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Crafts with concrete - Concrete decoration - Creative ideas

  • What is concrete "> Concrete manufacture
    • Differences between concrete and craft concrete
    • costs
    • Mix concrete
    • Important questions
  • Tinker with concrete: craft ideas
    • Make a boot pot
    • Make concrete elements with cookie cutters
    • Concrete origami cup
    • Tinker concrete vase
    • clutter shell
  • Important tips

No question, concrete has been in fashion as a craft material for some time now. In our DIY guide, we explain how the creative work with the building material works. In addition, we present you with five great ideas that you can use as inspiration or tinker as well!

Before we introduce you to a series of creative ideas for crafting concrete, we would like to give you some general advice on working with the specific material - in the sense of an FAQ guide.

What is concrete?

Concrete is an important building material that - as you will be told in detail in this article - does not only provide valuable services for roads, tunnels, bridges and houses. In addition, he can also be used for crafting beautiful decorative elements. Concrete consists of a specific binder and an aggregate. Potential binders include:

  • bitumen
  • lime
  • volume
  • cement

The most important aggregates for the preparation of concrete are gravel and sand. Only through the final connection of the two elements with water, the hard rock that everyone really knows from their own experience. After all, the walk from the front door is usually sufficient to get in direct contact with the building material.

Note: Often the question arises what the difference between concrete and screed is. In a nutshell: Screed is generally fine-grained and dries faster than concrete. The main purpose of screed is the compensation of height differences. In terms of crafting, the fact that screed, in contrast to concrete, is already completely mixed, is the most important distinguishing feature.

Concrete manufacture

If you want to use classic concrete for crafting, you need a binder, an aggregate and water. Cement is best suited as binder and sand as aggregate. Alternatively you can use screed instead of cement and sand.

Tip: Due to the trend, which has caused the tinkering with concrete, there are now also so-called craft or creative concrete to buy.

Differences between concrete and craft concrete

What are the differences between "normal" concrete and craft concrete?

Both craft and conventional concrete are associated with advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of Creative Concrete:

+ ready mixed (all you have to do is add water)
+ easy to work with
+ low dust
+ weather resistant
- more expensive than normal concrete

Pros and cons of normal concrete:

+ considerably cheaper than creative concrete
- harder to process (finding the right mix is ​​a bit tricky)
- dusts neatly


You pay just under three euros for a 25-kilogram cement pack. In addition, there are about seven euros for 25 kilograms of quartz sand. Crafted concrete does not exist in such large quantities. The maximum is commonly five kilograms. For this you put about 20 euros.

You do not have to calculate big to realize that you have to spend far less on your own production of concrete and can do a lot more with it. Think about whether you want to start just one concrete paver project or aspire to conjure up many (larger) decorative elements from the material. In the former case, we advise you to creative concrete, but otherwise to the more complicated, but considerably cheaper alternative with the individual ingredients.

Where can you buy concrete?

The individual ingredients (cement and sand) can be found in every DIY store - online or on site. For creative concrete look best in well-assorted craft shops. The probability of being found on the internet is generally higher.

Mix concrete

In the preparation of classic concrete cement and quartz sand are largely mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions. But beware: Not always the proposed "recipe" is also 100 percent correct. From experience, we advise you to always use slightly less quartz sand than indicated. If too much is included, the corners of the finished decorative items tend to crumble. In addition, the pieces are then not very robust.

Example: If the recommended ratio is 1: 2 (Cement: Quartz Sand), take only 1 ¾ or even 1 ½ units of sand. Here it is best to experiment a little bit. At the latest after the third or fourth attempt, you are certainly smarter, what the optimal mixing ratio!

The mixing itself is basically a breeze: pick up an old bucket and add the two ingredients in the appropriate amount. Mix it with a spade, a trowel or, if necessary, with a sturdy spoon. Then gradually add water. While doing this, stir vigorously until the perfect consistency is achieved. The perfect texture is best compared to a creamy yoghurt.

Tip: If the mixture is too dry, add more water. If it is too fluid, you need more cement and sand.

With creative concrete, the procedure is quite similar. But you do not need to do the first step - mixing the cement and sand. The crafting concrete is already finished. He must therefore be enriched only with water. The rest works the same as in the classic version.

Tip: If you work with creative concrete, you can use a sufficiently large plastic bowl instead of the bucket.

Important questions

What do I have to consider when working with concrete ">

Note: These measures are not mandatory for craft concrete. However, we also advise you in the case of at least putting on gloves. Better safe than sorry.

How much time should one plan for tinkering with concrete?

The drying process lasts the longest - in other words 48 to 36 hours (ie two to three days). Everything else does not take much time. Stirring is commonly done in just a few minutes (about ten to twenty). Then the concrete has to be shaped, which usually takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes. After drying, the question is whether you want to decorate (paint) your artwork even further or leave it so natural. If necessary, another five to 60 minutes can be added here, depending on how comprehensive the rework is. This results in an active minimum duration of about 25 minutes. You usually do not need more than 100 minutes. And the rest (the drying) happens passively, so we do not expect this time here.

Tinker with concrete: craft ideas

What can you make from concrete?

Actually, you have almost no limits when it comes to crafting concrete. It is important to consider the basic information of this guide. In addition, you can let your creativity run wild and like to try different things. To give you some inspiration, here are five interesting projects in the form of practical DIY tutorials.

Make a boot pot

You need this:

  • concrete
  • old kids rubber boots
  • Sunflower oil
  • paper towels
  • plastic cup
  • stones
  • Cuttermesser
  • Cling film
  • sandpaper
  • clearcoat
  • brush
  • trowel
  • small plants


1st step: Stir concrete as described.

2nd step: grease the rubber boots inside with oil. Use plain kitchen paper.

Step 3: Fill the boots 3/4 full with concrete (with a trowel or similar).

Step 4: Smooth the concrete on top with a plastic cup. Then push the cup a little bit into the concrete (with the bottom side).

Step 5: Place a stone in the cup to complain.

Tip: To keep the cup in the middle, you can attach it to the outside of the boot with adhesive tape.

Step 6: Cover the boot with cling film and allow the concrete to dry for 24 to 36 hours.

Step 7: Cut the boots with a cutter and put them down from the concrete boots. Be careful!

Step 8: Take out the plastic cup.

Step 9: Smoothen with sandpaper.

Step 10: Seal the inner area of ​​the boot pot with clear paint (with the help of a brush), because concrete is not waterproof. Then let it dry.

Step 11: Use small plants. Finished!

Make concrete elements with cookie cutters

You need this:

  • concrete
  • cutter
  • Sunflower oil
  • flat plastic cup
  • spoon
  • Straws or wooden sticks
  • sandpaper


1st step: Stir concrete as described.

Tip: Here it is recommended to use decorative concrete. This is specially prepared and therefore skin friendly.

Step 2: Place the flat plastic bowl on the table. Grease the round cookie cutter inside with oil (with a brush) and place in the flat plastic bowl.

Step 3: Use a spoon to fill the concrete into the cookie cutter. Pay attention to a high, even surface (if possible without bubbles).

Step 4: Either stick oiled wooden sticks or straws into the concrete (about half a centimeter from the top edge). This hole later serves to thread the chain through. Or you leave the shape as it is and create a decorative stone in this way.

Tip: Keep the straw stuck during the drying phase to avoid deformation.

You can also make a tealight holder in this way - just press a tealight into the concrete.

Step 5: Let it dry for 24 to 36 hours.

Step 6: Press the concrete element out of the cookie cutter, remove the straw. Carefully act!

Step 7: Smoothen with emery paper.

Paint with chalk paint as you like. To achieve straight lines, operate with a ruler. Of course, many other ornaments are possible.

Tip for two other ideas: According to the same principle as well as with more or less the same utensils (replace the round cookie cutter) you can also make a pretty deco Easter bunny or a star made of concrete for Christmas.

Concrete origami cup

You need this:

  • Working creatively
  • carton
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • bonefolder
  • duct tape
  • Creative concrete or self-mixed concrete (bucket for mixing, trowel)
  • small plastic cup
  • extra container in which the shape fits
  • funnel
  • sand
  • stone
  • Cling film


Step 1: First, print out our craft template. You can download these as PDF here:

Template - origami mug

Then cut them out clean and transfer the outlines to thicker cardboard. The base is placed in the middle while the side element is applied 6 times around it. Frame everything with a pencil.

Then draw with pencil and ruler all fold lines. Now cut out the complete origami shape.

Note: We have glued together two boxes in A3 format - this is where you can place the shape well.

Step 2: Then fold all fold lines clean. With a Falzbein succeeds best.

Step 3: Glue the origami mold together now. For this, coat the adhesive tabs with Bastelleim.

Important: When gluing, make sure that the adhesive tabs are on the outside. If these were inside, the concrete form would later have tabs, since it is indeed a negative impression. As the paper cup looks from the outside, it does not matter - the main focus is on the inside of the cup. This must be even and all folding edges must be well on each other and recognizable.

Step 4: Now wrap the mold several times with tape or painter's crepe, so that it becomes more stable and no holes are visible. The shape must be completely tight and closed.

Step 5: Now fill the extra container a few inches with sand. Then enter the paper tray. This should now be easily accessible top with the edge of the container. If this is not the case, you have to tip some sand. Then add more and more sand with a funnel until everything is filled up to the top.

Step 6: Then stir the craft concrete as described in the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 7: Now tilt the concrete into the origami mold. Once the cup is filled a few inches, put the plastic cup in the mold. This should be smaller by a few millimeters to centimeters in diameter than the shape, otherwise the wall of the cup is too thin. Push the cup into the concrete, it will be displaced and finally fill the origami shape completely. If this is not the case, remove the plastic cup and tip over the concrete.

Complain the plastic cup with stones. This should swim by itself in the middle. If he still comes up a bit, you can fix him with tape on the edge.

Tip: If you wait a bit and allow the concrete to dry, you can push the cup into the concrete later. But there is a risk that the concrete is deformed.

Step 8: Now cover the mold with cling film and wait until the concrete has dried completely.

Then you can simply cut the paper out, remove the plastic cup and the origami cup is ready! With emery paper, you can now smooth the surface a little bit more.

The cup works best, leave it in this concrete gray. But who wants, can also paint the cup now.

Video Tutorial

Tinker concrete vase

You need this:

  • Concrete (bucket for mixing, trowel)
  • plastic cup
  • Glass containers (for example: test tubes)
  • hot glue
  • oil
  • Cling film
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • sandpaper

Step 1: At the beginning, prepare the shape of the concrete vase. For a plastic cup, which you can easily cut apart later, is best. Oil the mold in completely with oil.

Step 2: The three test tubes are then fixed in the beaker with a little hot glue, as they are very light and float on the liquid concrete. In this way, the glasses retain their place after filling the concrete and you do not have to hold this awkward long.

Step 3: Now mix the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions. When using finished creative concrete, all you have to do is add water to the finished mix.

4th step: Now the plastic cup is filled to the brim with the liquid concrete. Then cover the container with cling film and let the concrete dry for about 36 - 48 hours.

5th step: If the concrete is completely dry, you can remove the plastic cup. Cut the edge of the cup with a pair of scissors or a cutter. Then the cup can be torn off with your hands.

6th step: Now follows a bit of fine work. Smooth the concrete slightly with sandpaper and remove any concrete residue on the glass - these can easily be scraped off with a fingernail.

Finished is the urban chic concrete vase for three flowers! The glass container just needs to be filled with some water and a flower will find its new home.

clutter shell

You need this:

  • Concrete (bucket for mixing, trowel)
  • Wax tablecloth
  • big plastic bowl
  • gloves
  • Cling film
  • brush
  • sandpaper

Step 1: First mix the cement and quartz sand concrete, if you do not use finished creative concrete. Now add so much water to the dry concrete mix that the concrete gets a creamy consistency like a paste.

2nd step: Now spread the wax tablecloth with the wax side up on the table, it can be folded several times folded. Now use gloves to apply the concrete to the tablecloth. The concrete slab must have a height of about 3 cm and be a few centimeters larger in radius than the plastic bowl. The next step explains why.

Step 3: Then lift the tablecloth and place it with the concrete in the plastic bowl. The concrete must slide down into the bowl. Now the edge comes up a bit, so the radius of the concrete blob has to be bigger. Make a few wrinkles with your hands. The concrete retains exactly this shape after drying, so why not try it? Then brush the inside surface with a little water to make it smoother.

Note: Make sure the edges are not too thin. If necessary, give it some concrete and distribute it with your hands.

Step 4: Cover the bowl completely with clingfilm and let it dry for 2 days. After the time is up, you can remove the foil and remove the concrete shell from the mold and from the tablecloth. By wax coating that should not be a problem.

Step 5: The sharp edges are now smoothed a little with sandpaper. It can happen that some pieces flake off because they are too thin. But that does not matter - the bowl is still great and unique.

Leave the concrete carding tray in concrete gray or you can paint it. That's up to you. But the simple gray already makes a real difference!

Important tips

  • Instead of the sunflower oil, you can also use any other cooking oil. It's all about greasing the molds to make it easier to get the decorative element out of concrete after drying.
  • Cover the mold with the concrete always with foil, so that the liquid remains in the concrete - so it dries evenly.
  • During the drying process, the respective tools in which the concrete hardens (for example the shell or the cookie cutter) must be weighted. This works best with stones.
  • To achieve good results, you should sand your concrete figures after drying. First work with coarse sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface. Then go over it with finer emery paper.
  • Overhanging concrete residues on the decoration can be carefully broken off with pliers.
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