Cast birdbaths in concrete

Cast your very own birdbath. Decorate with colorful mosaic. Put it outside the kitchen window or why not in the middle of the vegetable garden - soon the birds will come to swim and drink.

The fun thing about concrete is its formability. First it is soft as a model, then it is as durable as stone. Its only limitation is your imagination and the mold in which you pour it. Here is a simple beginner project where the concrete is combined with delicious mosaic.

What do you need:

Fine concrete.

Formvirke; boards for frame, triangular strip, wooden board for base and masonite for the bottom of the birdbath.

Mosaic, fix and joint. There are different shades of jointing, from light gray to almost black.

Do this:

It always starts with a mold. First, carve a frame of boards on a board of plywood or similar. The frame is screwed with a screw so that it is easy to disassemble when the concrete has hardened. In the mold is nailed a "hill" which becomes the depression in the birdbath. The hill is made of four triangular strips where the ends are made 45 degrees and nailed to the base to a square. On this, a masonite board is nailed as a lid, with the raw side up so that the mosaic is attached. It will be the bottom of the birdbath.

Oil the inside of the mold. Ordinary cooking oil works well. Mix the concrete according to the instructions on the bag. It is important that the dry mortar and water are mixed well. Process it for a few minutes to a sluggish porridge. Pour the mortar into the mold and tap the mold to get the air out of the concrete. This otherwise turns into ugly air bubbles on the finished surface of the concrete. We ourselves usually use an oscillating sanding machine without sanding paper as a vibrator that is held against the outside of the mold.

Let the mortar stand in the mold and harden for about a week covered with a plastic bag. Then unscrew the frame and lift out of the mold. Fill a layer of fix mortar at the bottom and insert the mosaic pieces. When the fix has hardened, join with grout.

The dimensions of the birdbath can vary endlessly. Just calculate so that the number of mosaic pieces plus joints goes evenly up to the bottom. Our bird bath is 35x35 cm large and 7.5 cm high with a depression of 5 cm.

TEXT AND PICTURE: Anna and Ingvar Hedenrud

Garden figures

Give your garden a personal touch with a charming garden figure that can blend into the greenery! A garden figure in concrete, plastic or metal is a fun detail to buy for your plot and at the same time enhances the expression you want to give your garden. At HORNBACH we think it's fun to decorate the garden and therefore you will find a wide range of different garden statues with us, in the form of garden elves, angels, animals, birdbaths and much more fun!

A garden figure gives your garden life

No Japanese-inspired garden should be without a garden statue of Buddha! If you want to decorate your garden in a special theme, for example Japanese, you reinforce this by placing garden figures that are associated with the style. For this garden, one can also imagine garden figures in the form of lanterns and temples, mixed with stones that are an important element in Japanese interior design.

Another very popular theme that one would like to associate with the garden is romance. Imagine sitting in an arbor, under wonderfully fragrant climbing roses or a wild lilac, then there can be nothing wrong with a garden statue in the form of an angel coming out of the greenery. If you do not fit a garden figure, you can enhance the romantic impression with a birdbath in the flower bed. In pots and plantings, it will be nice to add less molded hearts or other small garden figures in concrete.

For the animal lover, there is a plethora of garden figures in the form of different animals. You will find cats, dogs, birds, frogs or why not buy a garden figure in the form of a turtle coming out of the bush in your garden. There is not much that beats coming home to his house and then being met by a large and magnificent garden statue in the form of a lion standing and guarding the driveway.

A garden elf in every garden

There are many options on how you can joke to your garden, both when it comes to plants, furniture and garden figures. Just like in all interior design, there are trends, so also in garden styling. The garden plot is still trendy and is a kitschy feature that can be seen in many gardens, as well as the pink bird flamingo. A garden figure will attract the eyes of your visitors and make your garden unique.

When you buy a new garden figure, check that it is weatherproof. Some garden statues are frost-resistant and can stand outside all year round, while others you have to lift into a storage room during the winter months.

Whether you want to buy a charming garden figure, a garden elf or a stately garden statue, you will find it at HORNBACH. Be inspired by our range of garden figures in concrete, plastic and metal and turn your garden into a place to thrive.

1. If you use a small amount of concrete, it is no problem to mix it by hand.
2. Dilute gently with water, the consistency should be like solid oatmeal. Our experience is that it is easier to pour in the water first and then add a little concrete at a time, when you mix by hand. The instructions often say the opposite, that you should start with the concrete and then pour in the water, but it becomes very heavy to mix by hand.
3. You do not have to buy molds to cast in. Use your imagination instead and see what you have at home. Yogurt jars, pringles, crème fraiche jars and buckets in different sizes are examples of good shapes.
4. Brush the mold with a little cooking oil before filling - then the concrete will release more easily when it has solidified.
5. Wipe the mold with some paper after brushing it. Too much oil can settle like a film over the concrete.
6. Pack the concrete firmly in the mold - and hit it against the table to get rid of air bubbles. If you look at the concrete when you hit the mold against the table, you will see that small bubbles appear. If you want a completely smooth concrete, you should continue until no more bubbles appear. If you want a more rough feeling, you do not have to be as careful with the bubbles.
7. If you press an inner mold into the concrete, you need to hold it in place. You can either tape it or put a weight in it. Otherwise there is a risk that it will float up when the concrete solidifies.
8. If you are not going to cast the inner mold, it is important that you remember to lubricate it with oil on the outside, so that you can get it loose later.
9. Small things harden in just one day - while slightly larger things can take longer. Concrete feels good from solidifying slowly. Therefore, never place the concrete in direct sunlight while it dries. If it is high summer and hot outside, you can cover with plastic so it goes a little slower. Feel free to spray some water on your product during the drying time and you will make sure that it does not dry too quickly.

Casting a nice dish, or a birdbath, with the help of a rhubarb leaf is both fun and easy. How to use:

1. Choose a suitable place in the shade where you can work with the concrete and protect the ground with, for example, a piece of canvas.
2. Use gravel or soil to build a small hill where you lay a rhubarb leaf with the top down.
3. Lay an even layer of concrete on top of the rhubarb leaf. Here it is important that the concrete is not too runny, so that it stays nicely on the blade.
4. If you are going to use the leaf as a birdbath, it is important that you make sure that there is not a hole where the rhubarb stalk sat, because then the water will flow out there.
5. Smooth the surface with your hands (do not forget plastic gloves) and press with a bucket on the surface that should stand against the ground, then the blade will stand more firmly later.
6. Feel free to spray water on the rhubarb leaf at regular intervals to extend the drying time and thus the strength.
7. When all the concrete has solidified, after a few days, it is time to peel off the leaf residues from the concrete. It can be quite tricky, almost impossible, on a first try. But leave it out for another couple of days and the leaf residues will dry together and become incredibly much easier to get rid of.

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Cast birdbath in concrete - garden

Casting in concrete is fantastic fun. In addition, the result is often very nice and unique. There are lots of things you can do by using concrete. How about nice flower pots, birdbaths and nice figures to have in the garden, or at least, in the interior decoration? Since the industrial style became popular, it is hotter than ever to decorate the home with beautiful details in concrete. I was going to present here some simpler projects that suit the beginner.

Cast birdbath of rhubarb leaves

For this project you need a large and beautiful rhubarb leaf, sand, fine concrete and water. Place the rhubarb leaf face down on a small pile of sand. The sand is there for the leaf to retain its natural bowl shape. Then mix the concrete according to the instructions on the package and cover the underside of the blade with an even 2-3 centimeter thick concrete layer. Then let the concrete harden. When everything has solidified, carefully loosen the blade from the concrete, then you have a beautiful blade-shaped birdbath.

Cast concrete pots

These pots fit just as well outside in the garden as they do on the windowsill inside. For them you need two jars or bowls, one smaller and one larger, oil, fine concrete and weights. Start by mixing into the concrete and then oiling your molds. The larger one should be oiled on the inside while the smaller one should be oiled on the outside. Then pour concrete into the larger vessel and press the smaller one into the concrete. Press evenly until the concrete reaches the height you want. Place a smaller plank as weight. You may also want to add some stones. Let everything harden and then loosen the vessels, first the smaller and then the larger. Now your pot is ready. It is also possible to make beautiful dishes in this way by using lower vessels.

Concrete is an addictive material to work in. Once you get started, you will not be able to stop.

Cast birdbath in concrete - garden

In 2017, we do not hold concrete courses, but if you are a larger group who want to do something together, there may be an opportunity during the autumn. Get in touch with us otherwise we will take new steps in 2018 again.
Some info about concrete courses below.
Are you a beginner or have you maybe cast a little on a hobby level before? Regardless, there is a lot to learn. During the concrete course, you learn a little about different techniques, suitable materials to cast against and how to mix concrete. The idea of ​​the course is that you should get enough knowledge to be able to continue casting at home. We therefore mix the concrete by hand. During the course, we mostly cast small things such as pots, birdbaths, figurines, bowls, etc. If you have your own wishes, things are also going well. However, we do not cast any major items during this course.
The course is divided into two occasions. The first time we mix and cast. During the second time, which is a couple of days later, we get to see the results of the beautiful things and here is also given the opportunity to color or surface treat their concrete objects.

Concrete course is something that everyone can participate in!
A fun afterwork, birthday activity or why not just do something fun and different with the girl gang?

Rhubarb is very cold-resistant and can be grown in pots with good results. Put a plant in a large pot or tub, which has a hole in the bottom. Fill with nutritious soil and water the plant well. A self-watering pot is perfect, then you can easily see when more water is needed. Fertilize the plant every spring. Store the pot protected in the winter and preferably place it on a Styrofoam base so the cold decreases from below.

Save the summer by freezing centimeter-sized pieces, so you have rhubarb the rest of the year! PHOTO: iStock
  • The first season of a rhubarb plant's life, it should have all the stems to itself. When the plant has gained momentum, you can start harvesting but only in early summer. In late summer and autumn, it is best to leave the rhubarb alone to gather strength. Harvest a fair amount at a time, preferably no more than a quarter of the rhubarb and let it grow back between the harvests. When the summer is over, the stems should be allowed to wither, this nourishes the roots.
  • When harvesting, DO NOT cut off the stems with a knife, as this may damage the root and cause the whole rhubarb root to rot and be destroyed. Instead, you wiggle the stem while pulling upwards, until it releases from the bracket at the root. The easiest way is to hold quite a bit down on the stem and pull straight up until it releases with a "snap"!

Video: How To Make A Concrete Birdbath Part 1

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