Introduction: Children's Hardened Cement Door Stoppers
We are in full summer mode here and that means only one thing, windows and doors wide open to get the early morning cool breeze in and the hot evening air out.
I have 2 daughters I asked them to open their windows and wedge their doors open so they don't bang and they replied back "but we don't have anything to block the door with". Meaning they couldn't find the rubber blocks we'd bought years ago and I was not prepared to spend any money on replacements.
I came up with the idea of making cement doorstops that would be heavy enough to keep their doors open AND they wouldn't lose them either this time!
Shall we see how I got on?
You don't need a lot of items to make these and if you don't want to paint the end result, it will be even quicker to make, however my girls wanted some colour and decorations added as well.
- Quick drying cement
- Hardened cement mix
- Some sort of container to work as a mould (I used fruit punnets)
- Rope (I used an old skipping rope)
- Trowel/ spatula
- Mixing container (I used the base of a 5L bottle cut in half)
- Scissors and tape (these were to cover the holes in the trays)
- Paint and paint brushes (optional)
- Decorative mould (optional) - I had an Easter tray that my daughters liked
- Sanding paper
- Elastic band
- Piece of cloth or stick on cork feet for protecting the base
Step 1: Prepping the Moulds
If like me you are using what you already have available, you may need to cover up holes in your moulds. I just used some paper tape to cover the holes in the bottom of the fruit trays.
I couldn't find any plain rope when rummaging around in our garage, but I did come across an old skipping rope who's handles were broken and was too small for my daughters. I thought these would make perfect handles to be able to lift and move the doorstep around.
I cut 2 x 60 cm lengths out of the skipping rope and tied a large knot in them.
Next we need to make the cement mix.
Step 2: Ready for Pouring
It's difficult to give exact measurements (in grams) of the quantity of cement mixes, because I used the fruit trays as measuring cups.
Using one of the fruit trays as a measuring cup I put 1.5 tray fulls of the hardened cement mix and 0.5 tray full of the quick drying cement into a mixing container (mine was an old 5L bottle cut in half, but a bowl would do). Using a spatula, gently stir the powders until they are uniformly mixed and then slowly add water until you reach a consistency of a paste that can be poured, but isn't runny. I can best describe it as a cake batter consistency, spreadable and pourable. Again depending on how marge your mould is, will dictate how much water you will need. I prefer to work on consistency.
I filled the decorative mould tray first (only the rabbits and ducks) and then the rest of the cement mix was divided between the two fruit trays. I positioned the rope in the centre, knot down and added an elastic band around the rope so that they would stay in position whilst the cement dried. I gently tapped the sides to try and remove as many air bubbles as I could, but it's never that easy to do with quick drying cement, so just do your best, or leave them in for a rustic look.
Step 3: Unmoulding
You can't help but feel excited whenever you un-mould something can you? It's a bit like opening a gift.
I (patiently) waited until the next day to do this, just to be certain that everything was hard enough to be removed from the moulds.
The ducks and rabbits were a little rough around the edges, but nothing a quick sanding didn't sort out. At the same time I gave the edges of the doorstop a bit of a sanding as they seemed a little sharp.
I would recommend leaving the doorstops for an additional day to dry out, now that they are free from their moulds. Of course it may take longer depending on the size of mould you started with in the first place. You will have to judge by looking at the colour of the cement. It will become lighter when it's dry.
Of course the next stages are completely optional if you aren't going to paint your doorsteps.
Step 4: Painting
I raided my daughters paint supplies for this stage and was quite surprised at how many colours they actually had stashed away :-)
One daughter wanted a green base with white rabbits and my other daughter wanted a blue base with yellow ducks (makes total sense).
I used acrylic paints throughout and for the very first layer on all parts I diluted each colour 50:50 paint:water. This will act as a primer for and seal the cement.
Because it was a hot day it didn't take long at all for the paints to dry. DO make sure everything is dry before adding more layers or colours.
Once the primer base was dry I then used undiluted acrylic paints for the final layers and details, this provided a more vibrant finish.
If you have children, get them involved, children ABSOLUTELY love to paint. I did the finer details on the rabbits and ducks and even added some glitter paint to the rabbit tails and duck wings, which my daughters loved.
Step 5: Final Touches
We have wooden floors in our bedrooms and I didn't want them to get scratched as my daughters moved the doorstops about, so I decided to stick some denim cloth on the bottom. If you have stick on cork or fabric pads they would work as well, I didn't but I'd recently adjust some denim shorts and just used the off-cuts.
I traced around the bottom of the doorstops and cut out the rectangles. I applied glue all over the base, folded over each edge of the denim (so as not to have any frayed edges) and then turned the doorstop the right way round allowing it weight to press down on the denim.
The final touch is to glue on the decorations. You can place them wherever you like. I asked my daughters what they wanted and then just glued them down.
Now all that's left to do is get those doors propped open and enjoy the summer air.
Runner Up in the
Stone Concrete Cement Contest