I wanted to create a cement area that enhanced the backyard of my house.
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Step 1: When I Moved In, My Backyard Was Very Basic and Plain...
I knew I wanted to fix it up, but I never really knew what I was going to do with it. Over the years, I started adding things here and there with flowers and such, but I never really loved it. So this month, I decided to do a much bigger project. I decided to use one of the old lawn chairs from a previous house that was ready to be thrown away. I used it as the foundation for the new "rock" and I attached a wire mesh that you can get at a Lowes or Home Depot around it and put the first layer of cement on it. Of course, here in FL. it was about to rain so I had to end quickly and cover it with a tarp, but then it dried without me being able to finish the way I wanted to. So I had a dilemma. I could either break it apart and start over, or try to make the slab of now hardened cement into something else........I chose the 2nd.
Step 2: Saving the Project.
Off to the store I went to buy some more portland cement. I mixed it with some sand that I already had in the backyard. I piled up some dirt into "steps" leading down from the house cement slab, put some chicken wire over the steps, and then added a layer of cement over it and began to carve "stone" features and textures into it. I used shovels, tools, hands, and even some other real rocks to add the texture. Then I began trying to fix the chair slab into something. I decided to make it just a rock pile and use it as a seat to sit on. I cut up some styrofoam chunks for each rock and coated the outside with a few inches of cement and just kept piling it on the wall of the feature until it began looking like it was somewhat planned. lol. After it began setting, I went to the texturing part again and began carving the stones in place. After a few days of drying and hardening, I added some paint. That part is a little tricky to make it look believable, but if you water down the paints and use sponging and dabbing techniques, it can begin looking like stone. I then just dry brushed over top of the texture to make it "pop" a little more. Then I added some cement sealer over that. Afterwards, I planted some plants and mulch and took some photos. I still plan to paint the front rocks and add some more around the other edge of the bird bath, but I'm ending here for now. :)