Ready-mixed concrete isn't just for paving driveways or garage floors. You can use this versatile substance to create a multitude of creative, personalized projects that are fun and attractive conversation pieces. Here are 4 interesting DIY projects you can do with ready-mixed concrete.
1. Concrete Hand Planters
Cradle your succulents or flowers in a pair of cement hands for a unique look. Simply pour ready-mixed concrete into a pair of large latex gloves, taking care to squeeze the air out of the fingers and make sure that the concrete fills every part of the glove. While the concrete is still somewhat malleable, set them in a bowl or arrange them on a pile of rocks in the way you would like them to dry -- usually slightly curved and appearing as though they will be "cradling" the object you place inside. When the cement dries, cut the latex off and fill with your favorite plants!
2. DIY Fire Pit
Create your very own fire pit quickly and easily using only ready-mixed concrete, fire resistant rocks, two disposable bowls (one slightly smaller than the other), a grill grate, and a few cans of gel fuel. Start by pouring the wet concrete inside the largest bowl, taking care to coat the sides of the bowl as opposed to filling the middle. Place the smaller bowl inside the larger bowl filled with concrete and press down, creating a sizable depression in the concrete. Once the concrete is dry, remove the bowls and sand the concrete bowl with a coarse sandpaper to get a smoother finish. Place the gel fuel cans inside, top with the grill grate, and then top with the rocks of your choice. Light and enjoy!
3. Outdoor Candle Holders
Do you love the idea of having a candlelit dinner outdoors during the summer but don't want to bring out any of your nice indoor candle holders? Fashion some simple cement candle holders that can withstand even the toughest outdoor conditions with just a few simple items. Grab some taper candles that you can throw away and some small cups (single-serve coffee cups are great, and this project is an excellent way to reuse them instead of just throwing them away). Fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full with ready-mixed concrete and place the taper candle inside while the concrete is still wet. Allow to dry and cut the cup off of the concrete. Remove the taper candle and voila! Instant candle holders for your outdoor table. Sand down with a coarse sandpaper to create a smooth look and paint with your chosen color of latex paint for a personalized look. Or, you can leave it rough and natural looking!
4. Concrete Monograms
Display your initials in your garden or at the front of your house by mixing up some fast concrete monograms. Trace the monogram of your choice (block letters are easiest) onto a piece of poster board. Grab a few cardboard boxes and cut out sections to fit your monogram, standing the cardboard up on its edge along your trace. Tape the pieces together so you have a 3D mold of your monogram. Pour ready-mixed concrete in the mold, let dry and remove the cardboard when complete. Display as is, or paint with latex paint for a pop of color.
Ready-mixed concrete isn't just for industrial work -- you can be as crafty as you want with it, and by using your creativity, you can come up with dozens of DIY concrete projects that will give your home a personalized touch that is different from anything you can find in stores. Check out a company like Hanover Concrete Company to get ready-mixed concrete for your next project.