Sunday, April 3, 2016
SUNNY GARDEN PROJECT FOR SPRING
Sectional Sun Herb Stones
Here’s a project that will add a nice feature to your garden. You make one mold and cast four duplicate pieces from concrete to create a full sun. After placing in your garden, plant the center with thyme or other low-growing trailers.
What you need:
1 ½” insulation foam available from your favorite home improvement store
2 ½” common nails
vegetable oil and paint brush
1 bag Quikcrete sand topping mix
trowel or scoop
What you do:
1. Draw a simple sun shape starting with a circle for the center. Add rays and fold the drawing into quarters. You can make this any size you wish. I used an 8” square for mine. This quarter section of your drawing is your pattern for your stone.
2. Cut out 2 identical squares 2 inches larger than your finished stone size. Use the keyhole saw to cut the foam. Cut out your quarter pattern , center it on one of the foam squares and trace with the marker.
3. Cut out the center of the quarter sun from the foam. This first piece will be the top and sides of your mold.
4. Position the cut mold top directly on top of the second piece of foam. Trace the shape of the mold onto the base piece using the marker.
5. You can leave the surface of the stone plain and simple or you can add decorative detail by carving into the base piece of foam using an X-acto knife.
6. Since you will be using the mold at least four times, it is a good idea to paint all sides with latex paint. This will strengthen the foam and make it easier to release the cast stones.
7. To prepare the mold for casting, position the top of the mold directly over the base and pin the two pieces together using the 2 ½” nails.
8. Brush on a thin layer of vegetable oil on insides and bottom of the mold.
9. Measure 4 cups of sand topping mix into plastic bucket. Add water slowly and mix to consistency of thick frosting.
10. Use the trowl or scoop to fill the mold, tapping and pressing the concrete into all areas of the mold. Gently tap the mold to remove air bubbles and to level the mix. Fill to the top edge of the mold.
11. Allow to set and cure for 24 hours.
12. Use the trowel to pry out the nails holding the mold together and remove the bottom piece of the mold. Then gently press out the cast piece and clean sides of your cast by gently rubbing with the trowel.
13. Repeat this process three more times resulting in four stones segments that will
be put together to form a complete sun design. If your mold should break when you are removing cast pieces, no problem. Simply fit them together as a puzzle and secure onto the mold base with more nails.
14. Allow cast pieces to fully dry. You can leave the pieces plain or ad color using flat exterior latex paint.