Introduction: Concrete Letters
This tutorial will walk you through how to make your own concrete letters to use as decor in your garden or wherever you’d like!
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- Cardboard/Paper Mache Letters:
- I used QUIKRETE 5000 Concrete Mix which worked well: https://www.quikrete.com/productlines/quikrete5000concretemix.asp
- However, if you’d like a finer, more finished look try using QUIKRETE Countertop Mix. That’s what I’m going to try next time: https://www.quikrete.com/productlines/countertopmix.asp
- I thought this might be handy so I could bolt in some stakes if I wanted to have these standing up in grass or something. I decided to go a different route but it might be helpful for you still.
Step 1: CONVERT CARDBOARD LETTERS INTO CONCRETE MOLDS
To convert your cardboard letters into molds to use for the concrete you’ll need to cut off either the front or back of the letter. Decide whether you want the front of your finished letter to be the top side or bottom side of the concrete mold. That will dictate whether you remove the front or back side of the letter.
Use a knife to slice off the top layer of cardboard. Once you get it started it’s easy to just peel it back as a whole layer.
Step 2: MIX & POUR THE CONCRETE
Mix the concrete according to the instructions on the bag. Make sure you have a strong enough mixing stick. I initially used a paint stirring stick which was a horrible idea and was definitely not strong enough.
Scoop and pour the concrete into the cardboard letter molds. Try vibrating the molds to remove all of the air bubbles. And if you’re using the top side as the front for your letters, make sure you smooth it out and are happy with the finish. What you see is what you get. If you’ve never worked with concrete before don’t be afriad, this is a pretty simple project. This was basically my first time and things came out well!
Step 3: REMOVE LETTERS FROM MOLDS
Let the concrete according to the instructions on the bag, probably about 48 hours.
I actually let me first set of letters dry for 7 days which had the added benefit of allowing the cardboard letter mold to completely dry out too. This let me remove the molds withoutdestroying them so I could use them one more time. But just peel off the cardboard molds to reveal your concrete letters!
Step 4: PLACE & ENJOY!
Place your concrete letters however you’d like to display them.
We chose to bury them down among our small crushed up rock. However, I think they’d also look good leaning up against a wall or staked into the grass.
By the way Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness and is held by Finns themselves to express their national character. It is generally considered not to have a literal equivalent in English.
This was a gift for my parents because they love the word sisu. We’re Finnish and we always had a sisu sign in our kitchen growing up.
Please let me know your thoughts on this project, if you try it yourself, along with any ways to improve this design.
P.S. I also host a podcast called Curiosityness! Every week I conduct a podcast interview with an expert about the most fascinating history, things, & people of our world. If that interests you, I encourage you to check out the Curiosityness podcast available for free at https://www.curiosityness.com/
And find me on Instagram @travderose: https://www.instagram.com/travderose/
You can find the complete tutorial for this at: https://curiosityness.com/concrete-letters/
This is an entry in the
1 Person Made This Project!
- Creativeman made it!