When mothers day comes around it stirs up a lot of feelings for me.
My mother was such an ingenious, smart and determined woman. But sadly yes, she has passed. But much of her lives on me and she taught me that a woman can do whatever she puts her mind to and I have used that motto for most of my life. I do not let gender define me and I embrace many challenges that most women shy away from. She was dealt so much pain but always saw the glass as 'half full', never let her weakness show. She was my rock so it's no wonder I wanted to make a permanent tribute to her for my visit to the cemetery.
I have been working with concrete for many years now so this was a new way to form it. It may not be perfect but I am sure she will still be appreciative knowing it was handmade from the heart
Step 1: What You Need:
To make the roses you will be encasing them in concrete and wrapping them in a concrete-burlap bouquet tied with a bow.
- a few simple roses and leaves ( the stiffer the better)
- a square of burlap (about 12")
- some thick cotton rope or twine to tie a bow
- RapidSet Cementall
- Gloves and dust mask (gotta be safe)
- Pliers, scissors, old brush
- Mixing container/water
Step 2: How to Start:
This will get messy (and yes I did it in the house) so I covered the table with plastic. I do not wash out any vessels since that could clog drains. (see my tricks to working with concrete here)
This uses a very fast setting concrete mix that does not have aggregate in it. It will set hard in an hour and cure in a day. It can be workable at thin or thicker mixes. For the initial dip I will use a quite thin runny mix. It will need a few dipps and coats so don't be too set on the coverage. It only has a few minutes of working time so have a place to hang the flowers like a coat hanger (hook the wire ends)
Let them harden and either dip again or paint on some more mix.
If you dip you need ample mix and container large enough to submerge it. I used the painting on method, a few coats.
To make a nice arrangement I decided to display as a tied bouquet.
Scrunch up the burlap and dip into the vessel of runny concrete mix again. Sometimes the sand in the mix will tend to settle to the bottom so I use a brush to paint it on.
Arrange the stems of roses and any extra leaves in the bouquet and fold the concrete soaked fabric around it.
Soak the rope and fashion a nice bow.
Once they are arranged you can still make the flowers thicker by drizzling on more concrete or painting it on. I like the molten effect that the drizzling made. Drizzle some mix between the flowers as well to 'glue' them together.
The weakest parts will be the edges of the petals so add thickness there. This mix is string at 1/8" thick.
Step 4: Just for Fun Some Sparkle:
You could stop there and be quite happy...
I was looking for an old weathered concrete look so I added a bit of acrylic paint and some moss.
You will need:
- Black & white acrylic paint
- Matt medium
- Green Blend Turf flocking
- Brushes, water, rags, pallets
Mix a watery acrylic dark gray paint and let it run into the crevices. Wipe off on the edges. Outdoor concrete likes to breath so be sparing with your use of paint. It should not look painted, just accented.
Dab some gold on the edges of the petals, add some black leaf veins and pattern on the burlap... just a touch.
To make it look even older I love the look of moss in the crevices.
Dab some Matt Medium into the crevices and sprinkle the flocking into it. It will only stick where you put medium. It's surprisingly realistic looking! Mine have lasted well outside through the harsh winter.
Step 5: Rustic Roses for a Wonderful Mom!
All done and it will last and last... just like my constant admiration for the woman who made me what I am today. I can only hope that I can have such an effect on my daughter.
It sits proudly on the top of the gravestone, solid and determined just like she was... Happy Mother's day Mom!
I hope I have inspired you to make something for your mom! She will love it no matter how it turns out... I have many tutorials on my site of things you could make for her www.madebybarb.com
Runner Up in the