Head Shotby Charlotte Smith

Here in the Northeast, you’d think it was February. Not because it’s freezing per say, but because there are roughly 17 bulbs blooming in the whole state of Connecticut. BUT… 17 is enough for me to be thinking ahead to warm days in the garden so carry on with your eager blog reading, folks. This is a good one.

Last year, I made these concrete planters for my patio and I love-a-dub-dove them big time. So when I saw the amazing Jenny from Little Green Notebook add a fun twist, I couldn’t wait to jump on the concrete bandwagon again this spring.

Materials are Simple

  1. Concrete (I used two kinds: this one which is a little pricier – $20 vs. $5- but super smooth and dries really fast and then a basic Quickrete)
  2. Water
  3. Bucket
  4. Mixing utensil
  5. Cheap glass orbs from a thrift store. Mine were maybe $5 total?

Because my love for concrete runs deep, I have a mixing attachment for my drill, but a basic garden shovel totally works too. (It’s not quite as simple, but on the scale of watching TV to climbing Mt. Everest, a shovel is still pretty close to the couch potato.) Use gloves and goggles and a mask and all that… concrete’s not great to breath or ingest in any way. It’s also not the neatest project of your life, so an old tarp is a good idea.

4 Easy Steps

  1. Mix your concrete until it’s the consistency of pudding.
  2. Pour concrete pudding into your orbs and walk away.
  3. If you’re a cocktailer, go ahead and mix one to celebrate a DIY job well done. Cheers! You’re crafty!
  4. I let my concrete sit for a day or two. THIS is the fun part. (Even more fun if, hypothetically, you’ve had a two-year-old tantruming for 4 hours and a 3.5 year-old bugging you about finishing his Easter candy.) Place your concrete-filled glass orb into a thick paper bag and give it a tap with a hammer. The glass will break away from the concrete leaving you with these amazing garden ornaments.

glass orbs
mixing concrete

breaking concrete orb
orb 3

concrete orbs

The lighter orbs are the pricier concrete and the gray ones are the cheap-o stuff.

Like I said, we don’t have many signs of spring around here, but when this garden bed fills in, these orbs will look even more amazing scattered amongst the leaves and flowers. Do you all remember leaves and flowers? Colorful and so pretty… they come with warm weather and often signify the end of winter. Yeah… those.




  1. You made me laugh AND taught me a skill. Kudos.

  2. Thanks, Elen! Next time you start flinging concrete around, give me a shout! May not be the most useful skill in your arsenal but it’s a very VERY cool on (if you ask me). 🙂

  3. Charlotte, love how you can take something as basic as concrete and turn them into architectural works of art in your garden! Can I place an order?

  4. So cool Charlotte – and you’re hilarious to boot! I’m not a fan of frou-frou garden decor and I just love the clean and rustic aesthetic!

  5. Charlotte, these are amazing! I would be terrified of working with concrete but you make it look so easy! I shared this with my mother and her garden loving husband. They may give it a try. These look so dramatic and amazing!

  6. L

    I would like colors. How would I do that

  7. E

    You can get coloring for concrete at lowes. I’m wondering how did you make the one where you have flowers/ a plant inside?

  8. Hi Evelyn,
    Thanks for info on the coloring for concrete! There is a link up in the post for the tutorial about how to make the concrete planters!

  9. Going to do this!

  10. Please let us know how they turn out for you and thanks for visiting us 🙂

  11. Charlotte, you crack me up! And you also wow me with your cool concrete orbs. These would be an awesome addition to a rock garden or succulent garden!

  12. l

    the phrase is spelled “per se.”

  13. O

    I wonder if you can spray them with glow paint?

  14. S

    Could you use heavy duty plastic container? If so what changes would you need to make

  15. J

    I’ve seen a demo that used plastic bowls. Spray with inside of bowl with cooking spray, fill part way with quick crete , push smaller bowl inside of big bowl after spraying the outside of it, put something heavy in the smaller bowl. Let set for a day . Supposed to release easily when turned upside down.

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