally a 2:1 ratio but check the manufacturer’s instructions just to be sure. I always add the dry mix to the water, not the other way around.

Mix the casting stone with water

It minimizes lumps and dust. Add the powder to the center of the water so it forms an island. The powder will slowly swell and soften up as it absorbs the water making it easier to get a smooth consistency, without all the hard work. Stir well and let it settle for about 1 minute.

Mix the casting stone with water and stir well

Pour the casting stone or cement over the top of the balloon.

Apply the first layer of the casting stone

Using the mark as guide spread the mixture all over the top of the balloon with hands. If the casting stone runs past the mark just wipe it away. Don’t worry about smoothing it out, it adds to the final look.

Apply the casting stone with your hands to get a rough natural texture

Once it’s dry to the touch, add a second layer in the same way. Each layer should be about 1 cm thick (1/2”) to ensure proper curing and strength. Unlike cement, casting stone sets pretty quickly; maybe 10 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity. Oh, and make sure to cover any spots you may have missed the first time around.

A balloon covered in casting stone

Strengthening the stone planter

To make the planter stronger I used wet wipes that had dried out. (Someone forgot to seal the packet after they used it and I think it was me!!). If you don’t have any wet wipes, thin fabric or bandages will work too.

Use dried out wet wipes to add strength to the stone planter

Use any water-based glue to randomly stick the wet wipes over the dried casting stone.

Use dried out wet wipes to add strength to the stone planter

Mix up another batch of casting stone and add it over the top of the wet wipes.

Apply a second layer of the casting stone

Make sure to smoosh and squish the mixture into the wet wipes. You want it to penetrate through and bond with the set layers underneath.

Adding vine handle supports

Since I’ll be adding a vine handle to my stone planter, I had to make sure:

  1. I could attach the handle to the planter
  2. That it was strong enough to support the weight once I potted her up and added a plant or three.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

The edges of the finished planter wouldn’t be thick enough to drill into, so that was a no-no. But I could tie the handle down if I imbedded (embedded?) the “tie down” stuff inside the planter. Here’s how I did it. Lay strips of thin fabric over the top of the balloon planter as shown in the piccy below.

Lay the strip of fabric over the balloon with casting stone

You want the fabric to hang far enough over the edge so you can tie the vine down onto the planter. Just like plaster of Paris, casting stone and cement will harden fabric, so tie plastic bags around the ends to protect them.

Protect the fabric so it does get hard

Add two more layers of casting stone to secure the fabric.

Add a layer of casting stone over the fabric strips

Wait for the last, outside layer to cure or dry completely before popping the balloon.

Pop the balloon once all the layers are dry

There will probably be a few cracks on the inside, which you can patch up with another thin layer of casting stone. I think we’re on five layers now. Give me a moment let me go back and count quickly……. Yup five layers.

Paint a thin layer of casting stone on the inside of the planter

Prepping the vine handle

So now the planter bit is all done and there’s fabric strips ready to attach the handle. We just need to tweak the vine handle a little to make it fit. I was in two minds about this step; I could either leave the vine as is and have it draping over the side of the planter or trim it.

Checking if the vine fits the stone planter

I finally went for cutting one end off to make the balloon planter look more balanced.

Cut the branch or vine to the right length

Leaving the vine as is looked too “side-heavy” (is that even a word?) Anyways, see what works best for you.

Checking if the vine fits the stone planter

Drill two holes on either end of the vine. We’ll us those holes in a minute to tie the handle down.

Drill a hole in the vine or branch

Put the vine or branch to one side while you finish up the balloon mold planter.

Painting the casting stone with soil

I wanted my planter to look like it had been made from natural stone and the easiest way to get the look is to use good old-fashioned garden soil. Our soil has lots of natural compost mixed in which I sifted out first.

Our garden soil after removing all of the big chunks

Our garden soil after removing all of the big chunks

Mix up one final batch of casting stone, but replace half the powdery stone with soil and wipe it all over the planter.

Soil mixed with casting stone while it's still wet

I just love how random the final effect is. It was also at this point that I realized my fabric handle attachments were too pristine.

Soil mixed with casting stone after it's dried

Easy enough to fix. Just wet them and dip them in the left-over soil.

Stain the fabric strips with mud

That’s much better. To tie the handle down, thread the fabric through the holes in the vine and tie a knot to secure.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

Sealing the planter and finishing off

Drill two or three small holes into the bottom of the stone planter for drainage and apply a sealer. Fill with soil and plants to finish off. I added two small red tipped Houseleeks

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

…. and the indigenous Elephant foot (Portulacaria afra) commonly referred to as a spekboom in Afrikaans.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

Spekboom translates to either “fat tree” or “bacon tree”.  Not sure about the bacon bit but fat tree makes sense. These beauties are often confused with Crassula ovata (Jade plant).

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is the stem. Older stems on the spekboom are reddish brown and flexible, while the jade plant has a greyish green stem and will break if you bend it too far.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

FAQs 

Is the stone planter suitable for outdoor use?

Yes. Both casting stone and cement will handle whatever Mother Nature throws at them and can withstand various weather conditions. That being said, I live in South Africa so I have no idea how casting stone copes with freezing, white Winters. My kids, who both live in Canada, tell me that cement/concrete isn’t a problem.

Can I paint the planter?

Sure. I wanted mine to look natural so used garden soil, but both casting stone and cement can be painted.

Is the planter heavy?

A little bit, but it’s quite big and full of soil and gravel. Without the soil she’s light weight.

How long did it take to make the stone planter?

I made mine in a weekend. If you’re using cement it may take a little longer because each layer has to cure before you add the next one. Casting stone dries really quickly (15 – 20 minutes).

Where can I find vines?

I got a whole bunch of wild vines from a company called Namibian Hardwood. We get all our braai wood from them. You can also contact your local forestry department for a list of companies that sell vines or roots that are perfect for something like this. If you don’t come right, reach out to pet shops that specialize in reptiles. They’re a great source for gorgeous dried roots and vines.

If I’ve missed any questions give me a shout in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them  Otherwise why not pin the tutorial for later and let me know how yours turned out.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

Sharing is caring.

Looking for a unique way to spruce up your garden or patio? Join us as we show you how to get creative with a balloon and make this DIY stone planter with a vine handle! Combining art, nature, and a touch of hand-crafted whimsy, this one-of-a-kind project is sure to become your favorite garden accessory. And you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself.

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

Perfect Cast Cast & Paint Harder Than Plaster Casting Material - 4 Pound
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And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

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Classic Home and Garden Cement Indoor Outdoor Planter with Drainage Hole, Dakota Trough Planter, Earth Moss Gray, Large, 8in

And as always, I wish you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix