Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Concrete Candle Holder

I thought I’d start the Pinterest Battle off with a personal challenge. I rarely do poured mold items. I love sculpture, but rarely actually do them. I wanted to get over some of my fear and develop a new skill a bit. Concrete seems pretty approachable, after all.

I was directly (P)inspired by these concrete candle sticks. Once I practice a little more, I aim to add textures, like this leaf imprint. I absolutely want to get to where I can confidently make some weird shapes. This is absolutely a craft where practice makes perfect.

I got some Quikrete. I chose the brand mostly just because it came in an easy to carry little bucket. They make all sorts of types from patch, to spackle, to quick-set concrete. Make sure you actually get concrete as spackle is crumbly.


Something you need to know about me, I love math problems. I thought I was being all smart, basing the amount of mass (concrete) I would need by filling the mold with water and measuring the water. I then based my concrete to water mix on that. My particular concrete mix was 5.5 concrete:1 water. My first attempt (Edit: pictured at the end) required 2 cups of concrete (mixed). So, I went to the board – this is how my mind works:

Concrete conversion

Lesson Learned: 2 cups of dry concrete powder, mixed with water – reduces in mass by about half. So, if you need 2 cups of mixed concrete, start with about 4 cups of dry concrete powder. ALSO – when pouring a mold like this you will want to add about 30-40% more liquid to the mix. It will take longer to set, but you’ll actually be able to pour it and work with it.

(Lesson I’m not learning right now: I’m not sure if I should be saying Mass or Volume. I’m going with Mass. It feels right.)

Once I mixed up the concrete, I poured it into a Tupperware bin that was sprayed with regular cooking oil. I then pressed some tea lights into it, as well as some glass votive candles. These were also sprayed with cooking oil first, to ensure they didn’t fuse with the concrete. To dress it up a bit, I pressed glass into the concrete (not sprayed).

Make your own concrete candle holder

After a couple of hours, when the concrete did not move when poked, I removed the glass votives and tea lights to allow for even drying.

Make your own concrete candle holder

The concrete will take a couple more days to fully cure, but I removed it from the mold this morning to get the final shot. It had been in the mold for about 48 hours. It holds together and I give it an A for effort. It’s not really my style, but it was a great first (technically second) try. I will be playing with concrete again. I MADE STONE!

Make your own concrete candle holder

Edit: So, we took the first concrete attempt out of the mold last night. I had thought that I made the walls way too thin and it would crumble. As it turns out, I didn't and I love this one! It was made with a quart sized soup takeout container and a large plastic cup. I covered the plastic cup with saran wrap, which I don't recommend at all since it fused into the concrete. Other than that, it's super neat looking. 

Make your own concrete planter
All Hail, Attempt No. 1!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I may just have to call this...WINNER!!!