Make cement cloth planters. Approximately a water/cement ratio. Add drainage holes in the planter before it completely hardens to prevent cracking. You may also want to apply a couple coats of cement sealer after the planter is dry.
What a neat and simple idea for a pattern! tie string tightly around a block of wood, dip lightly in ink and press to the paper using different, alternating directions. This will give you a "basket weave" effect when you're done.