Concrete Smiling Stones

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About: Welcome! Pleased to meet you, I am Barb; a Maker. I have been making things AND explaining how to make things for as long as I can remember. I was all about DIY before it was a popular term. I absolutely lov...

Did you just do a double take?! Yup, this is not your typical halloween decor but it's perfect as it will create some giggles and maybe even screams! Better yet, they will last forever since they are concrete and are so easy that you can make a bunch for pennies once you have the mold. I have a lot of unique concrete projects on my site: https://www.madebybarb.com/

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Step 1: Step #1 - Gather Your Supplies and Cast Your Teeth

You will need:

  • Denture Shape silicone ice mold
  • RapidSet Cementall concrete or similar (mixing tools/vessel, gloves & dust mask)
  • Tin foil
  • Hot Glue Gun & glue sticks
  • Duct Tape
  • Acrylic paint (white, black, yellow, blue & red)
  • Clear acrylic Gloss medium optional
  • Acrylic Pearlizing Medium
  • brushes, water
  • metal zippers (longer can be cut) & scissors
  • Palette knife or similar

If you are new to concrete crafting I have a 'tips and tricks 'page on my site to get you started


Step #1: Make the teeth
Mix a small amount of the concrete mix with water (use caution and wear gloves and a dust mask when working with concrete). This RapidSet Cementall sets very quickly; in only a few minutes and does not require as much water. It is recommended to add the water first and then add the dry mix. It can be mixed in a fairly fluid consistency. Fill the silicone molds and tap well to remove the bubbles in the teeth and have the concrete flatten.

It will be unmoldable in one hour.

Step 2: Step #2 - Paint the Teeth

You could leave it as is or give it some realism by painting it.

To mix a flesh tone mix some white and red acrylic paint, add some yellow, and then a tiny bit of blue. Compare it to the colour of your hands, but a bit more pink.

You can be fussy or not. The inside won’t be seen, nor the back.

I added a bit of gloss medium to make it ‘saliva-shiny’. Even a bit of acrylic pearlizing medium makes the teeth shine. You can’t help but chuckle through this…

Step 3: Step #3 - Glue Top to Bottom

To set the upper and lower teeth I separated them a bit and glued with hot glue at the molars. This won’t be seen so be sure it holds well by filling with hot glue.

To prevent anything getting in the mouth opening I taped the back closed with duct tape.

Step 4: Step #4 - Making the Form & Zipper

Any length of zipper can be used as long as it is enough for the smile. The excess can be cut off. Use some old zippers from discarded clothes, as the colour does not matter. The 2 open ends of the zipper need some gluing together. You can adjust the smile as you like.

Glue the top and bottom at the centre point. I leave the sides loose to build up with some concrete ‘cheeks’.

From my sculpting days I learnt to use tin foil as a bulking agent. It is great since it can be formed easily and is quite stiff. Make the shape you prefer and glue to the teeth. Add more if needed. You can now imagine how it will look. Be creative, as stones come in all sizes and shapes.

I tuck a bit of the foil around the zipper to keep everything snug before I start with the concrete.

Step 5: Step #5: the Concrete

Using the same concrete, this time mix it to a thicker consistency. I find that it will slightly stiffen in about 30 seconds and be quite moldable and able to hold it’s shape. I do really love this stuff

It’s not a mystery what to do next. Cover the form with the concrete and work your way around. It can be a round type of stone or more angular. Poke it, put dents & holes. The more rough the better and realistic it will look. It will start to get firm after a couple of minutes or so.

At that point I will start to get fussier and finish the ‘lip’ edges. I like to use a painter’s palette knife as it’s thin and flexible. ‘Smear’ the mix up carefully to where the zipper teeth are. You can also brush any concrete off with a brush and water if need be. Try to keep the zipper pull clean.
Trust me, it’s not that hard at all…

Step 6: Step #6: Finishing the Colour

Yup, I am always in a hurry. I figure if the paint is added earlier it can sink into the concrete even better. I mix a bit of black acrylic paint with a tiny bit of concrete and brush it on very loosely. You could also just paint it on.

Let it run and be mottled. The mix tends to be a very light white colour if no staining is done.

Laugh out loud! These guys make me chuckle.

Step 7: Step #7 - Place Them in Great Spots...

So, now what? You can put them in the garden, add them discreetly between the rockery and make someone jump. Halloween is perfect to add them to the garden or anywhere to surprise people. Even in planters. Concrete is such a great media since it is easily obtainable and does not need fancy tools.

Check out my site for many more DIY projects or Concrete Projects

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Halloween Contest 2017

Third Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2017

3 People Made This Project!

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76 Discussions

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MadeByBarbNam2019

Reply 2 months ago

Well, I do not know how he makes them or what is used. These are clearly much different as they are concrete sculptures.

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Nam2019MadeByBarb

Reply 2 months ago

It seems to me that the difference is only in the material used. But the design is copied.
If this is an instructable on how to make Laughing Stones by Hirotoshi Itoh using concrete, then this should be indicated in the text.

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MadeByBarbNam2019

Reply 5 weeks ago

If you do the research; ideas can not be copyrighted, expressions can. If the expression is different then it is not copied.

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Alcheese

Question 1 year ago

So, yesterday I made my first molds. However, I was using Quickrete's Quick-Setting cement, not the CementAll that you used.

After about 5 hours in the mold, it looked completely dry, so I tried to pop them out. Unfortunately, the front teeth on all of them broke and remained in the mold.

I'm wondering if I tried to take them out too soon? Looking again at your instructions, my mix was drier than yours appears to be in the step #1 pics, but I didn't think it was too dry. I had covered the mold and cement with saran wrap while drying. I did it that way in the past when I used Quickrete's Vinyl Concrete Patcher to make "DIY Easy Concrete Letters" by Evan and Katelyn... https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Easy-Concrete-Letters/. But, the Vinyl Concrete Patcher needs 24hrs to dry. I did tap the mold and use a random orbit sander to vibrate a piece of plywood that the mold was resting on with the wet cement in it to get rid of the air bubbles. From the pic, you can see that I got most of them out but not every last one. So, I'm not sure where I went wrong at the moment.... Maybe... use a wetter mix? Don't cover the filled mold with the saran wrap? Wait longer before removing the dried cement? I'm going to head over to your website to look for tips, but if you had any thoughts, I'd greatly appreciate it!

broken teeth.jpeg
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MadeByBarbAlcheese

Reply 1 year ago

Hmmm, I am a bit baffled. When I made my post about the mixes: (https://www.madebybarb.com/2018/07/04/compare-concrete-mixes-for-crafting/) I used a Quikcrete product that I felt worked like the Cementall but it was called FastSet Allcrete. It worked for me as I made the giant leaf orb and it let me work pretty well non-stop. But weather, and temperature can also be factors. Your pictures show that it is a coarser mix. Was there aggregate in it? I also would say that maybe it was too dry? Not enough time? old product? The Quick set mixes are usually quite fluid and plasticy where as yours seems much more sandy. Possibly the mix was not wet enough to get well into those teeth. Maybe it was not setting long enough. You are in the US? I think the products are different from Quikcrete. One thing I know for sure, the Rapidset Cementall always surprises me for how strong it is even when super thin. It's pricey (over $20/bag) but I love it.

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AlcheeseMadeByBarb

Reply 1 year ago

I didn't use any additional aggregate, just the Quickrete Quick Setting cement. I started by mixing it at a 5:1 cement:water ratio as recommended for a more watery mix (they say 5.5:1 for a less watery mix). It seemed to be too dry though, especially to get it into the nooks and crannies of the teeth, so I added a bit more water to the mix. It seemed to be ok then, if still slightly on the dry side, but looking at your pic of the mix in the mold under Step #1, mine definitely wasn't as watery as yours. I tapped on the mold and then put it on a piece of plywood that I vibrated by holding an orbital sander underneath. I did everything, including letting it set for about 5 hours, indoors figuring it's too cold out in the garage lately with nightime temps getting close to freezing some nights.

And yes, I'm in the US, specifically Maine. I got the Quikrete two days ago at a Home Depot store. The only way it could be old is if it's been sitting at the store for a long time. They had the Cement All also, but the Quikrete was in a smaller container, so I got that because I don't know when the next time I'll use it is. Looking at the labels, the mix ratios, drying times, and other info seemed to be very similar, so I thought the Quikrete would be a very similar product to the Cement All.

I'll try it again with a more watery mix, aiming for a consistency like in your pic. And, I'll give it a longer drying time in the mold before taking it out.

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MadeByBarbAlcheese

Reply 1 year ago

The RapidSet Cementall is alway more fluid, and it has such a plasticy consistency that it does not compare to other ones. I do think you are doing everything right. Rather than vibrating I usually lift and tap down quite sharply, it even smooths down the tops that way. I wish you luck. It's like cooking/baking, sometimes just turns out different. Well, in the event it doesn't work on the teeth you may be able to make my eye rocks...

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Alcheese

Question 1 year ago

These are great! I may make some last minute for Halloween this year. When you use the gloss and pearlizing mediums, do you add that to the paint, or do you apply it afterwards on top of the paint?

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MadeByBarbAlcheese

Reply 1 year ago

You get a much better effect if it's the last coat otherwise it disappears in the paint mix. Happy making!

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AlcheeseMadeByBarb

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks! Just got the last of the supplies today. Hopefully I'll be able to do it before Halloween... cutting it close. I'll post a pic when it's done.

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AMbros Custom

1 year ago

it looks so creepy.Amazing idea soon i will try..

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deluges

2 years ago

Oh god why

This is crazy cool

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ZaneEricB

2 years ago

SO... I need these in my life... like about 1000 of them... THESE ARE INCREDIBLE

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3parksdesign

2 years ago

Extremely clever and creepy - I love them! Great instructable - adding this one to my concrete project to do list.

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MadeByBarb3parksdesign

Reply 2 years ago

There'a many more unique projects on my site:

https://www.madebybarb.com/category/at-home/concrete/

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theartfulbirder

2 years ago

Wow great idea! Perfect Halloween decor!