…………. SAVE you money! Oh yes it will and better still making concrete is easy. (Because I lay naked in my garden this post concerns the screen I made to stop people looking at my ass!)
Okay regular readers to this blog will already know the posts are varied, the themes eclectic well even for me today’s post ‘casting things from concrete’ is a little surreal and out there, but I thought someone may be interested and yes making your own ‘objects’ can save you money………… in fact what you can make is ONLY limited by the size of your imagination.
However if you live in a large Metropolitan City apartment complex such New York, err then you may have space issues?
A question! How much would you pay for a bird bath to go in the garden, a bath such as in the photos below? £30? Why not concrete cast your own for £2! What you’ll require is an old frying pan without handle, and an old washing up bowl. Place an open face down frying inside a washing up bowl, make sure it’s positioned in the middle and fill the washing up bowl with concrete, allow to set for 36 hours (no more), prize out the pan lid (carefully), invert the bowl and hey presto the bath should come out………………. and a the mould should always be made from wood or plastic but a frying pan should come out easy………….. read on!
A tip for you, wrap a sheet of kitchen cling film on the inside of the pan surface, and after setting the frying pan WILL come out easy leaving a fantastic finish. (Cling film will help with whatever you make 🙂 )
Or how about these concrete ‘stones’ cast with a hole in so you can insert screen poles, thereby keeping them upright, and note in the photos below I couldn’t push the screen’s poles into the ground anyway!! Why? Because the 5 concrete ‘stones’ are resting on loose rocks.
So I ask you, if you purchased 5 ‘stones with holes’ to support your rear garden screen, keep it upright and weighty enough to stop the wind blowing over, how much would you pay for 5? £60 or perhaps more!
Below are more photos of the supporting stones manufactured by myself but this time in close up!
…………. and now for several additional photos of my screen and note I know one pole looks as if it’s leaning and that’s because I haven’t cast the concrete ‘stone/stand/weight’ as of right now! Call the screen a work in progress.
And if you’ve been following my Blog posts recently then you’ll have worked out why a garden screen is required, I sunbathe naked (there is a post) and I’d rather not have people walking past looking at me through the gaps in my fence! 😀 I don’t mind but you know, children walk past so one has to be careful.
I hope this post is useful to someone reading because yes,
the reason for making objects from concrete is because I enjoy making things, it’s relatively straightforward and easy, and yes making whatever will save you money!
So you may be asking, what ingredients do I need if I wanted to make my own concrete?
Well I’ll try not to get tooo technical and use a baking a cake analogy instead, to make your own concrete you need cement also a sand/ballast mixture (photos below) both of which can be purchased in bag form from the local DIY centre.
Now if you wanted to make for example, ‘stone screen supports’ as I’ve shown in the photos above then you’ll need to purchase a cheap plastic bucket as I did in the photo below and for the eagle eyed reader, you’ll see the shape is very similar to the ‘stones’ that’s because I’ve poured the concrete mixture into the bucket, allowed to set and dry for 48 hours, inverted the bucket and out pops the stone EXACTLY as if you were making a Victoria sponge cake……………… there is NO difference whatsoever.
- The mixture ratio is 4:1 meaning 3 parts sand/ballast to 1 part cement.
- Measure out the sand/ballast and Portland cement onto a wooden board, mix thoroughly until the colour changes from sandy yellow to grey.
- The amount of ballast you’ll need for a screen ‘stone/stand/support’, is 10 trowelfuls of sand/ballast to 3 trowelfuls of grey Portland cement!
- Continue to mix with a trowel or spade adding a little water until the concrete begins to turn stiff………. like I said the process is NO different to making cakes!
A lengthy pause while I read through this post, I have the feeling I’m in danger of complicating the process, so if you’d like to see a video of me making concrete (a picture paints 1000 words so to speak) then write a comment below and I’ll make a video and share in a forthcoming post!
Finally and don’t think I’m being sexist, if you’re the proud owner of polished manicured finger nails then casting concrete perhaps isn’t for you………….. BUT I’m aware ladies are extremely practical and imaginative so perhaps give it a try, the first attempt maybe a disaster, but you’ll learn from the mistakes and a large bag of ballast will go a long way.
Below extracting the stone from the bucket 36hrs later.
A. Shepherdson 2018