Conquer your DIY projects with solid concrete

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: DecorDesign

You’ve made furniture out of tree stumps and wind chimes from buttons, bottle caps and old tin cans. You are the queen (or king) of Pinterest projects, and you’ve DIYed your way to decorative splendor with just about every material imaginable. What’s left if you want to take your interior and exterior decorating projects up a notch? One word: concrete.

“Concrete is an exciting, creativity-inspiring design material,” said Fu-Tung Cheng, president of CHENG Concrete.

Cheng partnered with concrete products maker Sakrete to create a new type of concrete, ShapeCrete, that puts the full creative power of the material in the hands of virtually any DIYer.

Here are some projects to liven up the interior and exterior of your home:

• Create a doorstop that will make visitors stop and stare. A 3/4-inch piece of Melamine-coated particleboard, 2-inch thick piece of insulating foam or Styrofoam, some spray adhesive, a cutting tool and ShapeCrete are all you need to create an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind doorstop. Simply print out or draw the word “STOP” in large, bold letters, transfer to the foam, cut it out to create a mold, and pour the ShapeCrete into the mold.

• Concrete planters can be expensive if you buy them from a home and garden store. Making your own not only saves you money, but also allows you to unleash your creativity and make planters in a variety of sizes, shapes and even colors. All you need to start are some plastic planters in the size of your choice. Add water to the concrete powder to achieve a clay-like consistency and press the concrete into the container to create the form.

• Turn a large, fresh leaf into a one-of-a-kind dish. Simply create a bed of sand on a piece of cardboard or sheet of plastic, cover the sand with a plastic bag to keep the grains from sticking to the leaf, and lay the leaf on top of the plastic with the vein side up. Mix the concrete to a clay-like consistency and begin packing it onto the leaf, starting at the center and working your way out.

During the mixing process, you can add color to the concrete. You’ll have 30 to 60 minutes of working time before the concrete begins to harden, and it will completely cure after 24 hours.