Concrete isn’t just for footpaths and driveways. If used properly it can be decorative, creative and an innovative touch to your home and garden. Once you know the basics concrete is pretty easy to use and you’ll be wowing visitors with your crafts in no time. The only limit is your imagination! In this blog, we are sharing our favourite DIY concrete crafts and how to start safely working creatively with concrete.
Concrete is a versatile and creative material, however, if it isn’t handled properly it can leave you a little worse for wear. Before you start working with concrete make sure you take care of your safety. This includes:
- Long sleeved top
- Full-length pants
- Closed toed shoes
- A mask
We recommend that you wear a mask because inhaling cement dust is toxic. While small doses won’t harm you too much you are better off taking the safety measure, as repeated exposure will lead to lung disease. Do not let the mixture touch your skin as it can cause irritation and even chemical burn. If you do get concrete on your skin just gently wash it off with clean water and then run water over it for twenty or so minutes to neutralise the chemicals.
How to mix cement
The general rule when it comes to mixing concrete is to use one part cement, two parts sand and three parts small stones A.K.A aggregate. When it comes to adding water you only need to add a small amount until it turns into a smooth paste like peanut butter. When you mix the concrete make sure you are folding the mixture over like you are mixing a cake, so the moisture is evenly distributed.
Don’t settle for a plain old plastic pot when you can easily make a stylish cement pot. The main thing you need for these cute concrete planters is one big container and a smaller container. You can make pretty much any shaped planter, all you need the right kind of container. Once the concrete has dried you have a blank canvas you to let your creative juices flow. The examples shown here are the popular geometric design with is simple, clean and easy to do. Read the step-by-step instructions here.
It’s the finishing touches that can really add an element of elegance to your home. Concrete coasters are a perfect addition to your décor as they are part ornamental and part functional. The best thing about them: they are really easy to make. In no time you will be experimenting and creating something mind-blowing cement art. For simple, neat round coasters you can follow these instructions. For hexagon shaped coasters use these easy to follow instructions. For more decorative coasters you can use these instructions. Once you get the hang of making cement coasters you get the freedom to create something truly unique.
Don’t be fooled, making a stool with a concrete seat is easier than it sounds. This cool seat is perfect for garden seating or as a side table. If you don’t mind putting the time in to make it, a cement stool is cheap to make. For the step-by-step guide head over to Homemade Modern.
Cement bookends and weights
Concrete is a heavy material and is perfect for paperweights and bookends. Because these are so many ways to mould and harden concrete there are so many possibilities. Go down to your local two-dollar shop or supermarket and check out what kind of chocolate and baking moulds there are. You could be making little cement hearts, made from latex moulds, to keep your letters in place. There are plenty of different kinds of DIY concrete but this cool geometric bookend shouldn’t be overlooked.
Hand blown cement candleholders
The image above is from Buzzfeed and creates more of a smooth egg shape. There are a few ways to do this. If you are looking for more of a circular shape then this video is for you. With gold paint on the inside, these candles will create a nice ambience in your home. You can also adapt the instructions to make a bowl for your keys or a unique planter for your succulents.
A Better Driveway is your friendly concrete experts and can help you with any concrete service you may need. If you have queries or you simply want to learn more, contact one of our friendly staff members at (03) 9308 6112.