You’ve probably noticed lately that concrete is being used in new and interesting ways in home decor. This DIY cement trough centerpiece is a great example of this fun trend.
Chloe Mackintosh, Boxwood Avenue came up with this concrete project for our DIY Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog. We asked her to share with us a fun and useful DIY project. Our only requirement was that it involve cement.
This cement project is a great way to discover how easy it is to work with concrete. Plus, the trough centerpiece will be a useful and chic addition to your decor. Just follow Chloe’s step-by-step tutorial.
Cement Trough Centerpiece
Working with cement is much easier than you could ever imagine! For anyone who likes to cook, it’s very similar to baking a cake from a box. All you have to do is add water! Creating the wood mold was also very easy. I was lucky enough to have my dad on hand to help me work out any kinks that came up as we made the cement trough, I’ve included my tips and tricks in the steps below.
- (3) Empty, tapered plastic containers (empty yogurt or sour cream cartons work great!)
- (1) 1 in. x 8 in. x 2 ft. Common Board
- (1) 55 lb Bag of RapidSet Cement
- Caulk and Caulking Gun
- Drill and drill bits
- Cooking Spray
- Rubber Mallet
- Loose Gravel (or other heavy material)
- (3) 18 in. pieces
- (2) 9 in. pieces
Step 1: Cut the Common Board
Cut the common board according to the cut list above. You can ask a Home Depot associate to do that for you in the store to save time at home.
Step 2: Screw the Mold Sides Together
Piece the wood mold together.
Once you’ve double-checked that the box fits together, pre-drill holes down the length of one of the ends to prevent splitting.
Remember, the outside of the box doesn’t need to be perfect, it’s just the inside that matters!
Once you’ve finished pre-drilling the length of one side, screw the side board into place.
Repeat this process until the box is screwed together on all sides.
Tip: I placed one screw in the bottom center of each long side of the box. Also, remember that the inside of your box needs to remain smooth, try not to screw into the inside of the box.
Step 3: Caulk the Seams of the Mold
After your mold is screwed together, apply caulk to all of the interior edges.
Use your finger to smooth out the caulk, work quickly as caulk dries very fast!
Allow the caulk to dry completely.
Step 4: Mix the Cement
Place the dry cement into a large bucket; slowly add water until you have reached the consistency of thick pancake batter.
Step 5: Pour the Cement
Spray the interior of your mold with cooking spray, then pour the cement into the mold, leaving a few inches of headspace.
Step 6: Place the Plastic Containers in the Cement
Fill each empty plastic container with gravel and about a cup of water.
Place each container into the mold, equidistant from each other.
Add more water until the plastic containers will remain at the depth you like.
Step 7: Allow the Cement to Set
Place your cement filled mold onto a flat surface to dry.
Use a level to assist you in this process. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the sides of the mold to allow any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
Let the cement dry in a cool place overnight. By allowing it to dry in a cool place, it is less likely to crack.
Step 8: Remove the Mold
Once the cement has dried, very carefully unscrew the mold, and remove the wood sides.
Bend the plastic containers into themselves to remove from the cement.
Step 9: Sand the Trough Centerpiece
Sand any rough edges, and you’re all done!
The Completed Cement Trough Centerpiece
After making this DIY cement trough centerpiece, I can’t wait to work with cement again. I think I might try making a cement centerpiece for candles, or maybe even some cement napkin rings. I enjoy very clean and simple design, and cement is a great material for making décor items that fit that style.
This trough is a great centerpiece for outdoor tables; the holes left behind after removing the plastic molds are perfect for holding wine bottles, flowers or flatware. If you decide to plant herbs in the trough, remember to add some gravel in the bottom for drainage!
Chloe Mackintosh lives on a 160,000 acre cattle ranch in northern California with her husband and cows, sheep, chickens, kittens, horses, and one adorable dog. She writes about balancing life as a hostess, homemaker, and farm girl at Boxwood Avenue.