How-to Make Concrete Bowls

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Today we are sharing how to make concrete bowls. I’ve been watching concrete trends for quite a while now and wanted to try something for myself and make cement bowls. You know how much I love the beach. We happened to be cleaning out some old boxes in the garage when I spotted a box called seashells.

Who packs up sea shells when they move? Ahem, yes I did. I guess I couldn’t part with them and knew someday I would make a home decor project with them. I am sharing how to make concrete bowls. Want to see different ideas to make for your decor? See all our projects for DIY Home Decor 

Don’t worry if you don’t have sea shells and beach rocks. You could just leave that step out or even replace them with river rocks, pebbles or…..It’s totally up to you. This is a project that is pretty quick to put together but, adds to the dry time and painting it will be a project where you want to set aside at least a few hours to complete it. The best part is when you are done painting the cement bowls you will have an elegant home decor pieces for yourself or to gift someone. 

Concrete Trends


Concrete Trends Elegant Home Decor Cement Bowls DIY

Some of the supplies you may have on hand. I suggest you go buy cheap plastic bowls you can re-use for this type of project but, will never use for food after! I found mine in a set for $5.00. I’ll just make a full supply list so you can have it if you’d like to try your own easy elegant home decor diy. 

How to make Concrete Bowls

Supply List: 

  • Rapid Set Concrete
  • Latex Gloves
  • A bucket or 5-gallon pail (for cement mixing)
  • A bucket or pail (for water)
  • rag
  • Plastic Bowls Set Any sizes you want. You will NOT be able to use them for food ever after this project!! 
  • Paint Brushes  Inexpensive set or I used my versatile Paint Brush Set  if you want to invest in a good quality set
  • Patio Paints by DecoArt ( Easy soap and water cleanup!)
  • A scraper tool, such as a paint or grout scraper
  • Mixing Tools such as a Drill with a Mud Mixer attachment (or) Use a sturdy paint stick might work for small batches
  • Sea Shells (or) Rocks *or omit from project 
  • Measuring Cup (old plastic drink cup that you will not re-use again!)
  • Spray Bottle for water 

Concrete Trends | Elegant Home Decor Project |Concrete Bowls DIY Deco Art Paint Projects

DIY Concrete Bowls

Can you pour concrete into plastic? 

YES! Follow these instructions

  • The ratio of concrete to water for making cement bowl 4 parts concrete to 1 part water. 


Step by step how to make cement bowls

  1. Gather all your supplies in one spot outdoors.
  2. Mix the concrete according to the directions (4 parts concrete-1 water). We like using Rapid Set Concrete.We used an old plastic cup to measure.
    Tip: It’s best to work in small batches! 
  3. Watch for it to start to set up, you do not want to wait until it’s fully set as you need time to form it in the bowl and add seashells

Steps for making cement bowls

Concrete Trends: Easy Elegant Home Decor DIY|Cement setting up in bowl

Pour it or scoop cement into your bowls. I work on mine one at a time. If the concrete slides down to give it a minute, then try to build up around to the top of your bowl. Make sure to give it some thickness, too thin and you can crack it when you are pulling it out when it’s dry. I wasn’t worried about making perfect edges. I love the organic nature of this project but, you can work on the edges more if you like. I did for one bowl.

Concrete Trends: Easy Elegant Home Decor DIY|Placing sea shells in wet cement bowls

Next, begin to place your seashells into the bowl in a random pattern until you like how it looks. You can see how I kept the bowl a little lower than the bowls lip line. You have to work pretty quickly especially if it’s hot outdoors. 

Concrete Trends| Elegant Home Decor |Cement bowl with sea shells that have just had cement cleaned off them

Now you will spray water onto your seashells and gently wipe with your rag to get any excess cement off them. You will also spray the concrete while drying every so often to reduce any chances of cracking! 

Concrete Trends| Elegant Home Decor | Dry Cement bowls with sea shells prior to painting

When your concrete bowls are dry and cured you can pop them out. You may have to slide the edge of the scraper tool under the lip of the cement and bowl, go around edges gently. Next flip bowl over holding your hand under it completely and pat it a few times to pop it out. Jiggling the plastic will help. I only struggled with one bowl. Worse case you can always cut off the plastic bowl but, I didn’t have any problems! 

How do you paint concrete? 

Paint Cement Bowls With Patio Paints 

Concrete Trends | Elegant Home Decor |Patio Paint and small concrete bowl

Next, grab your Patio Paints and a couple of paint brushes. I decided to pick five of my favorite colors: Glorious Gold, Cloud White, Honeydew, Coral Sunset, and Desert Turquoise. Decide how you’d like to paint your bowls and have fun creating designs to suit your elegant home decor! I made a geometric design, a two-tone color block design, one all white and one with several of the colors. You can get away with two coats but, some of mine were coated more to entirely make them opaque. 

Cement Trends | Cement Bowl with geometric pattern patio paint on it

The Patio Paint is easy to use, soap and water cleanup and dries quickly! I love it. I know I’ll be making more designs, creating more #decoartprojects and using the Patio Paints by Deco Art again soon! 

Concrete Trends |Small cement bowl painted with Patio Paints

The Patio Paint is versatile. You can thin it down by adding water to your brush. I first painted the bowl blue then painted the top edge of the bowl white. Next, I dampened my brush, pulled out a little water from the brush, reloaded the white and used a pull-down stroke to soften the turquoise.

I also painted the insides of each of the bowls with the Patio Paints around the shells with either the gold, white or turquoise. I could have left it plain but, it added a nice contrast to paint them. With the gold, I even painted over the shells and rocks to help them glisten as if they were still wet. By contrast, I painted the bowl below with white and just let the shells stay the natural colors. 

If you want to use your cement bowls for concrete planters use a bigger plastic container or plastic garden pot for your mold. You can even add stones to the mix to make a stone planter.

Need to add a hole in your planter? See this helpful post

 Concrete Trends |Cement Sea Shells Bowls DIY _ @2015 DearCreatives.comCement Bowl With Patio Paint DecoArtProjects

The Patio Paints can be easily painted on to get a sharp edge or line use an angle brush that has been dipped in water but, pull excess water out with your fingers. Hold your brush steady while pulling using a finger to balance your hand on the bowl. Stop in sections lifting up the brush as needed when rotating the bowl. Practice makes perfect. You can go over any mistakes by waiting for the paint to dry and adding a layer to cover the mistake. 

Have you ever wanted to make cement pots at home? 

Ways you can use Cement Bowls in your home decor

  • Holding sponges in the kitchen
  • Adding a candle to
  • Holding air plants
  • Use as a planter for succulents 
  • Make a mini-scene 
  • Holding jewelry such as rings
  • A key catcher by the door
  • Use for backyard decor with a citronella candle

Do you have questions? 

Feel free to ask any questions about the techniques used in the DIY concrete trends or the Patio Paint Project in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter and I will answer them for you.

  • Today’s post paint was supplied by DecoArt
  • The project, images, tutorial and 100% honest opinions are my own. I hope this inspires you to start your own concrete trends Patio Paint Project, pick up a paintbrush and get painting!

What would you make your cement bowls for?

Related DIY home decor 

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    1. Hi Donella, Thanks for dropping by and your lovely comment. Yes, great idea. We happen to be remodeling our master bathroom. Maybe a few for holding makeup too!

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