Concrete garden projects need not be complicated or time consuming. Stepping stones, planters, birdhouses and birdbaths are decorative items you can make with a little ingenuity and a bag of mortar mix. Your concrete creations can last a lifetime, or longer, gracing gardens in your family for generations.
Make and decorate concrete stepping stones for the garden with mortar mix, mosaic tiles and glass stones. Plastic molds in a variety of shapes and sizes are available from craft stores, or you can make your own stepping stone molds from the bottom half of a plastic milk jug. Whichever mold you select, make sure to spray a release agent before adding the concrete mix so that the stepping stone can be removed easily. Most stepping stones are about 2-inches thick, but you can make yours thicker if you like. Press the tiles and colorful stones into the top of the stepping stone mortar after it begins setting up, usually about 10 minutes or so after you pour it. This concrete garden project can be customized to commemorate special people, moments and events.
Concrete planters add an air of stability to your garden or patio. To make this project, you'll need a form shaped to both the inside and outside dimensions of the planter. You can make the form from plywood. As with the stepping stones, a release agent makes removing the solid concrete planter from the form easier. It takes about a week of wetting the concrete planter daily before you can add plants.
For the Birds
Concrete birdbaths and birdhouses are other projects you can make for the garden. As with any other type of concrete project, molds and release agents are the keys to successful designs. A large stainless steel bowl is a good choice for a concrete birdbath mold. Two sizes of coffee cans, one inside the other, can work to make the perimeter of a birdhouse. Get creative with the roof mold; an inverted metal funnel or a small stainless steel bowl will work. You can decorate the outside of the birdhouse and the birdbath with acrylic or exterior latex paint, after the concrete has cured--don't forget a door.