I had to bury my beloved pet this past Thursday and I wanted to do one last extra special thing in her memory. I hope you never have to make this Instructable, but if you should want to do something like this for your furry friend who has passed, here's how.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
For this design, you will need:
Bucket (or anything to mix the ShapeCrete, but if you go to the bakery at your local grocery store and ask them for a bucket, they will give you a free 5-gallon bucket with the only caveat being you will need to wash it out)
Pitcher (or any container to hold your water)
A sheet of wax paper
Spoon (preferably one with a long handle)
*You should really use gloves while handling ShapeCrete. While it will easily wash off of your hands, I can assure you, gloves are recommended for this project.
Step 2: Pour and Mix the ShapeCrete
The bucket in the first photo shows you the appropriate ratios of water to ShapeCrete. Depending on the consistency you require or want for the project you are making, you can add more water to make it become a more soupy consistency or a little less water for a more sandy texture. As you can see in the photos, the amount of ShapeCrete I used and how much I filled the bucket to where my finger is pointing. I then poured the water out of my pitcher (I used 1/4 of the entire pitcher I filled to get this consistency) For this design, I added a little more water than recommended to make it become like a clay. Mix it up until you reach the desired texture and you're ready to begin sculpting. (The last photo shows what it will look like when you are ready to begin.)
Step 3: Form Your Marker
Scoop or pour the ShapeCrete onto the wax paper you have laid out and sculpt it into a block of your desired size. I chose to make a lower laying, longer block, so for the purposes of this Instructable, we will go with that. The ShapeCrete will try to sink on you while you are working on the marker, just be mindful to keep shaping the sides so they keep their form. Eventually, you won't need to do this anymore, as the ShapeCrete starts drying some it will hold it's shape.
Step 4: Add Your Design
Now it's time to use that bamboo skewer you have off to the side. Gently push the skewer into the block only about quarter of an inch deep (you might call it stippling) and carefully either "stipple" it all the way down each side until you have completed your design, or even more carefully slide the skewer down the edges. I chose the "stipple"/poking method because I found that when I slid it down, I had to constantly smooth the outer edges of the lines to keep them from drying bumpy and uneven with the rest of the marker.
Step 5: Engrave Your Special Remembrance
My pet's name was Gretchen, so I knew I wanted to put that on her grave marker as well as her dates. I didn't make it long enough to put her exact day of birth or death, but if you want to engrave those numbers just a little smaller, I'm sure there would be enough room. I chose the hearts because she was such a special friend, I wanted to have a symbolization of her heart and mine engraved on her marker. This is your time to add your own touch for your marker and make it a special remembrance.
Step 6: Allow the ShapeCrete to Dry and Place Marker
Give the ShapeCrete approximately 24 hours to completely dry and you will then be ready to place your grave marker where it belongs.
If you are in the Atlanta area, come check out our makerspace in Marietta two blocks south of the historic Marietta Square.
Check us out at www.theMakerStation.com meetup.com/Cobb-County-Makers-Meetup/