Concrete Crafts to Keep You Busy
If you are going to have some spare time on your hands during the holidays, here are some concrete crafts to keep you busy.
If you are planning on taking some much-needed vacation time during the holidays and are going to have some spare time on your hands, here are some concrete crafts to keep you busy and also to make practical or decorative items for your home.
Working with cement, sand and stone for concrete projects is a very satisfying way to spend your spare time, weekends off, or free time during the holidays. Using an affordable bag of cement and some sharp sand lets you create all types of different items that can be used in and around the home.
MAKE CONCRETE SPHERES OR PLANTERS FOR THE GARDEN
A recent trend is to make concrete garden spheres for decoration in the garden. These are easy to make using a plastic ball and covering this with a 5mm thick layer of cement mix. If you prefer to make a concrete garden sphere as a planter, fill the inside of the ball with concrete and peel away the plastic layer just before curing. Then you can scoop out some of the concrete to make space for your plants.
Put on your creative cap and think about items you may already have at home that you can use as a mould to cast concrete items, similar to the rubber glove idea shown below. For this one all you need is a pair of rubber gloves and cement in a runny consistency. Pour the cement into the gloves and pose as you want the hands to look once finished.
A DIY variation of the concrete garden sphere is to crack the concrete coating after it has cured around a ball and to turn this into a unique water feature or small pond for the garden. I have also seen something similar filled with candles to illuminate the garden at night - eye-catching if you are having an outdoor celebration or special event.
Working with cement to sculpt or form concrete items is a very satisfying craft. Being able to turn a pile of mush into a solid structure that can ensure for a lifetime is unlike any other craft project. Add to that the cost of a bag of concrete and how many items you can make, it really is an affordable way to create lasting items. The only downside from my point of view is the time that you have to wait for the cement to cure into hard concrete. But that'll overcome once you see the final completed project.
MAKE A CONCRETE FIREPIT OR TABLETOP FIRE BOWL
When you want to set the perfect mood for outdoor entertaining with friends or family, a large fire pit or small tabletop fire bowl is just the thing. Either one is very easy to make and then you can fill with pebbles, volcanic or chips of granite rock and a canister of gel fuel to set the perfect atmosphere for outdoors.
Find a couple of steel or plastic bowls, one larger than the other, and of the size you want for your fire pit or fire bowls. Follow the pictorial step-by-step below to make this a quick and easy project. Remember to add chicken wire to give the bowl strength. The concrete needs to set for 5 to 7 days and requires misting with a hose if the weather is very hot.
There are plenty of ways to modify this design to create other outdoor accessories and furniture pieces, such as this outdoor bar table with built-in drinks cooler. This would be so cool next to a swimming pool or on an entertainment area for evening cocktails outdoors.
MAKE PAPER TOWEL OR TOILET ROLL HOLDER
If you feel overwhelmed by a large concrete project, start off with something small like this paper towel or toilet roll holder. It will let you become accustomed to working with concrete and mixing it correctly.
You don't need much to make this toilet roll or paper towel holder, just a pine dowel and a form or cast for the base of the holder. A very inexpensive way to craft practical home accessories.
MAKE A CONCRETE BENCH, DINING TABLE OR SOFA FOR GARDEN
Believe it or not, making a concrete table, seat or bench is probably one of the easiest concrete projects you can do yourself. A 40kg bag costs around R45 each and you will need around 2 to 3 bags for a basic bench. That works out at R135 for all the concrete to make a bench. If you look at larger projects that require more bagged cement, you can still save a fortune by making your own concrete furniture.
It starts by making a form or mould to cast the pieces that are assembled to make the individual pieces, casting the cement mix into the form or mould, waiting 5 to 7 days and then removing the form or mould to assemble the concrete pieces. The hardest part of the job is making the forms, which in itself is quite an easy project. You can buy Shutterply (cheap plywood) at any Builders store and use this to make the forms. Find a simple DIY project for casting a concrete bench here.
Using the same methods as mentioned above you can design and create your own dining table and benches, seating for the garden, or even a comfortable concrete sofa for your outdoor entertainment area. Using concrete for the majority of the pieces lets you cut down or cut out the amount of timber you would need, and which we all know can be expensive these days.