As I shared when I wrote about my diamond cement push pins last week, I have been wanting to play with cement for a long time. However, I was also pretty nervous as it seemed much more hardcore than most of the crafts that I do (which mostly involve gluing stuff or looping yarn around stuff).
So I was excited to find this mold (affiliate link – read our policies) which I could use for a pretty easy and entry-level project. The mold is actually intended to make shot glasses out of ice, but I thought could be used to make a set of cute little cement bud vases.
Cement is actually pretty toxic and dangerous! Breathing it in is harmful, the dust can irritate your eyes, and prolonged contact with the wet cement mix can burn your skin.
To be extra safe, I wore a respirator, goggles, and nitrile gloves.
Those are exactly the sort of pictures of me I want floating around the internet, by the way.
As I did with the push pins, I used Quikrete Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement for this project, which is great for impatient people and craft projects because it dries very quickly. This is more expensive than regular cement sand, but at about $8 for 10 lbs it is still cheap enough not to matter to me. When I start mass producing this stuff and selling it at an insanely high profit margin I’ll go for the cheap stuff and deal with the extra drying time.
With cement, the set-up and clean-up are totally the hardest part, and actually doing the project was very easy. I just mixed up the cement in small batches, making it slightly more liquid-y than the package called for so it would be easier to fill the molds.
I carefully poured it into the molds, jiggling the sides to help it fill in and break up air bubble.
Since these would be sitting flat eventually, I used an old paint stirrer to smooth the top into a pseudo-flat surface.
I made four, and then let them sit for about an hour (because it was fast-drying cement) before popping them out of the molds to check them out.
Awesome! This was the fun part. It is so fun to see the strange cement gunk turn into a real object.
Don’t they look cool? To think, they were just strange (and slightly toxic) dust just hours before.
I decided to make three of them into a set of vases. I let them sit in my scary garage for a couple days to be sure that they were absolutely dry, and then brought them upstairs to paint.
To complement the modern shape, I decided to paint three stripes of varying heights on each. I started by taping off the first two stripes (one along the bottom, and one a tape-width up), and then carefully filling these in with white craft paint.
I had some trouble getting the tape to form a tight seal on the cement, so I painted with a downward motion to avoid leakage under the edge. The stripes came out nice and sharp.
Next, I taped off a third stripe on each, in the middle of the two white stripes.
I then filled these in with black, yellow, and turquoise (channeling Sage). After the paint had dried, I coated them with a cement sealer to protect the craft paint and avoid water leaking into the cement.
…and of course I had to go get flowers to celebrate my amazing new bud vases!
I love the way the stripes turned out! They’re fresh against the dark and dingy cement.
Working with shot glasses, I was worried that the flower arrangements wouldn’t feel substantial. But I was able to fit a lot in there.
These are just the right size to brighten up any space. Filling these only used about 1/3 of a small bouquet from the grocery store, but they can have a big impact. The cement base makes them feel more substantial, too.
I had a ton of fun with this easy project, and am definitely more comfortable working with cement now. I can’t wait to take on more ambitious projects!
(Sharing at Link Party Palooza, Tip Me Tuesday, Two Uses Tuesday, One Project at a Time, Think and Make Thursday, AKA Design, Remodelaholic, That DIY Party, Your Turn to Shine Link Party, Friday Favorites, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Inspire me Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin Junkie Pin Party, and Thrifty Decor Chick – And Featured at Tatertots and Jello)