Summer vibes only! Your plants can hit the road and see the sites in style in this vintage inspired concrete camper we made on HGTV Handmade. Summer vacation starts now!
The tutorial to this project is a bit confusing and long, but the mold you make for the planter is reusable, so you could make a traffic load of planters! Aaaand we have the whole tutorial on HGTV Handmade! It’s probably easier to understand when watching.
What You’ll Need:
Camper Mold Materials
Foam Board Adhesive
Heavy Duty Blade Knife
Cutting Mat and Ruler
Wood Dowel or Stirrer
60 and 220 Sandpaper
Cut insulation board pieces: Measure and draw out the walls of your mold- one base, one back and two sides. Use a round tin lid or bowl to create the curved edge of the back of the camper. Cut out pieces using a blade knife on top of a cutting mat. TIP: For a smooth cut of the insulation board, use a new blade and cut 3 times along the same line going deeper each cut.
Cut cardboard pieces: Cut a piece of cardboard to size and score horizontally to create flexibility to wrap along the curved backside. Cut out a small door and window and wrap with packaging tape.
Build and glue camper mold: Use the foam board adhesive to glue all insulation board sides of the mold together. Tape the scored piece of cardboard (scored side out) along the curved backside with the packaging tape. Use super glue to glue the door and window on the inside of the mold making sure the door is flush to the base. Let dry. Tip: Wrap mold with packing tape to hold together while drying.
Prepare concrete: Mix concrete according to package instructions. For best results use distilled water. Tip: Concrete can be messy, make sure you work in a well ventilated area with drop cloths.
Add concrete to mold: Spray the inside of mold with mineral oil and carefully pour concrete into the mold. Fill up halfway, then place tupperware in the center of the mold and continue pouring concrete until the mold is filled past the window and door. Lightly hit and tap mold on the floor a few times for an even leveled top and to prevent air bubbles. Let dry according to concrete instructions. Tip: Add something heavy inside the tupperware and use tape across the top to hold in place while drying.
Remove camper from mold: Once dry, squeeze out the tupperware, peel off the cardboard backside and slightly stretch out the insulation board sides until the camper wiggles out. Use your craft knife to help pull off the door and window. Tip: If the camper comes out easily, you can reuse the mold over and over.
Sand and wipe down: Use 60 grit sandpaper to sand down any large imperfections. Switch to 220 grit to smooth out the surface and wipe clean with a rag.
Paint camper: Give the camper a base coat with white acrylic paint and let dry. Add a line of painters tape around the bottom half of the planter and paint a pop of color. Tip: Peel off painters tape before the paint is fully dry to get the cleanest line.
Add decorative details: Have fun with this! Create embellishments with balsa wood, fabric and paint. Create a door, curtains and a license plate.
Lift and add wheels: Raise the back end of the camper by gluing a dowel underneath. Take off the wheels of a toy car and super glue them to each side.
Add plants: Fill the center with soil and add small potted plants. If using faux plants, cut a cube of floral foam to size and push the stems inside. Add small rocks on top and a flamingo miniature for a festive flourish. Tip: Shake rocks inside a zip top bag with acrylic paint to match your planter, let dry before adding.
Watch the full tutorial below!
Take a behind the scenes look at the process of pitching, creating and recreating the camper planter!
This is such a cute project and I love that you have fails too and that you’ve let us see them – makes me feel better about my own fails!
Here in the UK we have a very long running kids tv program called Blue Peter. Back in the day they were famous for their craft projects (think Tracy Island made from cereal boxes or a rocket ship from an empty washing up liquid bottle) They would always have a ‘and here’s one I prepared earlier’ version for when paint or glue was drying, I’m thinking you guys would make fabulous Blue Peter presenters!
We’ve never heard of that show, but we’re going to look it up for inspiration! We would LOVE to be a part of a children’s show! And we’d LOOOOVE to be in the UK!!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for all the love!