Hello. Happy weekend!
I have been wanting to experiment with concrete for a while now after seeing a few ideas on Pinterest. The latest assignment on my wedding course gave me the perfect opportunity and excuse to have a go. As this was my first attempt, I wanted to keep it simple and try make tea light holders.
I bought a bag of cement and sand from B and Q. I wasn’t totally sure on the ratios for concrete, so I took a guess to find out what worked and what didn’t. You can get craft concrete online, which, in hindsight, probably would have been easier. However, we wouldn’t have had the joy of carrying a huge bag of sand out to the car (Heads up…B and Q only sells large bags of sand!)
Just a note: cement is different to concrete. Concrete is a mixture of an aggregate such as sand or gravel and cement.
My first experiment was to just use cement and see what the outcome was. I filled a plastic pint cup 1/3 full and then added water slowly until the consistency of the mixture was similar to cake batter.
It is worth noting, this is not a clean process and would be best to be done outside or in a well ventilated room. I put plastic sheets down which also made it easier to clear up and dispose of properly at the end. Be careful, and don’t put an mixture down the sink!
Once fully stirred and all the lumps had gone I poured it into another plastic cup, neatly, to ensure none of the mixture splashed on the side.
To make the aperture for the tea light to sit in, I placed a tea light candle centrally within the mixture and pushed it down to make it level with the top. As the cement mixture sets air bubbles will force the candle upwards so it need to be weighted and balanced. This is not easy as I found out when I pushed the candle in too far and it sunk into the cement mix, never to be seen again. After that attempt, I found that weighting the candle with coins seemed to work a lot better.
Once you find this perfect balance, walk away and let it set overnight. If you feel the candle is getting force upwards, give it a gentle push downwards as the concrete is hardening.
Once the outside of the mixture had turned a lighter grey (which is why I found using a clear plastic cup is better than a paper one) I made a cut in the cup and peeled back to remove the concrete from the mould. Leave to dry for another night.
When fully dry, there may be some rough areas to the rim and the top, I used some fine sand paper to gently rub these down. Again, do this in a well ventilated room or outside if you can!
To finish off the tea light holder, I painted the base in copper to add a warm metallic touch adding to the elegant luxe theme.
I then tried adding sand to the next experiment but I found the finish wasn’t as smooth as the cement one…so maybe we carried that bag of sand for nothing after all! I will keep experimenting. Now I’ve had a go I feel this could get addictive and I’m keen to make more and more.
These would be great to use on wedding tables, nestled in and amongst floral arrangements and contrasting against soft textured fabrics. They are unique, interesting and modern. Something different for you and your guests.
Alternatively, they could be a unique gift for loved ones or favours for the tables. The possibilities are endless. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.