Anyone can be creative with sand casting concrete. With a pile of wet sand, some cling film and a bucket of wet concrete, you can create many different items. Easy sand casting projects include bird baths and patio pavers or decorative and useful household items such as bowls and benches.
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A relatively simple sand casting cement project is a leaf-shaped birdbath. Large rhubarb or hosta leaves from your garden or landscape are used to mould a birdbath for your backyard birds. A pile of wet sand is the foundation for this project, onto which a leaf is placed upside down. Wet concrete is slathered onto the leaf and sand pile to form a large shallow bowl with a leaf impression on it for a nature-inspired receptacle for water. Set the birdbath on a concrete pillar, on a log or hang it from a tree with chain or rope.
Useful patio or garden stepping stones are made by pouring wet cement into wet sand forms. A cardboard box filled with wet sand scooped out into 2-inch deep square, rectangular, circular or free-form shapes are the basis for this simple project. The cement can be stamped, coloured with cement tint, decorated with crushed gravel, shells or glass marbles or left plain for a clean modern look.
You can make a large fruit bowl or a set of several different sized bowls using the sand casting concrete technique. This project uses a cardboard box or a wooden crate filled with wet sand scooped out into bowl shapes to fill with wet concrete. Push a small bowl into the centre of the scooped out, bowl-shaped wet sand to form a pedestal for the bowl or leave it smooth. You can be very creative with this project, making unique, one-of-a-kind bowls with thick or thin walls or with or without side handles. Sand cast cement bowls aren't dishwasher safe but are earthy, rustic looking decorative items.
A patio planter is another creative sand-cast concrete project. Using a deep cardboard box filled with wet sand and a small plastic garbage can, you can make a large patio planter. This project involves pouring wet concrete around the outside of the garbage can, which has been set within the excavated wet sand in a cardboard box. The concrete must dry for a couple of days before the cardboard box is peeled away and the sand removed, and then must cure for another week. This project can be repeated with different sizes and shapes of planters, using different sizes of plastic garbage cans.
A large or small concrete bench top is an easy weekend project. It's simple to pour into wet sand in a wooden frame made from two-by-fours. A concrete bench top set atop two large logs or tree stumps in the garden or atop a wooden frame with legs made yourself is a very practical way to make outside seating.
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- "Making Concrete Garden Ornaments"; Sherri Warner Hunter; 2002
- "Concrete Crafts: Making Modern Accessories for the Home and Garden"; Alan Wycheck; 2010
- "Concrete from Sand Molds: A Practical Treatise Explaining a Simple System of Molding Ornamental and Plain Concrete or "Cast Stone"' with Molds"; Albert Allison Houghton; 2010