Hello friends…Hope all are crafting great !!!! DT Vaishali on the blog today and am very excited to share my creations using Little Birdie’s Craft Cement. Being an architect, have learnt all about cement and concrete, but never worked hands on with it. So in the middle of my excitement and concerns, ended up working on two projects …what if one cracks ???
To my happiness both the projects turned out great….no cracks and perfect unmolding. Craft Cement is a great material to create decor products with organic look. Have created two home decor products – a soap dispenser and a key holder. Read till the end to know how both can be used differently as well !!!
Step wise procedure for Soap Dispenser-
Soap dispensers have always been on my to do list. Here I have used a combination of cement and glass, which is very elegant. Molding/ casting is what you can primarily do with cement . I have used a soft plastic rectangular container as a mold. The container had grooves on the sides , which I thought would make a great design element. Have not greased the mold as the plastic container can be bend easily at the time of unmolding. If you are using any hard material object as a mold then you can grease it with oil or vaseline before pouring cement mixture into it. Greasing will make unmolding easier. Next I made the cement mixture. For this gradually add water to the Little Birdie craft cement to get the desired consistency. Make sure there are no lumps. Here I have kept the cement water ratio as 2:1 , to get a thick batter like pouring consistency. The mixture is not runny. Pour the mixture in the plastic container up to 1 inch height and let it settle for about an hour. The mixture will set only a little. Basically the idea is to make the base for the glass dispenser that is to be fixed into it.As the mixture was left to set for an hour, I started working on the plain glass soap dispenser. Glass soap dispensers are available in home decor stores. Decoupaged a napkin from my stash on the glass dispenser, using Decomagic Decoupage glue of Itsy Bitsy. The glue has perfect consistency and works great for both decoupage papers and napkins.Also decoupaged a part of napkin that says- ‘Home with Love’As seen in picture above, did some stenciling with chalk paint Marsh Green and stencil Ethnic Circles for adding interest. Always use stencil brush for crisp stenciling. The latest stencil range has wonderful small designs, that are rare to find. Applied a top coat of decomagic glue on the decoupaged napkin area and also varnished the entire soap dispenser with three coats decor varnish matte for water protection.
Next I fixed the glass soap dispenser into its desired position by pressing gently, into the created cement base. I have not pushed the dispenser till the bottom of container , fixed it approximately 1 cm into it. As seen in the picture above, have also inserted a small disposable plastic shape( approximately of tealight size ) and placed some marbles into it as weight , so that it remains in the position. Had covered this plastic shape from outside with cello tape, before inserting so that it comes off easily later. Itsy Bitsy has recently housed beautiful ceramic knobs and have been waiting to use them. Here I have inserted the knob into the cement base and secured it with tapes. It makes a great embellishment for the soap dispenser.
Once the soap dispenser, plastic shape and ceramic knob were fixed in place, I poured another 1/2 inch layer of cement mixture around them and let the entire assembly dry completely. This took around 18 hours. As the mixture dried, it started to leave the edges of container slightly and could be easily unmolded. Here’s the unmolded look. In case of unfinished edges, sand paper can be used to smoothen the edges.As the base was plain, decided to do some stenciling with cement slurry- Slurry is a runny cement mix. It was very interesting to explore cement mix for stenciling. Have a look at the effect – In the cavity created, decided to place a plastic glass, coated with cement mix. Created some textures on the glass with bubble wrap.Highlighted all the textures created by cement with chalk paint marsh green, gold and silver acrylics. And this is the final look of the soap dispenser after embellishing with beads and succulent flower with base of sisal fiber.Some interesting pictures before we move on to the other cement decor piece.
Have adhered rubber washers( painted with green chalk paint )at the base, using silicon glue. This avoids direct contact of the base with water.
Working with cement can be addictive. Had learned about cement concrete reinforcement. Reinforcement is used when casting larger cement structures like columns, beams etc. Also used for shaping to create cement sculptures. Wanted to give it a try in a smaller way here and this gave shape to the next home decor piece – a key holder, for which I have used steel wire mesh as reinforcement. Wire mesh is easily available in any local hardware shop.
Step wise procedure for Cement Key Holder –
The idea was to hold two cement panels with reinforcement. Have used a soft plastic fruit box, with base and lid as the mold to make the panels.Flattened the box and adhered a tape to the base and lid of the box from bottom to keep them in flat position. Gently poured the cement water mixture (ratio 2 :1 ) in both the sides of the box. Filled only upto half height. Remember to tap the box to get leveled surface. Tapping also helps removing air bubbles.
Next I placed the wire mesh over the cement mixture, throughout the length and pressed it a bit into the mixture. This was followed by further pouring cement mixture to cover the mesh and upto the full height.
As you can see in the picture below, I have also inserted the knob screw for hanging the key holder and hooks for hanging the keys. Allowed this assembly to dry completely, which took about 18 hrs. What you see forms the back side of key holder. And this is how it looked after un molding. See how the wire mesh holds the two panels and also check the beautiful ceramic knob used for hanging. Love these knobs. Do check the entire range at the store.
Cement products get stronger with curing. So after the product dries completely, spray water over it frequently for couple of days, to avoid cracks from coming.
My projects are incomplete without decoupage. So here have used the same napkin as that of the soap dispenser to create a co ordinated set. As instead of key holder, it can be used to hang bathroom freshner and both together make a beautiful bathroom decor set. Further enhanced with stenciling and highlighted the raised edges with gold acrylic paint.Here’s the final look after embellishing with succulent flower and some close ups-
Love the way wire mesh adds a further raw look to the cement decor piece.Highlight with gold looks great with cement.
Am surely going to use these knobs for my future projects. Temporarily have used a rope to hang the key holder for photography purpose. The wall yet needs a hole to be drilled for fixing the key holder with knob.
As I had mentioned at the start, both the decor pieces can be used differently. Here’s how the soap dispenser can be used as an interesting table lamp !!!
And the key holder can be used as an accessory holder too…
Have varnished both the products with decor varnish matte. This added a little shine to them apart from protecting them. Hope you liked my Home Decor Creations- Cast with Cement and Love, for a ‘Home with Love’!!!
The post also goes as an inspirational post for the Itsy Bitsy current month Blog Challenge where Anything goes with Itsy Bitsy’s home brand Little Birdie’s Craft Cement. Do play along. Looking forward to your wonderful creations.
Create, Express, Enjoy !!!
List of materials used-