Concrete is cheap, easy to mix, and versatile – the perfect combination for DIY projects! Add some flare to your home or on your patio with these cool, quick projects we think you will enjoy:
- This DIY from Homemade Modern looks great and durable for such a low cost!
- Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix
- 1 ¼” Diameter Wooden Dowel 48″ long
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Copper Pipe Caps and Washers
- Clean Tap Water
- Cut the 48” dowel into three pieces 16” long each.
- Make sure the bucket is clean and dry. Open up the concrete and scoop 3 inches of concrete mix into the bucket.
- Add some water and start mixing. Be careful not to over water the concrete or it will crumble. Thoroughly mix so that every grain of the mix is wet. It should be the consistency of cookie dough.
- Shake and tap the bucket to bring the bubbles to the surface (mixed concrete has air bubbles trapped inside).
- Once the concrete has settled, place the legs in the bucket. Stick the legs about 1 ½” past the surface of the concrete and let them rest against the sides of the bucket.
- Bend the sides of the bucket outwards a few times in each direction to loosen the concrete; then pull the stool out by the legs.
- The concrete has not yet fully hardened and is pretty easy to work with. 120 grit sand paper can be used to smooth the edges.
- Optional: dip dye the legs using white semi-gloss low VOC house paint and a cut-off plastic water bottle.
- Optional: if your legs don’t quite line up simply put more washers in the caps that go on the shorter legs. Construction adhesive can be used to keep the pipe caps on the dowels.
(See instructions and full article at HomeMade Modern)
This DIY concrete bowl is versatile both indoors or outdoors!
- Flexible rubbery bucket (Walmart – $5)
- Plastic bowl (for shaping inside of bowl) (Walmart – $2)
- Canola oil and paper towel
- Gloves (rubber)
- Container for mixing
- Stir stick
- 60 lb bag cement mix
- Prepare a gallon of water – you’ll use it in a bit.
- Using the paper towel, coat inside of rubbery bucket with canola oil. Coat inside and outside of plastic bowl with canola oil (this ensures easy removal from the molds at the end).
- Put on your gloves.
- Dump bag of cement powder into wheel barrow.
- Follow the directions on the bag of cement and slowly add water.
- Begin mixing, adding more water as needed.
- Once you have a workable consistency, scoop mixture into your flexible bucket until you have several inches of concrete.
- Place the plastic bowl in the center of the bucket and fill with more of the mixture.
- Work the plastic bowl into the concrete already in the bucket. The weight of the concrete in the bowl will help create the indentation.
(See instructions and full article at A Daily Something)
This Instructable will show you how to make a concrete door stop using a piece of 2″ thick insulating foam. You’ll print out a template, trace it onto foam, cut it out, glue it down to a base board, and then fill it with concrete. Piece of cake!
- 3/4″ Melamine-coated particle board or other water-proof baseboard (plastic sheet, plywood sealed with packing tape, etc.)
- Insulating Foam / Styrofoam 2″ thick
- Spray Adhesive (3M 77)
- CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula Mix
- Sakrete 5000+ Concrete Mix (or similar)
- Jig Saw
- Sandpaper (120, 220 grit)
- Bucket / Wheelbarrow
- Shovel / Trowel
- Particle Mask
- Rubber Gloves
- Diamond Hand Sanding Pads (optional)
- Print out the Template
- Cut out the template with scissors.
- Trace around the template on the foam with a permanent marker.
- Gently clamp the foam over the edge of a work table.
- Drill a hole so the blade of the jig saw has a place to start.
- Cut out the negative space first, like the middle part of the letter O and the P. Cutting them out first will be easier and safer than trying to do it later.
- Then cut out the rest of the letters, following the traced lines. Leave some room so you can sand it to the exact size.
- After the shape is cut out, sand the inside of the foam by hand with 120 or 220 grit sandpaper. The smoother you can sand it, the smoother the sides of the finished concrete piece will be.
- Place the foam on the base board and trace around the inside and outside with a pencil.
- Put the negative spaces in place, like the center of the O and P. Trace around them.
- Spray one side of the foam with spray adhesive, hold the can at least 12″ away from the foam because the aerosol can melt the foam. You can also use silicone caulk, which will provide a better seal against bleed out, but takes a few hours to cure.
- Use the pencil lines as a guide and press the foam down firmly to the base board. To get the best seal, follow the instructions on the spray adhesive and spray a little bit of foam on the base board too.
- The spray adhesive and silicone will leave some texture on the concrete unless you clean it off the base board with denatured alcohol.
- Add the dry materials to the bucket (Concrete Mix and any Pigment or Admixtures like CHENG Pro-Formula).
- Blend the dry materials together until the color is consistent. Break apart any clumps of concrete or throw them out.
- Add 3/4 of the recommended water to the mix.
- Scrape around the walls and the bottom of the bucket with a trowel.
- Gradually add the remaining water.
- Take a handful of concrete and drop it into the form, being careful about damaging
- the foam.
- Work the concrete into the corners and fill it to the top.
- Vibrate the form using drop compaction (pick up one side of the base board a few inches and repeatedly drop it to help the air bubbles rise to the surface).
- Top off the form with concrete and smooth the top flat with a trowel, always being careful about the foam.
- Cover the concrete with plastic to keep the humidity inside while the piece cures. It should cure somewhere in the shade, never in freezing weather or direct sunlight.
- Slide the piece sideways to break the seal to the base board.
- Break the foam away with your hands and a plastic putty knife.
- Try not to gouge the concrete or bend the piece because it can break at the thinner points.
- Scrub away the foam left on the surface with a bristle brush or an old tooth brush. You could dissolve any residue with denatured alcohol or acetone but it’s not necessary.
- Sand any rough edges with diamond hand pads.
(See full instructions at Instructables)
- Quikrete Commercial Grade Countertop Mix in White and Grey
- Plastic or Glass Bottles with Caps
- Pens, Candles or Test Tubes
- RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
- Husky 7″ Diagonal Pliers
- Husky Box Cutter
- Cut the bottle. It is easiest to fill the bottles from a large hole, so cut off the bottom of the plastic bottles. Glass bottles need to have a wide mouth to be filled from the top.
- Drill a hole in the caps of the bottles that will tightly accommodate a pen, candle or test tube.
- Mix the Concrete and Fill the Bottles
- Make sure the bottles are clean and then place them in a stationary position where they can be filled without falling over. Mix the concrete and spoon it into the bottles. Make sure you push the wet concrete down into the bottle. Tap and vibrate the full bottles to bring air bubbles to the surface. I used 2 different colors of Quikrete to get different shades of grey.
- Remove the Bottles
- For plastic bottles, let the concrete cure at least 24 hours before gently cutting away the plastic with a box cutter and diagonal pliers. The concrete is not fully cured and the vases are a little fragile, which is good because you can scrape the bottom of the vases flat if need be. Vases cast in glass need to have the bottles broken off around them. I recommend waiting 4-5 days to let the concrete cure before breaking the glass with light taps from a hammer.
- Remove the Inner Part of the Mold
- If you used a plastic pen or candle for the inner part of the mold, I recommend applying heat before removing it. I had a few vases break as I tried to remove the pens. For the tests tubes, I just used diagonal pliers to crush them into fragments that could be poured out.
(See full instructions at Homemade Modern)
- Concrete mix
- Hollow cardboard letter
- Box cutter
- Plastic spoons (2)
- Plastic bowls (2)
- Cement color
- Lay letter face down and cut out the top side for the mold.
- Remove the cardboard filler inside, and use a piece to divide the letter mold in half diagonally.
- In one bowl, mix the concrete wearing gloves and a breathing mask.
- In the other bowl, mix a bowl of concrete with concrete color.
- Pack concrete into all edges and corners of the mold with fingertips.
- Remove the divider and use your spoon to blend the colors together, firmly.
- Let sit for 24 hours before cutting away the cardboard mold.
(See more at Wit & Whistle)
- Quikrete Commercial Grade Countertop Mix in White and Grey
- Styrofoam Packaging
- Box Cutter
- Clean the Styrofoam and pour some water in it to check for leaks. If you’re pouring a big piece, use duct tape to bind the the Styrofoam to keep it from breaking from the weight of the concrete.
- Mix and Pour the Concrete. Make sure you thoroughly vibrate and shake all the air bubbles out of the wet concrete.
- Let the concrete cure at least 48 hours before cutting and breaking away the Styrofoam and removing the mold.
(See full instructions at Homemade Modern)
- Cement Mix
- Plastic bucket
- Measuring cup
- Stir stick
- Wire whisk
- Plastic mold
- Canola oil
- Paper towels
- Drop cloth
- Spread out the drop cloth, then gather all your supplies and place them on it; once you mix your concrete, you’ll want to work quickly since it is fast drying.
- Lightly coat the inside of the plastic mold with canola oil to prevent the concrete from sticking.
- Mix concrete in plastic bucket; use about a 4-1 ratio of cement mix to water. First pour water into the bucket, then slowly add cement mixture while constantly stirring. You may want to start with a paint stir stick, then transition to a wire whisk to smooth out the lumps. The less water you use, the stronger your concrete will be (but you want to use enough water so that the mixture pours easily, and drys smooth).
- After mixture is completely smooth, pour into plastic mold. Place on a level surface and allow to set for an hour.
- After your concrete is dry, turn mold upside down and the board should just slide out. Be careful to catch the board! If necessary, sand edges of board with fine sandpaper.
(See full article at A Daily Something)
- Concrete mix
- One extra-large bowl for exterior mold (ours was 17″ diameter)
- One large bowl for interior mold (ours was 15″ diameter)
- Non-stick cooking spray, or vegetable oil and paint brush
- Large bucket
- Medium-duty masonry trowel
- Dust mask
- Safety glasses
- Plastic or reusable drop cloth
- Heavy objects such as exercise weights (or you can use the rocks below)
- Gel fireplace fuel canisters
- Replacement grill grate (ours was 14 1/2″ diameter)
- Fire safe decorative stones
1. Once you’re all prepped, spray your molds with non-stick spray. This will help release the concrete once it’s dry. A thin, even layer over the inside of the outer mold/outside of the inner mold will do.
2. Mix up your concrete in large bucket. Add a little water at a time until the mix formed a thick, cookie batter-like consistency.
3. Use the trowel to add the concrete mix to the outer mold. Fill it about half full, then check the inner mold to see how high the concrete comes up to the side. It’s okay to take the inner mold in and out a few times, just make sure you don’t lose all your non-stick spray. (You can wipe it clean and reapply). A friend or extra pair of hands is helpful here. Then, use weights or rocks to keep it in place. Some things to watch out for:
- As you place the inner mold, make sure that it’s centered so your bowl will have an even thickness all the way around
- Keep the lips of the bowls coplanar for an even, symmetrical finished product
- Adjust the weights so that you have the biggest inner bowl as possible while keeping the structure thick enough to be strong. You’ll want to be sure that there’s enough space on the inside to place your gel canisters beneath the lip of the bowl.
4. Shake the air bubbles out of the cement. You can use something with a motor to vibrate the bowl to remove any air bubbles inside the mold. Allow the concrete to cure according to the package directions. (48 hours-ish)
5. When your concrete has cured, carefully remove it from the mold. Lightly tap with a rubber mallet, first removing the inner bowl, then freeing the outer. It’s solid at this point, so don’t be afraid, but do be careful since it’s quite heavy.
6. Use a coarse sanding pad (60-80 grit) to clean up the top lip, and give everything a nice rounded profile. Wear your safety glasses, gloves, and dust mask!
7. Take it outside, and place the gel fuel canisters inside.
8. Place the grill grate in the bowl. We used a 14.5″ bottom grate (for the charcoal, not the cooking surface) for a Weber kettle grill. It rested perfectly about 1/2″ from the surface of my 15″ internal diameter bowl. If you can’t find one, you can cut a larger one to size with a hacksaw or grinder, or create your own from hardware cloth or steel mesh.
9. Cover the grate with a layer of rocks.
10. Light it up!
(See full instructions by Man Made DIY)