The Fake Cement Boxes that You Can Easily DIY

If you love cement DIY projects, then here’s one more idea to try this weekend: how to DIY fake cement boxes using old bath towels.

Some people avoid using cement in their DIY projects, as it seems hard or too dirty to handle. If you are one of those people, then you should definitely read this article, and you might change your mind.

If you already love cement DIY projects, then here’s one more idea to try this weekend: how to DIY fake cement boxes using old bath towels.

What You Need for This Project

Here’s the list of materials for this project:

  • old bath towels (look for those with a specific texture)
  • cement and water in equal parts (Portland cement or something similar would work)
  • an old spoon and a recipient for mixing the cement
  • plastic gloves for hands protection
  • scissors, needle and thread
  • water based paint (2 colors), paintbrush and a sponge
  • plastic bottle or plastic can for shaping and drying the boxes

The towels may have different sizes, the purpose is to have enough fabric to shape a box or two out of them.

How to Taylor the Boxes

The boxes that you are about to build are actually fabric boxes soaked in cement, which means that you need to tailor fabric recipients first. Before cutting the fabric into shapes, measure them and decide over the size based on how big the plastic can / plastic bottle is, as you are going to use it for shaping and drying the cement box. Make sure to cut the pieces of fabric a bit longer, so the box would be a bit larger than the plastic can/ plastic bottle. It will help you a lot during process! Briefly, you should have two pieces of fabric for each box – a square for the bottom and a rectangle for the laterals. For sewing the pieces into a box, bring together the corners a and a, then b and b, and sew from point a to point b.  Then you clip the laterals with the bottom, and fix the parts so the points with the same letter would match. Sew on the edge and the fabric box is done!

How to Build the Cement Boxes

First, you need to get rid of the seams, and turn the towels into raw fabric. Then cut the towels in pieces and tailor the fabric box as I’ve already told you above. Be sure to make the fabric boxes a bit larger so you would easily handle them during process. Make a test and dress the plastic recipients with the fabric boxes, to see you would see how they fit.

The next step is preparing the mixture, but here’s one trick that would make your project easier. The towels are usually made to absorb liquids so keep this in mind, and soak the towels in clean water first, then squeeze them firmly. Be sure that there’s no water left to drip from them; they just have to be wet, so the water from the cement mixture wouldn’t be completely sucked while the cement is left aside. Mix the cement and water in equal parts and soak the fabric in it. Add cement to water bit by bit, and mix it firmly to avoid bubbles, till you get a mixture that looks like a grey cream. Once your towels are wet and squeezed, dip them in the mixture and make sure that the cement penetrates the fabric all over it. Get the fabric box out of the mixture, dress up the plastic can or the bottle and let it dry. Choose a well ventilated place, and wait for at least 24 hours before pulling the can out of the cemented box. Additional time for drying might be needed after removing the plastic can, so leave the boxes aside for one more day. You might keep these cement boxes as they are – plain grey – if you love industrial design, but painting them would be a better idea. Paint would also work as a sealant, so having a protective coat would make them more resistant. Use a water based paint as a base, then apply a second coat with a sponge, for an antique effect.

What do you think about the result? These boxes look like fabric boxes, or old fabric bags that turned into stone. You might think they are heavy, but they aren’t. I turned my cement boxes into pots, but they can also be used for storing different items. Would you do anything different with this project? Share your thoughts in a comment below and remember: sharing is caring, so let your friends know about this awesome idea!

6 comments
  1. For the person wanting to make a large planter use a tomatoes cage it should work fine plus give it a really cool texture/design

  2. I am wondering if I could do this using multiple towels so that it’s large and create a big planter for outside ? am I too ambitious? could there be problems with this being so large like a tub like

    1. Crafting such a big planter is not impossible, I guess, if you find a way to keep the planter steady while drying to prevent cracking. The towels are flexible while wet, and they need good ventilation and warmth for the cement to dry. Drying is the most difficult part for a big planter, so you would need a support that would keep your planter steady and allow ventilation on both sides of the planter. I am thinking of a tub size chicken wire cage, for example, that you would ”dress” with your planter, then wait for the cement to dry. There might be better ideas instead of the chicken wire cage, but you got the idea.
      As for being to ambitious, that’s the best thing one can do, in my opinion. Humankind needs ambitious people so we could evolve! Never lose that thing, will you? Good luck! 🙂

  3. This rough texture would look great with my old rock farmhouse! Thank you for the step by step directions. Pinning -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. So cute and really fantastic DIY project. You can also find some idea on Dearlives.com. Hope you like it.

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