DIY Planter Boxes


Photography by: Ryan Liebe

A square planter filled with sweet-potato vines makes a beautiful base for this Japanese maple tree. Fiberglass planter (similar to shown),

A few years ago, decorating director Kevin Sharkey and I visited with renowned restorer of historical houses Richard Jenrette at his fabulous American Federal home, Edgewater, on the banks of the Hudson River in New York. Outdoors, on the gracious columned porch, we saw what we thought were massive sandstone planters. Neither of us had seen such pots in a light-sand color before, and we questioned our host about the source of such urns. Richard laughed and told us to try to lift the planters, which we did, and we moved them with ease. We then were instructed in the process of making them, and neither Kevin nor I could wait to try it ourselves.


Photography by: Jonny Valiant

After a bit of experimentation, we mastered the how-to method, and we started “sanding” all sorts of lightweight fiberglass urns, pots, statuary, and planters—each piece looked great. When you try this fun technique for yourself, start by choosing a sand that will look good in or around your home—sand is sold in different colors, and the grains and colors can be mixed and textured, if you wish. The paint color you use should match closely.


Photography by: Ryan Liebe

I applaud thriftiness, particularly when it is used in an artistic and value-added way. This method for transforming inexpensive, lightweight objects is an example of just that, and well worth the effort.

How to Make Sand Pots