More on Cement Slabs Step by Step


A Simple pot using 1/2″ by 1/2″ hardware cloth, using tin snips I cut in 3 places and fold over creating an Armature

IMG_1919 IMG_1920I prefer to cut the Tulle into several pieces and then glue on the outer side of the Armature

lIMG_1921 IMG_1923 IMG_1924 IMG_1925 IMG_1926 IMG_1927 Using Quickrete Expanding Portland Cement sets in about 10 minutes hardens overniteIMG_1928 IMG_1929 IMG_1930 IMG_1931 IMG_1932 IMG_1934 Mix it well 3 minutes of stirringIMG_1935 Since I am covering a sphere shaped armiture I mix it wet and pour over

Inside is now ready for a layer of cement


IMG_1946IMG_1945To finish off I use a flexible tile grout over the layer on the outside of the pot. This grout can added in layers and hardens in 12 hours


IMG_1956I had some neglected Zelkovas I arranged them on 1/2″ by 1/2″ hardware cloth.

IMG_1957 Cut the hardware cloth to shape and created an Armiture

IMG_1969IMG_1968 Created this slab, did a few layers of Flexible tile grout on the edges drilled holes, airbrushed some semi-transparent stain and done takes about 4 to 5 days to construct waiting for things to dry and harden off.



So some new ideas that I have just done this winter

I wanted to make an accurate pot for a literati Mt Hemlock I have so I came up with an experiment.

I grabbed some aluminum wire went to my tree ( in a nursery pot) formed a rough circle with the wire around the tree. This gave me the general size of the pot I need.


I took some stainless steel wire measured the width of my new pot I also added the depth I wanted to the length of wire, double the length and folded it over. I then added it into a drill grabbed the other end with pliers and with the drill got a nice twist of the wire.



After making several of these wires I attached them to the frame





A little patchwork but I got to use up all my scraps of hardware cloth and now it’s time to glue on the tulle and add the the cement.



Having finished the one above I made several more slabs as seen below


Creating Textures

To create different textures like natural rock  depends on the the type of rock you would like to duplicate.

Decide the rock type you wish to duplicate; mainly Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic.

Sedimentary types are limestone, shale, sandstone etc.

Igneous types; basalts, granites etc these two types can be broken into their crystal size and if they were cooled slowly or quickly

Metamorphic marbles, slates gneiss etc.

Some sedimentary rocks are in layers like shales and sandstones to duplicate these I use the fine tile grouts and place thin layers. Wait till it dries and add another layer so on and so on. Look for the different natural colors. Sandstones have a gritty texture I add some coarse sand blasting grit to the grout mix different types of grits and colours are available. As they grout dries you can create layered textures with a sharp point nail just dig in the edges to separate.

Basalts or lavas I use a wet grout mix that flows and drips giving the lava flow effect if you.

I use different grout consistencies to help create different textures and different grouts depending on the sand content of each product. Using the Target grout I am able to use it runny or thick runny gives a smooth texture while thick gives a blocky rough texture. When you apply a second coat of grout the first coat has a tendency to suck up the moisture as you apply and stops it from running.

Experiment with different mixes, amounts of water, product and adding adjuncts.




8 thoughts on “More on Cement Slabs Step by Step

  1. Dude! Sick!

    Just found out about your blog after searching for needle cast solutions. Wow what a find! Thanks for the excellent detailed post on DIY cement pots! Very inspiring!

    What is the life cycle on cement pots? I’m assuming their very durable but is there any upkeep with algae or other growing on the exposed edges?

    Thanks again,

    • Cement pot life cycle? I don’t really know, they will outlive me for sure. Moss and algae will grow on the outside, I airbrush mine with an outdoor semi-transparent stain – same stuff for wood siding decks etc.

  2. Very nice work with the cement…..not to mention the bonsai as well. Just wanted to add (this post is probably very old, but due to the increasing popularity of the subject I will comment lol) that I have been having very good luck using fast-set all-Crete by high performance cement, which I believe is under parent company quick Crete and is widely available at big box stores. It is a non-shrinking high strength cement, although I do not think its polymer enhanced. I have also been using styrofoam as my mold, completely removing the use of a wire frame from my creations. The stuff is like kryptonite.

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