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.
Buy Great Concrete Décor Guide Here on Amazon
Learn the latest technique for statue, plaques, planter and more and save money and achieve high quality decorations.
Some Tips for Mixing Concrete - This is EASY EASY EASY!
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.
Euro Concrete Form Personal Review - Buy it Now, it's easy to use.
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.
My walkway sprayed painted terra cotta, spritzed with black paint and sealed with clear concrete sealer
Pouring rubber Molds
I purchased 3 molds from e-bay for the price of 1 statue at this flea market.
If you like a Coastal Theme try making a Pelican
My Tiki face brushed with cedar color UV sealer.
A planter elegant and easy to make with less than 1 bag of concrete. Not bad at $2.58.
I painted this dog with craft paint and used concrete sealer. He looks like my dog, sometimes I think it Scooter
Buddha face painted black-dry brushed green ready to be hung. I put a wire loop, in back before it set.
Tiki Border-I'm going to use it as edging
Another one of my molded creations a Buddha face
Heart Shaped Patio blocks for around the trees to hold mulch in place (Super Easy)
Here's a tricky one MY NEW GARGOYLE-Not for beginners!
Your Opinion is Important - Please leave comment about this lens.
Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on November 07, 2018:
I simply loved it. Never thought concrete would be so much fun to work with. Awesome work at decorating the garden Cynthia.
Mink72 on July 07, 2016:
Love the ideas will give it a try awesome . Pray all go well with your home I know it's going to be beautiful
poetryman6969 on February 27, 2015:
I like the sphere. Now I see how it's done.
Cynthia Haltom (author) from Diamondhead on February 14, 2015:
Ebay is where I get mine.
firstname.lastname@example.org on January 29, 2015:
where can I buy molds?
kittyhappykitty on June 15, 2014:
I cannot wait until I have the space to work on my concrete molds! I am very much looking forward to getting dirty and making some incredible long-lasting art! Thank you so much for teaching me new tricks! You make me happy!
Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on June 02, 2014:
norma-holt on April 20, 2014:
Very enterprising of you to make all of those things. Glad to see that you have recovered from Katrina. We watched its devastating progress with horror here in Australia. Well done.
visit2goa on March 03, 2014:
very nice, but you should write about creating their moldings casting is easy thing hope you ll write one.. looking straight to you..
RinchenChodron on March 01, 2014:
You did a nice job. The dog does look great! I have a friend who has done some concrete molds and painting. Great way to save some money! Congrats on your LOTD.
Tanya Jones from Texas USA on February 28, 2014:
I do pottery, so this would be an easy offshoot of that interest. Your tiki god statue reminds me of the easter island statues.
AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on February 28, 2014:
Very creative ideas. Great lens.
sheriangell on February 28, 2014:
Big Congrats on LotD! You have so many cool ideas featured here!
SteveKaye on February 28, 2014:
I enjoyed reading the clear directions. Your yard must have an amazing collection of beautiful art works.
DebMartin on February 28, 2014:
Congratulations on your LotD. You are very talented.
Tom Maybrier on February 28, 2014:
These look fantastic and I can't believe how cheap they are! Great lens!
John Dyhouse from UK on February 28, 2014:
Something I have never thought about for my garden but it looks amazing - I gotta take a closer look at this technique
anonymous on February 28, 2014:
Very cool outdoor decorating ideas. Congratulations on getting LotD!
Delia on February 28, 2014:
Back again to Congratulate you on the LOTD! Well done :-)
AlyshaHaeems on February 28, 2014:
Very cool and interesting!
Donna Cook on February 28, 2014:
OMG-Fabulous lens! I would never have though it would be that "easy" to make my own molds! I need walkway pieces and am going to make them my self. It's going to change my yard completely. Thank you thank you!
dahlia369 on February 28, 2014:
Impressive work, thank you for sharing, and congrats on LOTD!! :)
trevorjb1406 on February 28, 2014:
Very good lens with some fun ideas. Many thanks for making it.
Art Inspired on February 28, 2014:
Congratulations on your lens of the day!
Wow what an inspiration! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas and projects.
Make it a creative day!
Carol Houle from Montreal on February 28, 2014:
Wish I could make a concrete bird bath. My expensive new "resin" bath started cracking and crumbling after just 4 months. My previous bath was cast iron and metal and lasted 10+ years. My mom's cement bath lasted 30+ years.
LSJ-88 on February 28, 2014:
You are really talented!
Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on February 28, 2014:
I loved the ideas presented here, I had actually never thought about concrete garden ornaments as décor. I wonder if they would take the heavy frosts of Canadian winters? I really liked the dog ornament. Great lens and well worth the LOTD.
manuela2915 on February 28, 2014:
Wow that amazing work, congrats!
GrammieOlivia on February 28, 2014:
Great Lens and great ideas! I think I will be pouring some cement sooner than later........thanks for your inspiration and instructions.
tonyleather on February 28, 2014:
Sorry to be a negative voice here, but I think such hideous things genuinely detract from the beauty of a garden, and I would certainly never want them in mine!
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on February 28, 2014:
Stopping back by to celebrate with you. Congrats on LotD!
PaynesGrey on February 28, 2014:
Fantastic work, you have made some lovely items. Great Lens
angelatvs on February 27, 2014:
Congrats on LOTD, this lens has been a favorite of mine for awhile!
Niagara Ghosts on February 27, 2014:
What an inspirational lens. I tried pouring pathway steps once but was impatient and messed it up. This makes me want to try try again!
IanTease on February 20, 2014:
Really interesting lens. Particularly like the idea of a paper less sander to vibrate the air out, would never have thought of that.
Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on January 24, 2014:
Wow, impressive work! It never would have occurred to me to try to make them myself. Great idea though. Nice!
caossquidoo on January 24, 2014:
that's a hands-n work! Congrats on the results They look amazing. You are an artist :)
Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on January 13, 2014:
This is very nice stuff. I should try my hand at these things soon.
nonya222 on January 07, 2014:
I have to send this lens to my friend who will LOVE IT! She is my garden freak and your ideas will have her going crazy.
jmchaconne on December 06, 2013:
What a great lens. You have given me some great ideas. I am in the process of creating a water feature, and you are correct, it is a lot easier than one might think. I wrote a lens about my project called hydrogen-isnt-just-a-bomb, which I will update when I get to the landscaping. It's a very similar process. Thank you for dropping in on my lenses.
Linda Hahn from California on November 24, 2013:
Wow, I love that concrete ball.
Rose Jones on November 09, 2013:
I have returned to this cool lens - I think I could really use your techniques to beautify my yard.
MirandaGrimm on October 28, 2013:
This is so cool! I could see my imagination going wild with this one as it seems the possibilities could be endless! I would imagine making things like your own landscaping bricks would be a huge money saver!!
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on October 26, 2013:
You have provided me with some fantastic ideas and examples. I would love to try this. You have made some really exceptional garden pieces. Love them! Now you can be the seller. :-)
Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on October 25, 2013:
The tiki face is perfect.....love it especially!
Giovanna from UK on October 12, 2013:
I love your Buddah and Tiki face. Great stuff - things like this cost a fortune to buy ready made. I'm trying to make a beautiful back yard with zero budget, or very little money - it's amazing how creative you can be when you can't just go out and buy something. Thanks for this lens you have inspired me.
Marianne Gardner from Pacific NW, USA on October 08, 2013:
I like garden art. My favorite of your photos is your planter. It turned out really nice. Looks like a fun hobby.
NoProblemmo on September 17, 2013:
Who would say concrete and art can do so well together? Thanks for the inspiration!
FrancesWrites on September 16, 2013:
Like Artyfax, I had never thought of creating my own garden décor items. I really like the results you got from that walkway mould.
John Dyhouse from UK on September 14, 2013:
Never though of creating my own statues/garden décor items, I will be looking for moulds now to try it out
tahirmahmood on September 12, 2013:
Congratulations Great looking
ghoststorylover on September 07, 2013:
We used to have adorable concrete hippo stepping stones. You're quiz was fun! :) Loved the dog.
Stanley Green from Czech Republic on September 05, 2013:
These statues are very unique and I really love them.
PippiDust on September 02, 2013:
I love your concrete garden statues and décor. And it looks so easy to make them, I have to try.
mina009 on August 28, 2013:
Great looking creations.
gamingprotips on August 17, 2013:
My Grandfather likes to carve things like this out of granite. Your way seems much simpler!
anonymous on August 15, 2013:
Great piece of work and I am actually planning to purchase a.......
blue22d on August 08, 2013:
Love your lens. I didn't do badly on the test - love statues and gargoyles.
rubiduong on August 04, 2013:
My favorite one is the statue of Scooter. I'd love to try making something for my garden.
LeroySmith1 on August 02, 2013:
Wow. These are amazing. I can't believe that you can make these in your backyard! They look so professional and just like what you'd see at a high-end garden shop for big $$$.
Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on July 27, 2013:
This is fascinating.
dperry1 on July 24, 2013:
Wonderful and informative lens! I am going to try this it looks like a lot of fun! Thank you so much for sharing.
sbconcepts on July 23, 2013:
Awesome! I never thought about making my own statuary, that is a great idea. I always love window shopping at local garden shops but it's hard to take the plunge with some of the prices, so this is a wonderful alternative. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips!
Mamabyrd from West Texas on July 21, 2013:
Love it!! I'm actually planning to purchase a concrete mold in the next couple of months. My backyard is in terrible shape. I'm not exactly sure what we are going to do with it but I'm going to start with a concrete path. Fabulous page!
journey103 from USA on July 21, 2013:
These are amazing. What a great talent you have and it's nice that you can save so much money on these garden items. Really fun lens!
Rose Jones on July 20, 2013:
I am so, so impressed! Pinned to my boards "Crafts I love" and "How does your garden grow."
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2013:
My favorite one is the statue of Scooter. I'd love to try making something for my garden. Great lens!
NoYouAreNot on July 13, 2013:
Your garden must look great!
Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on July 12, 2013:
There is a concrete statuary place not far from me. Some of their stuff goes for hundreds of dollars. Yours looks like it would fit right in! Most impressive!!!
anonymous on July 11, 2013:
This is one of the reasons why I like this website...I find ideas that I never would have thought of. I am so going to try this. These are really beautiful.
SecondHandJoe LM on July 11, 2013:
This lens has just pushed me over the edge... No more putting it off! I'm buying the walkmaker you reviewed and finishing the side garden. Nice job!
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on July 10, 2013:
who would say concrete can be so great media for artists? Well done!
ArtbyMAR on July 06, 2013:
Wow! Gave me lots of ideas for my yard. Amazed I can cheaply make my own vs. buying statues.
Tom McHugh from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA on July 05, 2013:
Nice lens! Thanks for sharing this interesting topic. I've got to try some of these ideas in our garden.
jpmny999 on July 04, 2013:
marktplaatsshop on July 04, 2013:
I love your gargoyle, thanks for sharing this very nice lens
randomthings lm on July 03, 2013:
Excellent! LOVE statues in the yard.
TanoCalvenoa on July 01, 2013:
What a great idea, hopefully I'll be able to try it someday.
lionmom100 on June 25, 2013:
Katyusha on June 23, 2013:
Great lens and project. I have to take some time and do it for myself.
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on June 23, 2013:
We have a couple of small concrete pieces but we didn't make them.
KimGiancaterino on June 23, 2013:
We'll be doing some concrete projects in our yard soon, so I really appreciate your expert tips. I would love to make some large planters to trim an archway.
Bercton1 on June 21, 2013:
brilliant art work using concrete.
Bercton1 on June 21, 2013:
brilliant art work using concrete.
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on June 20, 2013:
Really amazing work and very informational lens for anyone who want to do the same. Nothing like having stuff that was made by yourself or you added your own personal touch to.
hkhollands on June 19, 2013:
Hello from the U.P. Thank you for liking my first lens, and I'm happy that it led me here. I am so excited to try this; you make it sound easy and fun. For starters, I would like to make leaf-shaped birdbaths and give them as gifts to friends. WIsh me luck!
Kay Rennie from Melbourne on June 19, 2013:
Such fun. Really imaginative use of a very basic material.
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on June 16, 2013:
I love these concrete garden sculptures. There is an island that I like to walk around here in Southern California, and many of the homes have garden sculptures in their yards. I love looking at them.
KitchenMagik on June 15, 2013:
Really enjoyed your lens and love your Bhudda head.
Melissa Miotke from Arizona on June 13, 2013:
Wow these are so cool. We've spent quite a bit of money on garden ornaments. I'd love to be able to make my own!
anonymous on June 13, 2013:
Love the gargoyle garden statue, nicely done.
happynutritionist on June 09, 2013:
Amazing work! And I peeked at your profile...congratulations on your retirement...a teacher will have many things to teach us...including how to make things out of concrete:-)
cdevries on June 09, 2013:
What a great idea! How difficult would it be to create the mold too?
sue826 lm on June 09, 2013:
Looks like a lot of work but they are amazing.
anonymous on June 08, 2013:
Amazing work. And it looks like fun.
Dancing Cowgirl Design from Texas on June 08, 2013:
WOW. You did a really neat job with the concrete!
Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on June 07, 2013:
Some amazing work here.
gregxavier on June 04, 2013:
shewins on June 04, 2013:
It looks like a wonderful DIY project. Love it.
Ddharma on June 03, 2013:
thanks for the ideas. bit.ly/11zUrVT