If you are just getting your feet wet with concrete crafts and are ready to start your first project, it’s not always easy knowing which projects are good for beginners. I’ve put together a list of projects that are perfect to try as your first project.
When deciding which projects would be easiest for beginners, I chose ones that didn’t contain multi-level steps and used easy-to-find, or easy-to-make molds.
Some of the tutorials have steps where pigments were added, but that step can be skipped if you prefer and you’ll still come out with a beautiful concrete crafts piece.
These beginner tutorial projects aren’t necessarily fail-proof, as most things aren’t, but they come pretty close.
Pocket Guide to Concrete & Cement Mixes For Crafts
Three Things a Beginner Should Know That Will Help Make Your Concrete Crafts Project Turn Out a Success
The Importance of the Type of Concrete/Cement Mix You Use
FYI– I specify in each tutorial what the brand of mix I used and have linked to it for your reference. It will be in the materials list.
The concrete/cement mixes I use are smooth and easy to work with. This is helpful because they can get into small spaces easily. And the ones I use I have found to be resistant to cracking.
Just note, I usually use a rapid setting mix which requires mixing and casting the mix somewhat quickly.
You can use cold water to slow down the working time, also known as setting time (about 20 minutes– which will be plenty of time for these projects).
The rapid setting mix I usually use also cures in about an hour. The cure time for most mixes will be about 24 hours.
If you can’t find the particular mix I’m using in your local area, then your next best bet will be using a portland cement and sand mix.
Each of these concrete projects listed below for beginners can be made using a ratio of 3:1 of portland cement to sand or a 2:1 ratio.
Portland cement is the most versatile concrete mix. The reason is because in addition to sand, it can also it can be combined with gravel for handling larger projects. It’s also widely available and can be found in most countries.
If you do use a different type of mix than what I have specified, then be sure to read the instructions on the label for how long the set time and cure time are.
Look for a mix that doesn’t contain gravel. Other than portland cement, most mixes in the US come premixed so you do not, and should not add sand.
You can find more in depth information about concrete mixes in this article.
The Importance of the Having the Right Consistency of the Concrete Mixture
In each tutorial, I describe what the consistency of the mix should look/feel like.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact measurement or ratio of how much concrete mix or how much water to use because this varies greatly based on humidity, temperature and type of mix.
It’s like baking, it’s the thickness of the “batter” that matters. So read what consistency I have written is needed in the tutorial directions, as well as have shown in the photo, and try to match that.
The Importance In Allowing For The Full Concrete Curing Time
Make sure, as mentioned above, to read the label for the time needed before you can remove the concrete from the mold. You must let the concrete cure for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer.
If you remove it early, you risk cracking the concrete. The longer it sits, the more strength it gains. You can read more about why concrete cracks.
Also, here’s a tip, when the concrete is curing, do not place it in the sun or where it’s windy. This will cause it to cure too quickly and the concrete will contract, thus cracking it.
Try to keep it somewhere that it can sit at room temperature (if possible).
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Basic Craft Supplies For Concrete Crafts Projects For Beginners
- Bag of cement mix
- Plastic containers
- Plastic cup
- Disposable gloves
- Dust mask
- Safety glasses
- Sanding block (for rough edges)
- Cooking spray
The best material to use for if you want to repurpose your own molds is smooth plastic like plastic bottles or any disposable plastic container. Smooth textured molds will result in a smooth finish.
If you are interested in adding color to any of the concrete projects that don’t already have them added, this article about concrete pigments may be beneficial.
Additionally, you can find all my informational cement crafts tips articles here.
Here are some other cool DIY concrete crafts you can look into making once you have a good grip on the basic techniques:
- Concrete bookends
- DIY concrete vases
- Concrete drawer pull
- Cement fridge magnets
- Leather and concrete door stopper
- Concrete clock
- DIY concrete bowl
And larger DIY concrete projects like:
- Bucket stool that doubles as a concrete side table
- Large planters
- Concrete coffee table
- Hypertufa trough planter
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