Concrete brings to mind buildings and roads and other heavy uses. You might not know it, but concrete can be used to make some delightful backyard or garden decorations. It’s cheap, durable, waterproof and can be painted in any color you choose, according to the craft. You can make birdbaths, multi-colored toadstools, planters, and, if you’re the artistic type, you can also make beautiful garden sculptures. Save money by making unique garden ornaments from concrete. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
Make mushrooms of all sizes and colors using concrete. Make the top portion first, attach it to the lower half and then paint it in different colors. Let the paint layer dry and add some white dots to create your own polka dotted mushrooms.
For outdoor lighting which looks great, you can make small holders for tea lights, which are very convenient and pretty too. You can combine these holders with planters to make them stand out even more.
Stepping stones for your garden path
Planter made using molding
The simplest concrete craft is making a mold from repurposed items or you can improvise the mold. For example, cardboard boxes, food containers or reclaimed wood molds can help to make your planter. Poke holes for drainage when your concrete is moist, as you will not be able to do that when the concrete hardens.
Garden orbs are in vogue, but are expensive if you go to buy them from home decoration stores. You can make your own garden orb using a sphere shaped glass container as a mold. You can buy a glass sphere at a garage sale, dollar store or thrift shop. Once the concrete sets, you can break the mold and reuse the pieces of glass, or leave the glass bowl in place.
Make a glitzy stool
Use a bucket and some sturdy branches which are even in length to be the legs of the stool. You can use marble dust, shells etc to add some glitz to your stool.
How to mix concrete for your garden projects
Before making the concrete ornaments, you have to mix light gravel, cement and water to get concrete. As the size of your ornaments is small, you have to mix the correct amount carefully, which means you have to work out the exact ratio of gravel, sand, cement and then add water slowly, so that you get concrete which has a smooth consistency. Once your mixture is formed, pour it into the mold to get the object you want to make.
There shouldn’t be any air bubbles in the concrete mixture you made, so, to get rid of air bubbles, you have to tap the mold. Shake it gently/slowly to remove air bubbles and keep pouring the concrete out. Any concrete mold takes 24-48 hours to set.
How do you make the molds for concrete garden décor objects
Both latex and polyurethane rubbers are used to create the casting molds for concrete objects. Latex is the more preferred material as it lasts for decades without losing the mold’s details, and also because it is abrasion resistant. However, polyurethane rubber takes less time to form a mold, but it more expensive. Latex molds need more than fifteen applications to get a mold surface of 1/8 inch whereas polyurethane might need only 3 layers for 1/8 inch. Apart from these two materials, aluminum and PVC plastic are also used to make mold. Though, if you want to go green, avoid all these synthetic materials, especially plastic.
If you don’t want to make your own molds, you can buy some premade garden/backyard ornament molds. These molds are available in all shapes and sizes and numerous designs, from which you can choose to make planters, birdbaths etc for your garden.
Making concrete décor items for your backyard or garden is a great idea as they can complement and enhance your landscaped garden, and transform your outdoors into a beautiful place.