We’ve discussed concrete projects which are large-scale. But what about smaller concrete projects? Projects that not only challenge the skill of working with concrete, but are also economical. Take anything: a clock for instance, is usually made of plastic, metal, or, possibly, wood. But just how cool is a concrete clock; a centerpiece of design that tells time. You’ll just need a mold for the clock—the mold can be anything from a cutout in foam to wood boards—and pour the concrete. Once the concrete dries, add the hardware, and you have a very modern piece of furniture. Smaller-scale concrete projects are good for the family: great building project for kids—with adult supervision.
For a smaller-scale project in detail, let’s talk about bird baths. A Bird Bath is a centerpiece in a garden or yard. It’s a beautiful addition architecturally, with the natural concrete aging with a fine patina out in the elements, but it’s also a unique experience to watch all species of birds, land atop the bird feeder and drink, splash, and play. To start, you obviously need concrete, a bucket for mixing it—6-10-gallon bucket will be enough for the amount of concrete needed for the project—a cement trowel, and some type of lubricant—petroleum jelly works well. The form for the bowl can be anything you have in the house—a large bowl works well (the bowl should be the intended size of the bird bath, and don’t use anything you plan on reusing) and you’ll also need a medium bowl that’s just slightly smaller than the large bowl. Rub the lubricant over the large bowl and the medium bowl and place the medium bowl within the large bowl. Fill the gap between the medium bowl and the large bowl, and trowel the sides flat. Allow the concrete to set for a few hours—follow the manufacturer’s instructions for time needed for a good cure. Remove the medium bowl from the large bowl, and use a wire brush to scrape away loose concrete. Use a water-seal on the surfaces of the concrete and allow to sit for the required time per the manufacturer of the water-sealing project—most likely twenty-four hours will suffice. When it’s dried the bird bath is complete! If you would like to build some type of stand for the bowl, use a trash can that’s approximately the size of the stand, and repeat—lubricate, pour, trowel, cure, spray.
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