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Cast Tabletop Planter

Create a succulents planter that you can paint to match your room decor or dining table theme.

Cast tabletop planters with succulents.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • 14-in plastic mud pan (#422613)
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Putty knife for mixing
  • 2-quart mixing container
  • 3 plastic cups (see instructions)


  • Vinyl spackling
  • Plaster of Paris, 4 pounds (#41323)
  • Rust-Oleum spray primer
  • Rust-Oleum spray paint, Rustic Umber

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Wash the inside of the mud pan and leave moist. Then mix 2 cups of plaster of Paris with 1 cup of cold water in a 2-quart container; stir until the mix is consistent. For two planters, double the quantities. Immediately pour the plaster into the moistened mud pan to a depth of 3/4 inch to 1 inch. Tap the pan against the work surface to level the plaster and release any air bubbles; let harden for an hour.

Good to Know

Plaster of Paris sets within 6 to 10 minutes and hardens in 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re casting multiple planters, mix and pour the base layer for no more than two at a time. You’ll need to mix two batches per planter for the base and upper layers.

Step 2

Gently twist the pan or press on the bottom to release the molded plaster. Then let it settle to the bottom of the pan again.

Step 3

Position cups in the partially filled pan.

Select three plastic cups to fit the pan. We used the tops from spray paint cans, but you can also use clean plastic food containers or cups about 2-1/2 inches in diameter and no taller than 1/4 inch from the top of the pan. Position the cups on the plaster in the pan and mark their locations.

Step 4

Mix 3 cups of plaster of Paris with 1-1/2 cups of cold water and stir. Gently pour plaster into the pan from one end to the other as you add and position the cups. After you reach halfway up the sides of the cups, tap the pan against the work surface to release any air bubbles. Fill the pan up to the edges of the cups and tap the pan against the work surface again. (If a little plaster falls into the cups, it can be removed later.) Check that the surface is level, with no gaps in the plaster between the cups.

Step 5

Allow the plaster to harden for an hour and gently twist the pan or tap the bottom to release the plaster. Remove the pan.

Step 6

Fill any gaps or air bubbles in the planter surface with spackling and let dry. Sand the planter smooth, lightly rounding over the top edges. Spray two coats of primer over the entire planter, including the cups. Then spray on at least two coats of paint (Rustic Umber shown).

Good to Know

Consider different spray paints for different looks. Options include stone-look or metallic finishes.

Step 7

Insert a succulent into each cup and add potting mix as needed. Water lightly, but avoid standing water in the cups or on the planter.