Look What I Made for My Yard from Concrete-Garden Statues
Concrete for my Garden
Look what I make out of concrete-garden statues for my backyard. I have been experimenting with ready-mix concrete and decided to make some decorations for my yard this summer. I wanted concrete but didn't want to spend the money. My house has been a work in progress for the last couple of years. We lost our home in hurricane Katrina and now have a home which was previously owned by an elderly couple. The home was not damaged in the storm so it seemed like the perfect choice to begin our new life. As you can imagine the house had not been decorated since the early 70's and we have worked on it since moving it to make it fit our style.
This summer is the time to make concrete décor. We now have very little left to do inside the house, so we have started working on the outside. The storm had damaged the wood fence that surrounded the backyard and when we moved in we repaired it the best we could. There was a hurricane last summer and the old fence was damaged beyond any more make-shift repairs. So board by board we worked to replace the worn fence. It has really improved the appearance of the yard. It inspired us to plant many flowers, trees and a clover and wildflower lawn. It looks great!
Now I finally have time to make some decorative planters and masks. The first thing I did was pour walkway form in an English tile pattern from the back door of the house to the backyard. After it was complete and set, I used some exterior paint in terra cotta to give is color. Then I used some black craft paint diluted with water in a spray bottle to age the look. Afterwards, I painted clear UV sealer paint to give the concrete walkway a gloss and keep it from fading in the sun. I don't know if UV sealer is used in other parts of the country, but it is a popular choice in the deep south,
Next I am going to show you what else I made out of concrete. You will see how easy it is to do. If you can mix cake mix you can mix ready mix concrete. I purchased several different types of molds, faces, sculptures, and a large concrete ball that I plan to cover in mosaic glass that I cut from my stained glass scrap. Molds are very inexpensive and ready-mix concrete only cost a couple of dollars for a 50 pound sack.
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How to Pour Concrete
Pouring the Mold for a Sphere - It's easier than you think!
Once the concrete is mixed into a smooth consistency, it is time to pour it into the mold. I purchased a large sphere mold, which I set on top of an old cap from mayonnaise to hold it in place. After spraying the mold with PAM, I scooped the concrete mix with a shovel and carefully poured it into the mold. As I did this I used my battery operated sander without the paper on it to vibrate out any bubble which had formed in the mixture. I placed the sander on the side of the mold and watched until the bubble rose to the surface, Another method to release the bubbles if to gently lift the mold an tap it on the ground.
Fill the mold to the top mark and allow it to cure, making sure that it remains level. This will prevent lopsided surfaces. Once the mold has set, carefully release the mold and voila you have your concrete sculpture or patio stones. READ the direction on the bag of concrete for the exact time needed before removing the form. There are several different types of ready-mix concrete some set faster than others.
Once the first half of the mold was complete, I poured the 2nd side. The two halves of the sphere are then glued to on another with either mastic or mortar cement. There are some Youtube videos posted below to show you the step by step process I watched them before I attempted my concrete project they were very helpful and help clear-up the questions I had about concrete molds.
NOTE: After pulling these from their molds, I rubbed premixed mastic to fill air bubble holes for a smooth finish. Spray painted metallic bronze and used green and metallic copper acrylic craft paint on the tips of my fingers to highlight raised area for an aged effect. My final coat was concrete sealer, on the dog I used clear spray paint over the top of the acrylic paint. He has been out there for 7 months with no effects from the weather.
The sphere mold after the concrete is smoothed out and level.
2 Halves of a sphere glued together with Mastic, you can also use Mortar.
Learn the step by step process
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This is my favorite concrete mold it is the same one I used to make my walkway. It can be used to create patios, courtyards, and terraces and it is easy to use. It requires an 80 pound bag of ready-mix concrete. I like to purchase two 40 pound bags, since the are easier for me to handle. You simply mix the concrete with water than. fill mold, smooth or texture the surface, and remove mold. It only takes about 5 minutes to create a 2' x 2' section. The form is immediately remove and another section can be poured from the same form.
Fill this mold with ready-mix concrete for a beautiful patio or walkway.