Oh decisions decisions, even when it comes to finishing our concrete! Let's take a close…
Summer delight! Putter around the garden and figure out where to plant your darling little green things that you so lovingly grew… Make some unique rustic concrete pots & planters that show off texture. There’s definitely a resurgence of concrete materials to accent the starkness of contemporary design. Wouldn’t these planters look great on a wood live edge table?! Add some painting effects that are super simple, and you’ve created a designer planter piece.
This tutorial is much the same as my Concrete Bowl one. It uses the same mix and most of the techniques. This Quikrete is available quite readily and is meant to be used less than 2″ thick. It does not contain gravel, so it works great for these uses as well as my stepping stones.
Slowly add water to the dry mix, and stir, stir, stir. You can add fibers as shown here or leave without. Since these are not that large they will be fine without. Larger ones need more reinforcement as we support it less when moving and carrying.
As with the other bowls, any containers that are somewhat tapered will work. I used large yogurt containers and some plastic cups in the centre. Spread Vaseline on the surfaces or spray with cooking spray. Fill the containers with the mixed concrete but DO NOT tap or vibrate. We are NOT trying to get rid of bubbles this time. This will give the stone texture we are looking to create. The key though is that the concrete was mixed well. As usual, let sit in a shaded area and mist with water during the curing stage. Once hardened, 24 hour or so, pull out of the molds. I soak mine for a couple days in a bucket of water to leach out any extra chemicals and further cure the concrete.
Once dry, it’s time to embellish and colour (your option). I like to create tensions of colour and material, so I really like the metallics. I use acrylic paints which adhere well to this rough surface. Concrete is porous to a degree, so acrylic is best to eliminate peeling since it has some breathing ability. You will also need a piece of sponge for some detailing.
I employed some of the tricks of other crafts such as Ukranian easter egg painting which employs the use of elastics to keep edges masked. It also allows you to curve the edges quite nicely. Masking tape can work but is a bit more temperamental to use since it’s harder to curve.
Paint the background/base colour first. Colours and tones that are lighter or darker than concrete work will to set it off nicely.
I added black and turquoise to ‘age’ the copper somewhat.
Once you are happy with the design and it is dry, pull off the elastics.
It is so easy since the texture makes anything look well done. There is no perfection in stones. Perhaps add multiple strips and create your own geological layers! Or tie some heavy rope or sisal, no skill needed.
A dark background works well too. It mimmicks the layers of stone in the earth’s crust.
You can use these outside or inside. If outdoors, do not let them freeze when full. You can allow drainage if you insert a dowel through the bowls/containers when pouring. I like to keep mine solid so I can use them on tables without spillage. Since they are small, the water evaporates quickly anyways.
You will start to look at your recycle bin much differently. If you need to create some gifts, these are great and very inexpensive to make. Add some succulent propagating and you’ll save tons!
Ok, I admit, I couldn’t stop myself… and made quite a bunch. They could also be used for candles, or any storage.
Simple design, mother nature inspired, but easier than making a cake! Wait! You could use cake pans…