Got some spare concrete lying around from that sidewalk job. Here’s a fun way to use it up before it dries.
You can make garden accessories — stepping stones, ornaments, even statues if you want to get really fancy — without much trouble.
Now, ideally your mix should be a little smoother than the normal sidewalk stuff… just a 3:1 mix of sand to cement. Add water till it’s pourable, but not too sloppy. But good ol’ sidewalk concrete works, too.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Pavers. Dig a few 3″ deep holes in an suitable area of your yard — that is, an area where you can dig without tripping anyone or wrecking your lawn. Give them a random outline, and tamp the earth inside till it’s flat and firm. Pour your concrete in slowly. When it sets, pull up your new pavers, and cure them normally, wetting them daily for a couple weeks.
Ornaments. Use the same techniques as above, but dig the shape of the ornament into the earth. You can easily make a round top, by using a basketball to help round out your mold. You can dig out flower shapes, shell shapes, or a sun. To vary the texture, lay 6 mil plastic in the hole. Where it crinkles, ridges will show in the hardened concrete. Try laying decorative stone in the hole before pouring the concrete. The stone will become embedded in the hardened concrete and show on the surface after curing.
If you want to get really elaborate, make various sections of a statue, then “glue” them together with concrete or fast-drying hydraulic cement.
Leftover concrete all finished? You may just find yourself mixing up some more. You can also buy molds or fashion them out of aluminum or latex.