Concrete/cement home accessories are huge at the moment. It’s all part of the Scandi-meets-industrial trend that is growing and growing in the interiors world. There’s some seriously cool designs for sale which I’ve been swooning over.. in particular from Zakkia and Raw Luxe (check them out – gorgeous overload!) But when a product is made from a material which is so accessible and cheap, I can’t help but get inspired to try making it for myself first.
This tray was a random idea I had when walking through Bunnings the other week (often the way I think of most of my craft ideas… just wander the isles and look at the materials with an open mind – try it sometime! eg hello carpet headboard!) and it’s turned out much better than expected.
For some reason I was always a bit put off from trying cement tutorials, I thought I wouldn’t get the mix consistency right and it would all be a very sad fail. But take it from me people, it’s so simple and because you’re just pouring straight into existing moulds, it takes all of 10 minutes!
This DIY could easily be replicated with two plastic items of any shape and size to create basically anything – put two cups inside each other for a planter pot, or maybe two small bowls together to create a cement bowl dish. The trick is to try and find items which aren’t absorbent and have a smooth finish (so things like plastic and glass are perfect) this way your concrete will have a polished finish too.
- Two plastic trays. Mine were found in the gardening isle of Bunnings, as they’re meant to sit under plastic planter pots
- Cement mix
- Spoon or stick to mix the cement
- Oil and a tissue
- Fine sandpaper
First step is to mix your cement mix. I used this pre-mixed bag which already has the sand and aggregate combined – just add water. Comes in a handy small size too which is perfect for crafting, the next step up is the 20kg bag. I believe you can also get these bags in white cement if you don’t want the traditional grey colour.
Remember to cover your hands and mouth when mixing, and ideally do this in a ventilated area, as cement mix is carcinogenic.
Concrete mix will work just as well as cement mix, totally up to you. I liked the finish that cement mix gave as concrete mixes usually have small rocks in them, but others prefer the strength of concrete.
I found that the runnier your mix is, the smoother the finish will be. Aim for a consistency like a very thick pumpkin soup 😉 Watch too how the mix will seem much wetter when you stop stirring for a second. As you’re stirring the consistency feels much thicker than it is.
Now to add just a little oil to your trays so that the dried piece easily slips out from it. I’m not 100% sure if this step is necessary when using such a smooth plastic mould, but the oil doesn’t create any discolouration or anything so worth doing just in case! Smooth it all over with a tissue.
Pour in your concrete until it’s about 1.5cm from the top, spread it out a little, then give it several hard taps on the bench to release air bubbles. (the below pic is pre-tapping, yours should look quite even, smooth and wetter after tapping it)
Place your 2nd tray on top, push down until the cement is nearly spilling out the edges. Then tape securely to hold in place while it dries.
Leave it for the time recommended on your cement packet. I left mine for 24 hours. Then peel away the tape to reveal your masterpiece!
Give the edges a very gentle sanding…
You could paint a clear coat of varnish if you want to seal it, but I personally like the raw effect and plan on just using it to display my jewellery.
That’s it – pretty easy huh? My finish has some small bubbles in it but I kind of love the texture. If you want to avoid this make your mix even wetter than mine.
Totally addictive. I love that you can just pour the mix into any mould and the next day, wallah, you have a finished piece! Try pouring excess in a plastic cup and pop a candle stick in the top – instant awesome candle holder.
Hope you give it a go! If you make your own tray I’d love to see the end result. Please tag me on Instagram @fiona_michelon_stylist
Until next time…
I’ve been meaning to make a new headboard for my room ever since I did this wood fabric one a couple of years back. You should see my secret Pinterest boards, they are overflowing with inspo images of headboards I hoped to one day make, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across this gorgeous blue kinda felt-like fabric in Bunnings that the idea for this simple construction came to life.
Sure it’s meant for marine flooring, not your usual bedding material choice, but I am in LOVE with this vibrant blue colour which has the most amazing texture and mix of blues through it. It’s also a super thick material (you know, because it’s carpet) so meant less layers needed behind it.
The other thing that had really put me off making a proper headboard until now was the thought of constructing a giant wooden frame (especially as I have a king bed – eek!) but I winged it and put together as little wood as possible. I picked up all the pieces from Bunnings and got the pieces cut to size there free of charge so when I got home all I had to do was screw it together – pretty clean and easy actually!
- 4 timber pieces 64 x 19mm x 1.2M (I picked up 2 x 2.4M pieces from Bunnings and had them cut it in half in store)
- 1 timber piece 64 x 19mm cut to 2M (2M is perfect for my king size bed – if you have a queen or double measure your width and adjust this size)
- 2 x sheets of 7mm ply or pegboard 1200 x 915mm (the total width of these two sheets needs to match your above large panel give or take a few mm)
- 2M carpet material. Mine is Blue Flat Marine from Bunnings.
- 40mm countersunk timber screws x8
- Staple gun and staples
- Nails (large head if you’re using pegboard)
- Stanley knife
First up, it’s always a good idea to drill pilot holes into your wood before screwing. This prevents the wood from splitting when you put the screw into it, especially when you’re working close to the edge like my below example.
I recommend laying your large piece on the floor, and your 4 shorter pieces laid out evenly across, like my below image example (my puppy Ella has decided to help walk you through this one too! haha what a muppet) I didn’t measure I just did it roughly by eye here, and just mark where your poles are with pencil.
Drill two holes per cross-section.
Then just drill in your screws. You might want a buddy to hold the wood as you drill so it doesn’t spin. Or if you are a no-friends-Nigel like me, do as I did and but it up against a wall.
Once your 4 vertical poles are all attached, lay your ply or pegboard on top. I didn’t choose pegboard over ply for any particular reason, I just had some laying around home and it’s nice and sturdy. A sheet of ply will work just as well and the thicker you go, the sturdier it will be.
Now to just hammer your sheet down. If you’re using pegboard like me you’ll need nails with a large head to hold it in place, otherwise regular nails or even screws will be fine.
A SUPER handy little tip to save your fingers from meeting the wrath of the hammer – push your nail through a piece of paper and use that to hold in place while you hammer. When the nail is down just rip the paper off. Life changing.
Ok that’s the frame done. Now lay out your material and place the frame face down.
If you are using a thinner fabric, I would recommend adding a layer of wadding/batting material in between the frame and front material to just make it a bit cosier. You can pick this up from craft stores like Lincraft and Spotlight.
Make sure you have enough room around the edges to fold the material over the frame.
Pull the fabric tight and start stapling down one side edge, one staple per every inch or so. (note – I didn’t fold mine all the way around over the top in my below example of my side piece, as I magically managed to have the perfect amount to leave flush. But if you have extra, definitely pull over the top and staple to the very back of the head board as this will conceal the staples from view.
When you reach your first corner, cut a rectangle from the corner area with a stanley knife, this will leave your two pieces with a flush finish. Do this for every corner and staple all the way around
Then you’re ready to put behind your bed!
Because this rests directly on the floor there is no need to fasten to the wall, it just stays in place with the weight of the bed in front of it.
I think Ella approves.
If you don’t yet have a headboard in your bedroom I totally recommend thinking about it. It can make such a massive difference to the vibe a room and instantly makes it feel more complete. Having a bright one like this too means you don’t need much accessorising to finish off your whole room’s look either – just let your new blue beauty shine.
Hope this tutorial has inspired you to banish those fears of crafting your own headboard and give it a go! Not only will you save yourself $100’s compared to buying one, but it’s pretty damn satisfying knowing you made something so grand.
Have you made or thought about making your own headboard? What styles do you like?
Oh and for those wondering my bedside products are: Cross, Vase and Monstera Leaf from Freedom, Frame from Adairs, Card from Paper2, Bedside from Kmart, Watch from Christian Paul, DIY rope planter is a project I made for Homes+ magazine – tutorial here.
I’m sharing the tutorial for this quick 3D gift wrap and card idea over on The Reject Shop blog today. They’ve just brought out a new range of awesome card making supplies that are loaaaads better than your usual not-so-modern scrapbooking packs. I’m loving these flower die cuts, they remind me a lot of something from Rifle Paper Co (only my all time fave paper goods store, check it out) and completely obsessing over these wooden letters.
After opening the present your friend could cut and hang your 3D glorious-ness as a wall art keepsake – two gifts in one!
I am so excited that a lot of our discount variety stores like Kmart, Target and The Reject Shop are making a serious movement into cheap trend-led homewares and craft supplies. Makes me wonder what I did before this?! If you haven’t experienced the revolution for yourself yet, do yourself a big favour and pop down to your local Reject Shop & Kmart – just be sure to take some spending money with you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Have you found any cheap gems lately??
My latest styling work is out in the February issue of Homes+ Magazine – yipeeee!
So chuffed to be a part of this magazine. I think most of us Aussies are keen on affordable home ideas that are still trend-led and stylish, and it’s actually crazy to think there hasn’t been a mag catering specifically for this until Homes+ came along a couple of years ago.
In this issue I crafted up a bunch of DIY projects for around the home which are super simple to pull off. There’s wire storage baskets, wall dot hooks made from coasters (personal fave), wooden art hangers and clay mini house planters, plus a bunch of other awesome ideas from the lovely Corina.
Pick up a copy of the mag or head to Homes+ Magazine’s YouTube channel to watch the how-to video tutorials.
Big thanks to all the lovely brands who loan me product to put these shoots together each month. You seriously rock. And on that note, if anyone knows of any lovely affordable homeware stores here in Australia that you think I should feature please drop me a line below or email me! Always on the hunt for cool products to include in shoots.
Can’t wait to show you what I’ve been up to for future issues!
Projects & Styling by Fiona Michelon
Photography by James Henry for Homes+ Magazine February 2016
Styling Assistants: Merey Barrett and Alice Collison
Stockists: Matt Blatt, Milton & King Wallpaper, Oz Design Furniture, Rubi Shoes, Life Interiors, Bunnings, ClickOn Furniture, West Elm, Freedom Furniture, kikki.K, Target.
Up until last week, all plants which came into contact with my balcony were on the extinction list. It seems Ella our puppy has discovered they taste rather great and was slowly destroying them until they were ready to completely give up on life. It was time to get myself a planter stand and naturally I had to put my own DIY touch on something as a store bought one will never do!
If found this Kimberley bench seat from Super Amart which is meant for high bar tables so is the perfect height for a planter stand. It’s super solid too so will easily hold lots of bigger plant pots.
With a lick of white paint and a scallop edging addition, I turned it into a super cute little planter stand which has kept my balcony looking very organised and safe from the wrath of Ella.
A really fun weekend DIY project which is still simple enough that anyone can do it. It’s simply making over an existing bench – no power tools or mess here folks!
Watch my video below to see how to make one for yourself
Plants and mint green planter pot available from Bunnings, Monstera Leaf and Glass Cloche from Freedom, Aqua Throw Blanket from Kmart, Paper Lanterns from The Reject Shop.
Photos and Video shot by Esperanza Creative
Concept and styling by Fiona Michelon
This post is in collaboration with Super Amart
When you’re giving a loved one a really special gift, sometimes the usual paper tags and twine don’t quite cut it. You need something that screams “this is one luxurious present dude, get excited!!” Well with a few leather scraps and a hot glue gun I’m going to show you how the make a leather gift wrap bow which will ooze luxury.
Not just a great gift topper, they make gorgeous Christmas decorations for future too!
This project is super simple, takes about 15 minutes all up and can be made with all sorts of other materials like felt, paper, fabric etc. But nothing really beats the look and feel of soft leather does it?
- Craft Knife
- Hot Glue Gun
- Double sided tape for attaching to the gift
You’ll need 7 strips of leather all together, all about 2cm wide:
3 strips at 21cm
3 strips at 19cm
1 strip at 10cm
I started by cutting long strips of my leather at 2cm wide then cut into the correct lengths.
When they’re all cut, lay the leather nice side facing down, mark the centre and pull one end around to the middle like the below. Pop some hot glue underneath and press the leather piece on top.
With your other end pull the leather in the opposite direction to the middle, so you’re left with an 8 shape and glue in place.
Don’t pull it the same direction or you’ll be left with pretzel shape like this which will get you into a right pickle.
Do this with all of your pieces except for the one 10cm piece. Your 10cm piece just needs to be looped into a ring like this:
Now to put it all together! Start with the three larger pieces. Place one horizontally in front of you. Then place the other two in a cross shape on top of this straight line. It should look like this:
Now for your other 3 pieces. Stack them in different positions til you’re left like this:
Now to glue on the ring. Face this in the opposite direction of the last two rings.
To fasten to you gift, add a square of double sided tape to the bottom.
Pretty cute huh??