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45 Easy-to-Make Gifts and Accessories
Concrete is in. And no wonder: it's inexpensive, durable, and makes unique, stunning pieces with which to decorate your home. With just a bag of ready-mixed concrete, water and a few utensils and moulds you can find around the house, you can create beautiful, minimalist items in no time at all; from clocks, vases, lampshades and bowls through to jewellery, wine coolers and desk organisers.
Each project is equipped with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and tips, and all can be made with very little know-how - making it a perfect craft for beginner concrete artisans, as well as the more experienced mason.
A perfect mix of power, presence and practicality, bring concrete into your home today and discover a new-found love for this often overlooked but remarkable building material.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Like me you probably associate concrete with the building industry and large scale, outdoor projects. But it can also be used for making many smaller items from planters to necklaces. Here's how...
I had no idea that concrete was "in" as a craft medium or that you could buy it in small quantities. I was also surprised to read that it wasn't difficult to mix in a bucket, was suitable for small indoor projects or had so many uses. It is even environmentally friendly being made of natural materials - what's not to love? You don't need many tools to get started, and as the introduction states you can do it with "no extensive craft skills or prior knowledge". After a short section explaining about mixing, safety and using molds the rest of the book is filled with forty-five projects. These vary greatly from the more obvious such as planters, house signs, doorstops and ornaments to the surprising which include jewelry, candlesticks, a soap dish, bowls, a wine cooler and cake stands. Each project shows a large photograph of the finished item in situ plus a list of what you need (in metric and imperial) and instructions. Some projects have an interim photograph showing a stage but mostly the instructions are in written format and fairly brief. This is not a problem as mixing, molding etc are surprisingly simple procedures so extensive expounding on steps is unnecessary. At the back are templates, some the right size but others need to be enlarged. This book was originally published in Germany a couple of years ago but a brief hunt on the internet showed that most of the items shown are available. It is fascinating to see how something as ordinary as concrete can be made into so many unexpected things that are attractive, modern and useful -- Rachel Hyde * myshelf.com * Issue 50
Concrete may not necessarily spring to mind as an exciting eco friendly matierial, but it is quickly growing in popularity among modern makers due to its versatility due to its versatility, durability, cost effectiveness and minimalist beauty. Banish from your mind images of industrial concrete mixers, and image instead bags of pre-mixed or easy-to-mix concrete, available from DIY and craft stores in a variety of decorative finishes. With a small amount of know-how and a few basic tools and accessories, it is possible to create beautiful contemporary gifts and accessories using this previously undervalued and unfashionable ingredient. In Concrete Creations, Marion Dawidski and Ingrid Moras, together with other designers, explain how to fashion plant pots, wall art, bowls, candle holders, clocks, decorative letters, vases, pots, figures, door stops, 'diamond' and embroidered necklaces and even a cake stand using modern concrete mixes and a variety of different moulds. The book's concepts are well-illustrated with stylish photographs, templates and lists of 'what you need' and 'what to do'. Not only is concrete itself easily recyclable, but unwanted plastic bottles, ice cube trays, plant pots, pipe insulation, milk cartons and cereal bozes all make the perfect cereal moulds. Another good reason to embrace concrete as a versatile easy-to-use craft material. * Reloved * Concrete, once reserved for purely utilitarian purposes, has gained popularity as a design element for home and garden. Since the materials are readily available in most areas, and the required skills can be learned without formal training, concrete has also become a popular medium for DIY projects. Those included here start small, with candle holders, and gradually move up in both size and detail. The largest are still relatively small-table-top vases and bowls-though the concepts could easily be translated to larger applications. Most of the work required for these projects is in the preparation of the mold, which here can take the form of plastic storage tubs, discarded bottles and other household recyclables, and modeling foam, as well as store-bought molds made of silicone and other materials. Many of those that use modeling foam are designed to work with one of the templates on the last half-dozen pages of the book. While a few projects use pigment or glaze, most show off the concrete's natural finish. -- Anne Heidemann * Booklist *