Cast this rugged concrete planter and then add house numbers to make it one of a kind.
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One bag of concrete is enough to make two planters like the one shown. We include the cost of the two storage totes in the $40 estimated cost, but you can clean and reuse them after the project is finished.
Wearing eye and breathing protection plus rubber gloves, gradually add water to about half the bag of concrete (for one planter) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When squeezed, a handful of concrete should hold its shape but not crumble when pinched.
Adding extra water to the mixture may make it easier to pour into the mold but will weaken the finished project.
Add a 4-inch-deep layer of concrete to the bottom of the 29-quart tote. Vibrate or lightly bounce the tote on a firm surface for one minute to force out air bubbles in the concrete.
Mark the outside of the 6.5-quart tote 7 inches from the bottom. Center the 6.5-quart tote inside the larger one and rock it back and forth while pressing it into the concrete. Continue pressing until the concrete just passes the marks on the 6.5-quart tote.
If you press the small tote too far into the concrete, lightly bounce the large tote on a firm surface to make the small tote float upward to the level you want. To level the concrete around the edges of the small tote, hold it down with one hand and knock on the sides of the large tote until the concrete levels itself.
After the concrete cures for at least 12 hours, carefully remove the inside tote by first pulling each side toward the center to break the bond with the concrete. Then gently rock the small tote back and forth and lift straight up. After removing the tote, allow the concrete to cure at least 48 hours longer.
After the concrete in the large tote has dried at least 60 hours, bend the sides and ends of the 29-quart tote outward just enough to break contact with the concrete. Gently slide the planter out of the tote and onto a soft surface. Allow it to dry overnight.
Support the planter upright on a soft surface such as a mat or pine board--not a concrete floor--and drill two 3/16-inch holes through the bottom for drainage.
Thread the screws that came with the house numbers into the holes in the backs of the numbers so that an equal length of each screw is exposed. Center the numbers on the wide face of the planter with the bottoms of the numbers along a straight line. One number at a time, use a pencil to mark around the screw heads for the mounting hole locations.
Measure the distance from the heads of the screws to the start of the extensions on the backs of the letters. If the distances vary, use the longest one after checking that the screws are all in as far as they’ll go. Place a tape flag on the 3/16-inch bit that distance from the tip to control the drilling depth. At each marked screw location, drill a 3/16-inch hole.
You’ll need a masonry drill bit normally used in a hammer drill. However, avoid using a hammer drill on the newly cast concrete.
Use a long straw or compressed air to blow drilling dust out of the holes. (Avoid inhaling any dust.) Then check that the screws on the back of each number slide into the holes so that the extensions are flush with the face of the planter.
Working one number at a time, add a few drops of landscaping adhesive to each of the holes, but don’t fill them to the top. Slowly press the screw heads down into the adhesive and hold the number in place for about 30 seconds. Repeat for the remaining house numbers and let dry overnight before using.
Showcase the house numbers on this planter by displaying it on a column flanking the driveway or on the ground in front of a mailbox.