Concrete is something that we all see in our daily lives as the literal building blocks of our society, able to hold hundreds of tons and hundreds of people high up in the air without any care in the world. Because of its immense strength and durability not many people can see concrete as something beautiful and ready to be moulded and crafted into delicate shapes and artworks. This article will shed some light on concrete mixers and how you can use them to liven up every part of your house without breaking the bank.
Concrete can be moulded and crafted into many different shapes fairly easily and affordably, but then that doesn’t mean you should be doing everything by hand. Mixing the aggregates together for concrete by hand can be extremely tiring and time consuming and eventually make you not want to carry on with your project at all. This is where concrete mixers will come in extremely handy, they can be bought, rented or borrowed if you have some really good friends in the construction industry and they will turn hours of mixing and measuring into minutes of spinning so you can focus on what you are creating.
A concrete mixer may seem too large and frankly quite scary to be used for something like small crafting at home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. By making use of a rented mixer, that the company can even bring to your house, saving you the trouble, you can bring your crafts to the next level and finally fill up your empty garden or start sharing your creations with friends and family. Whether you make use of large machinery, the possibilities of concrete itself are only limited by the time and effort that you can put behind it.
Concrete mixers: Making a Stool
We will start with one of the most useful and easiest ways to bring life to your home with concrete sculptures, making a stool out of concrete. To do this you will need your concrete aggregates, a large bucket and the legs that you would like to use for your final stool. If you are making use of concrete mixers you can actually get multiple buckets and create an entire set of stools in one go to save time and money.
First you need to read the instructions for your specific concrete mix that you have gotten, speak to the employees at your local hardware store and try to get the best cement mix for your purposes, you’ll want it to be sturdy but also smooth so the seating is comfortable. Put the aggregates into the concrete mixers in the correct ratios and let it begin combining. Once it has properly combined you can then pour the concrete into your bucket or buckets.
This will obviously be the size of your stool seat so you may want to measure the height beforehand and mark it on the inside of your bucket. Once you have filled concrete up to the line you have made you can then begin inserting your stool legs into the desired positions and trying to get them to stand up, you may need to use string or wires to hold them in place if the concrete is still too viscous. Make sure that all the legs are at the same height before the concrete begins drying otherwise you will always have a stool that can’t keep its own balance.
Concrete Mixers: Cake Stand With the Kids
One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your children is how to reuse and not be wasteful with the things that they buy and own. A concrete cake stand is a small and easy project that you can do with your children to show that everything has uses if you look hard enough and think a little bit out of the box. Using a small amount (or any leftovers from another project) of concrete you first need to fill a cake pan and let that dry, this will form the top of your stand. Next you must send your children off to find some plastic or other type of disposable glass, you can then use this to create the sturdy stem of your cake stand and use it to display all your confectionary treats.
Concrete Mixers: Concrete Bowl
I obviously don’t need to explain how useful bowls are as they were one of the first tools that humans ever created and used. Early humans made bowls out of clay which made them light, easy to use and cheap to make, but did you know that you can just as easily make a large serving bowl out of concrete? Concrete is obviously much heavier than clay so a small bowl would be quite cumbersome to use every day, but if you create a large serving bowl specifically to be used for outside dinners and lunches or even as a special planter you have created yourself it will last you much longer than any clay counterpart, as well as being a great conversation starter.
First, like in the other two creations you will need to decide on the right type of cement, ratios of aggregates and whether or not to make use of concrete mixers to either save on time or make a large quantity in one go. For your mould you can use pretty much any ceramic or plastic bowl or any other shapes you can find, just make sure you can get your finished product out when you’re done. A good way to ease the concrete from the mould without damaging anything is to put a light film of normal spray and cook into your mould before you begin pouring, some real heavy duty baking!
If you want your new bowls or planters to really stand out you can also consider using some colourings in your mixture. Speak to the employees at your local hardware store about liquid cement colours and what they have available and what they believe would best suit the concrete you are using. If you are making many bowls or planters make sure that the colour is spread evenly throughout the mixture to avoid some having different colours to others.
Some other smaller things you will need are a thin, long stick to poke the concrete while it is drying and curing to remove any air bubbles that can cause cracks. A large wooden spoon that you won’t use again for cooking will help you move the concrete inside your mould and smooth out the edges. Finally you should always wear gloves and proper eye protection when working with concrete and concrete mixers to avoid any injuries from either dust particles or rocks coming out of the machine.
Concrete Mixers: Coasters and Bracelets
Using a small, square mould you can easily create lots of little concrete coasters to keep your tables and countertops streak free. You simply follow the method stated above for bowls but use a much smaller mould, remember to use spray and cook otherwise it will be very difficult to remove your coaster without damaging it. If you have leftover concrete and don’t need any more coasters for your home, you can mould the excess into a loop just using your hands, once this loop has set correctly and cured you are now the proud owner of a concrete bracelet that you made yourself.
Concrete Mixers: Giant Letters And Numbers
This is another one that is really fun to do with your children and can really bring life to a room or garden, using concrete and moulds to create giant letters or numbers. This will be much cheaper than anything you can buy from an outdoor store and will last you much longer. You can use them as numbers outside your house so that visitors get lost again, you can spell out your children’s initials and put it in their rooms as side-tables or chairs and you could even stick the family’s name across the front of the house if you were so inclined.
Like many of our other projects, the first thing you will need to do is create a suitable mould for your letter or number. This is trickier than the others as these types of moulds will not be readily available and you will most likely need to create your own, you could use wood or even a strong board depending on the concrete you are using. Remember to use spray and cook and then slowly pour the concrete into each of the moulds you have created, remembering to remove any air bubbles before it can begin drying.
Leave your concrete in the moulds for about 2 days depending on the size, larger moulds taking longer to dry obviously, and then carefully peel away the mould rather than trying to remove the concrete letter. Not only will this be easier but it will also prevent you from damaging any long parts of your letter making it unrecognisable. If you used a wooden frame you will need to remove the nails or screws, if you used board you can simply peel it away.
Take your kids to the local hardware store and let them pick out a concrete ready paint in their favourite colour for them to paint their new furniture/sculpture. Always remember to get gloves and masks that fit them properly to avoid breathing in any harmful fumes from the paint or receiving any harmful reactions from any chemicals they may get on their hands.
Concrete Mixers: Concrete Desk
This one may seem simple, and that’s because it really is, making an elegant and sturdy concrete desk top. Measuring and woodworking skills will be necessary here, so don’t undertake this unless you have experience or the help of someone who does. First you need to measure out and cut some wooden stands for your desk to sit on, concrete is obviously quite heavy so be sure to use sturdy wood.
You need to put the pieces together to form 4 upside-down V’s, you then need to drill in 2 pieces of wood flat down connecting two of the V’s together, these will create structure for your desk. For extra stability, you can connect more pieces on the side of this to give the desk a set length. You then need to follow the instructions stated above and pour out a simple and quite thin slab to form the top of your desk.
If you have connected other supports to the wooden base you need to measure this slab carefully so that it fits correctly. If you have not attached more support you have a bit more freedom, but make sure to keep it thin to ensure the weight remains manageable. You can now put your desk in with all your other creations and work on it with pride.