Hearts With a Mission

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Introduction: Hearts With a Mission

About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

I recently found a heart mold in a thrift shop for $1.00. The mold is used to make ice cubes and has Ikea's name on it. I like to make different items out of cement/concrete so decided to put some excess mix into the mold one day. The result was nicely formed, hard, easily worked with hearts! I decided to paint them and then got the idea of adding letters to the hearts. This instructable shows all the steps in these processes.

Step 1: Gather Materials

The usual mixing tools, buckets, water, measuring cups/cans, stirrers, spoons, cement mixtures of various kinds, etc.

Step 2: Mix Substrate of Choice With Water

I found that just about any cementious mix can be used for the hearts. I used: sand/cement mixture (mortar); grouts, both sanded and non-sanded; tile set mortar; fix it all; and various combinations of all of the above. Regular concrete mix with aggregate wouldn't work for obvious reasons.

Step 3: Add Mixture to Mold

I started out filling the molds all the way to the top. But later found I preferred only half filled molds. Saves on the amount of mix and is easier to manipulate. A regular spoon is a good filling tool. It's up to you. Let the hearts set for 18 to 24 hours at least. I try to mix in the morning, and then de-mold the next morning.

Step 4: De-Mold Your Hearts

Voila! Many hearts (16 per pour) to decorate and use in various projects.

Step 5: Painting the Hearts

First, a primer is used. I chose a white house paint that I had left over from a previous job. Any white could be used. Then I used regular acrylic craft paint and a good brush so as to minimize brush marks. More than one coat may be needed, depending on the thickness and make-up of the paint used. It dries very rapidly so is not a problem. After drying, a few coats of gloss water based polyurethane is applied and allow to dry. If letters are added, they should be covered with the polyurethane as well. While this step is being done, another mold has been poured.

Step 6: Make Some Letters and Numbers

For this step, I used the word processor. I found a font I wanted to use, and through trial and error, got the right size that would fit on a heart but not be too small. The letters are cut out with scissors and/or a craft knife/scalpel. Purchased letters can be used, but I like to save that money and just cut them out myself. The yellow letters were printed on card stock. But I used a lot of colored 20lb. bond paper as well. They are easier to cut than the card stock, and it doesn't make much difference appearance wise.

Step 7: Find the Names!

Just one idea was to make names. These can be given as gifts, made into necklaces, let kids make up words. Even a game could be devised, where each player "draws" 10, 15, or 20 hearts and then try to make as many words as you can. Kind of like a scrabble game on buttermilk as opposed to steroids!

Step 8: Make an E-Card to Send to a Friend

I made this for my friend Bonnie. She can print it out and have a nice card with hearts.

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    28 Comments

    What is the best mixing stuff u would subject to use to make the hearts?

    thanks,,,glad you enjoy them!

    These are fabulous. I will be making some cool projects with the same idea but different shapes.
    Thanks so very much for a wonderful tutorial.

    I'm up at my local thrift store and am browsing the kitchen section and find a heart icecube tray. No joke, but have been on the lookout since seeing this Instructable, and just in time for Valentine's Day. Wondering what type of cement or grout mixture you liked the best?

    1 reply

    All work about the same as far as I could tell. Don't think I tried "cement all", which would allow much more rapid drying times...

    I love that you have so many cementious mixes to choose from :)

    Just added this Instructable to my favorites. Great idea. Thanks.

     I am curious if paint could be mixed into the cement instead of painting it after it dries? Have you tried the concrete coloring as previously suggested? I think this is a marvelous idea and am excited to try it  - just as soon as possible! Thanks!!

    1 reply

    You're welcome!  I have tried coloring the concrete but the colorants for large batches is really pale colors, not what I wanted to achieve.  Adding latex paint will color the batch, but if you overdo it, the mix will be weak.  But try it, you may have better luck than I...if you do let me know, thnx...Cman

    "delicious" looking hearts, and the dragon looks VERY nice too :-)

    Who's Bonnie? I'm jealous. Great job anyway - have you thought about using concrete stain instead of paint? It soaks in and the look is not so "plastic-y" as paint. Also, putting a little notch in the back would allow you to hang them on a nail. The notch could be made when the concrete is not quite set. I really like these.

    4 replies

    Thanks NB...good input, as usual. I need to look into stain, but have not tried it as yet....did you find your name? Cman

    OOOOOHHHHHH! ok, I'm not jealous anymore, wow.

    See, your fame just continues to spread! Soon your name will be a household word! Cman

    Mission accomplished then. And very funny.

    Wouldn't it be easier to add the jewelry anchors while the mix was still setting?

    1 reply

    Yes sir, it would be easier if it could be done so that the loops didn't interfere with the heart itself...how would you position it, for example....hmmmm...something to think about. thanks, Cman