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Concrete Garden Projects

by Timber Press on September 15, 2011

in Design

Concrete Garden Projects by Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson is one of our new releases for September. I’m very excited to share some photos with you from the book!

For gardeners and backyard do-it-yourselfers, concrete is a revelation. It’s durable, weatherproof, impossible to steal, and it provides much-needed insulation for outdoor plants. Concrete weathers beautifully, softening around the edges, developing moss, and becoming more picturesque with age.

Concrete Garden Projects takes advantage of concrete’s numerous assets, showcasing an inspiring array of creative options. The step-by-step instructions for dozens of easy, do-it-yourself décor ideas include containers of all shapes and sizes, elegant benches and stools, miniature ponds and birdbaths, stepping stones, a barbecue, and a fire pit. The authors use a variety of molds easily found or made, household items like bowls and baking pans, and simple wooden frames and boxes. At pennies per pound, and so simple to use — just mix with water and pour — concrete is the key to hand-crafted backyard décor.

Birdbath with edge inlaid with round, white mosaic tiles, a hand-made heart and pieces of limestone.

Top your garden table with various candleholders and decorate with daisies.

A hanging garden ornament made using wire, ice cube shapes and a glass pendant.

Bench with potted daylily and a pretty little dish.

All photos copyright Camilla Arvidsson. 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan in the Pink Hat September 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

But I have issues with concrete! As I understand it, concrete manufacturing is supposed to be one of the biggest carbon dioxide producers and contributes to carbon build-up seconded only by cars. I’ve read that concrete made from lime is the way to go as it absorbs carbon in the air over time…. Regardless, does the book make any mention of this?

2 Candice Peaslee, Marketing Associate September 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

That’s a good question, Susan! The book only discusses crafting and designs with concrete, and doesn’t address concrete itself. However, any ready-mix concrete will work with these designs, including fine quick-lime mixes.

3 Laura August 22, 2012 at 6:42 am

I would love to make the concrete tic-tac-toe game on page 87 of this book but cannot find the x and o molds anywhere. Has anybody found them somewhere?

4 Brian Ridder August 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hi Laura,

You might try these:
Alphabet mold
Donut mold
Cross mold

Good luck!

5 Carrie January 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Would none know where to find the mold on the cover? I would love to make those planters for bulbs!

6 Brian Ridder January 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Carrie,
We’re not certain exactly what kind of container Malin and Camilla used for the flower pots on the cover but almost any kitchen container or plastic flower pot will do. Also, silicone cake molds. We suggest contacting a local nursery or bakery and see if they can’t suggest someplace with a good selection of containers. Something like this might work, too: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20133037/.

7 JUDY April 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm


8 Brian Ridder April 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

Yes, concrete is very forgiving. We’d love to see some of your work. Care to share?

9 Debbie June 3, 2013 at 5:05 am

Where do you buy the molds ?

10 Debbie June 3, 2013 at 5:06 am

Where do I buy the concrete molds ?

11 Brian Ridder June 3, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hi Debbie,
The molds are just your everyday silicone cake molds which you can find pretty easily online. William-Sonoma always has a good selection, for instance. It can take you some time, however, to find the perfect one. Good luck!

12 sandy April 1, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hi I would like to make a wooden picture frame put cement in the middle and before cement drys out a wine bottle in the middle (like you are pouring the wine ,and put 3 round clear stone going down from the wine bottle and down from that put a wine glass across from that put on wine time , having trouble starting it , i have seen it made and looks great hanging from your barbacue area

13 Rebecca April 2, 2015 at 6:42 am

I used Quickrete to make planters and bowls last year. Lessons learned; you need serious waterproof gloves if you want to save your hands. I pinned a picture of the bowls I originally intended to be firebowls. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/531565562242885453/

14 Brian Ridder April 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

What a great idea, Rebecca! Thanks for sharing your project and your advice. Why did you decide to go with water instead of fire?

15 Jake August 9, 2017 at 9:56 am

I think concrete looks fantastic in the garden. It’s such a good material to use, as the juxtaposition of it against fresh greenery and natural plants just looks fantastic!

16 Amphasis July 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

I love the idea of planting inside a concrete pot, it look so beautiful.

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