Introduction: Making Concrete Balls
After seeing industrial geometric accessories for the home and garden I wanted to make some for myself. They are really easy and I'm sure you'll enjoy working with concrete too. The possibilities are endless! Thanks!
Step 1: Getting Organized
Gather your supplies and tools together. Tools include: safety glasses, rubber gloves, leather gloves, a hammer, old newspaper, a scoop (old yoghurt container). The safety glasses and gloves aren't in the photo 'cause I'm wearing them...you should too. And, you should also be wearing closed toe shoes.
I also had a garbage can lid which made great trays for working - you'll see it later photos and most importantly, you need an assortment of forms to mold the concrete. I also had a bucket of water for rinsing.
The forms that I uses were salvaged glass light shades. I had four different sizes and had them nearby and ready to use. Materials include 'Quikrete' concrete mix and water.
Step 2: Plan Ahead
So, one of the forms that I used broke in the middle of the concrete filling/mixing step. Fortunately I had a Plan B and was able to quickly switch to another form that I hadn't been planning to use. Because I had an assortment of forms ready to go, I didn't waste all that wet quick setting concrete. I was lucky that the forms I used were small and sturdy. Because I was working in a 'tray', I didn't have to huge mess to clean up....just a small mess.
Step 3: Filling the Form
To make the concrete balls, the glass form is actually broken and discarded. I set the form on the garbage can 'working tray. I also recommend lining the 'tray' with old newspaper for easier cleanup. Using the 'scoop', I carefully placed the dry concrete mix into the form then added water. I recommended alternating between adding concrete and adding water. Even for the small form, it was hard to mix in the water and make sure that the concrete was evenly mixed with water. Using the handy disposable stir stick (nothing fancy, just a twig from the garden) mix the dry concrete with water. Set the filled form aside and wait.
Step 4: Freeing the Concrete
So for the 2nd concrete ball, I lined the working tray with old newspaper. While wearing safety glasses and heavy gloves, gently tap the glass to break it. I used one hand as a shield between me and the glass. For the 1st ball, I didn't wait and wasn't tidy and cracked the glass in the working tray with wet concrete. Getting the broken glass out of the set concrete is going to be a challenge and I'm not looking forward to it....so don't do that!
Step 5: Cleaning Up
Now is a good time to bundle up the broken glass and carefully dispose of the waste. Still wearing gloves, I also rinsed the concrete ball off. I had rinsed my gloved hands and the finished concrete ball in a bucket of water. This water is alkaline so be thoughtful and careful when discarding the water. Please don't dump it down a storm drain - save the fish! An be careful dumping the water in the garden....the lawn and your plants won't like it.
Step 6: The Big Finish
So now the concrete ball is free on the formwork and your beautiful, unique accessory for your home.....or is it? The concrete could be painted. I might tile a concrete ball with pennies. I'd also like to cover the concrete with moss. Or I might leave it as is...I like the texture. Who knows, the possibilities are endless.