Introduction: Modern Concrete Christmas Stocking Holder!
So, last week Nicole made her little present/Christmas tree stocking holders, which are super duper easy and crafty and cute! But if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial and modern, well look no further. This is something you could easily do in a weekend (really an afternoon if it wasn’t for the curing time).
I know concrete can sound intimidating; it certainly was for me. But this was actually surprisingly easy. The very first one I did turned out exactly like I wanted it to, and it was the first time I had ever worked with concrete on something like this. It really is as easy as it looks. And it looks fantastic. Check out the video!
4" PVC pipe - Short (2-1/2") length
Smooth top spray-paint cap (about 2-1/2" in diameter)
Portland cement - 1 cup
Sand - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
1x6 - (8" or so in length)
1" drywall screws - (About 7-8)
Decorative hook + attachment screws
Step 1: Cut the Pipe
First, cut the 4" PVC pipe to 2-1/2" long.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
Next, use the inside of the pipe to scribe a circle on the 1x6. Then mark a line 1-3/4" from the other end of the 1x6. Cut out the circle and the little 1-3/4" strip.
After those are cut, mark 1-1/4" from one end of the 1-3/4" wood strip and cut that out so that you have a little block that's 1-1/4" wide by 1-3/4" long by 3/4" thick.
Step 3: Sand the Wood
Once your rough pieces are cut, sand them so they fit flush with the inside face of the PVC pipe.
The bottom circle piece you'll want to fit very tight within the pipe to seal up the bottom end. Shove it in there until the bottom of the wood is flush with the bottom of the pipe.
Once that's snugly in place, stand up the little blocks so that they touch the inside face of the pipe. On the top of each block, draw a curved line that, when sanded down, would make the face of the block curved to match the inside face of the pipe. Sand those down accordingly.
Step 4: Attach the Studs
Now, using countersunk little screws, attach the little wood blocks to the bottom wood circle piece. Make sure the two blocks are in line with each other and centered on the circle, with the curved faces sitting tight to the inside face of the pipe.
If your spray paint cap was like mine (2-1/2" in diameter), it will fit perfectly between the two wood blocks. Somehow. Never in any other project does this just happen to work out so perfectly, but I guess there is some magic in Christmas after all.
Anyway, after the wood blocks are attached, put in a few small screws within the wood standing up about 1/2" or so. These will act like nelson studs to help anchor the wood in place as the concrete cures around them.
Step 5: Mix and Pour the Concrete
Now that your form is completed, spray the inside face of the pipe and the outside face of the spray paint cap with cooking oil. This will prevent the concrete from bonding with these surfaces.
Now, mix together the cup of cement, cup of sand, and cup of water together until you get an even consistency. Scoop the mixture into the form until it's about 3/4 of the way up, then place your spray paint cap in as your inner form. You want this inner form to be about 3/8" or 1/2" down from the top, but not touching the screw studs you put in earlier. Then pour the remaining concrete around it on both sides until the mixture gets to about the top of the wood blocks.
If you need to, weigh the inner form down with sand or water so that it stays depressed below the top level of the concrete mixture.
Step 6: Wait at Least 24 Hours
After a day, the mix will have set enough to take the form off, but will not be fully cured. You wont be able to sand it quite yet, but you can rub it to work out some of the rough patches. After a couple days, though, it will have hardened enough to sand down.
Step 7: Remove the Form
Pull off the inner form, then take little saw or dremel tool with cut-off wheel and CAREFULLY cut a line down the face of the PVC outer form. Don't go too deep or you'll gouge the concrete or the wood or both. I did this right at the joint between the concrete and the wood to help minimize the aesthetic damage if I did accidently go a little deep (which I did). Once the outer form is cut, it should be pretty easy to push off of the workpiece.
Step 8: Sand and Clean the Rough Edges
Now to spend some quality time with all of your favorite sanding tools. I used a Dremel with drum sander, as well as a little 1" belt sander, plus the trusty old sanding block to get all of the cement cleared off the wood and everything all smoothed out.
Please make sure to wear a mask while doing this. Cement dust is bad for your lungs.
Step 9: Stain the Wood
Now, get your choice of beautiful wood stain and little fine-tipped brush, and VERY carefully stain the wood parts of the piece.
If you get a little bit of stain on the concrete, you can quickly sand it off, but anything more than just a tiny droplet will soak into the concrete and will... well add some character to your stocking holder.
Step 10: Attach the Hook
Lastly, simply screw in whatever decorative hook suits your fancy into one of the vertical stained wood blocks.
Step 11: Hang Your Stockings!
That's it! Now just set it on the mantle-piece, light a little candle on top, hang your stocking, and bask in the glow of your new, sophisticated, modern Christmas decor. Santa will be so impressed as he stuffs your stocking full of Micron or Muji pens and fair-trade organic coffee beans.
Participated in the
Holiday Decorations Speed Challenge