How To Make Cement Letters

How to create your own cement letters

It is fun to experiment with new crafts, but it is more fun to see how they turn out.  Some times you may experience an epic fail, but that should never halt your progress, as you should try and try again until you get it right.  I recently purchased from Amazon,alphabet ice cube trays, which I did in fact try making ice cubes and they worked like a charm.  I got the biggest kick out of dropping cute ice letters into my drink, and even shared a few letters in the dogs water bowl too, but I knew what my ultimate craft adventure was going to be for these little molds. Cement letters, of course!

SILICONE ALPHABET MOLDS

I never worked with any type of silicone molds before, so I was curious as to how easy it would be to remove your item once formed from the mold. Removing the ice from the molds was super easy. I just stretched the sides of the silicone mold a tad, and the letters just dropped out. Now, I am going to purchase another set of these molds just for ice and/or chocolate, and I am going to use the first set for making my cement letters. I read that you can even use these silicone molds to bake right in the oven too (up to a certain temperature) and the molds don’t melt!

QUIKRETE

Anyhow, with the excitement flowing on how cool the ice letters turned out, I grabbed my silicone molds and headed down to my workshop to whip up a small batch of Quikrete Cement to make some cement letters. I scooped a small amount of Quikrete Cement into an empty plastic container and poured a little water in. Your cement mixture should be like a thick pancake mixture consistency. With Quikrete, you need to work quickly as it hardens within minutes. Once the cement was well mixed, I sprayed the molds with some Pam cooking spray, as this is called a release agent so the cement does not stick to the sides. I poured the cement slowly to reduce any air bubbles. Now, we wait.  Quikrete Cement dries pretty quickly, but I left these to sit overnight, just to make sure.

Im Grand

The cement letters popped right out of the mold perfectly! I just stretched the sides of the mold just like I did with the ice, and the letters dropped right out of the mold! I let the letters air dry a bit more, and if there were any rough spots, I just lightly sanded them with a small piece of sand paper.  The last thing I did was dip them in a cement sealer to protect them. The size of the letters are different per letter, but they are approximately 1 5/8″ in height, 1 1/2″ in width, and 1/2″ thick.

WORD

I can honestly say that working with silicone molds is really easy. I will definitely be purchasing another set so I can make some chocolate letters!

CEMENT SCRABBLE LETTERS

Here’e the rundown on what you will need to create your own cement letters:

  • Silicone Alphabet molds
  • Quikrete Cement
  • Water
  • A small plastic container to mix the cement & a wooden spoon
  • Pam Cooking Spray to be used a the release agent
  • Cement Sealer (optional)

At this time, I have almost made the entire alphabet, and looking at the cement letters I have made so far, it makes me think of the game Scrabble. How fun would that be to make enough letters to play Scrabble? Or perhaps make the word “grow” and set the letters in a flower pot?

RIP2

Here’s some other ideas I came up with to use these little cement letters for:

  • Attach a magnet with glue to the back of the letters to your fridge
  • Hang the cement letters on your Christmas tree with a beautiful ribbon
  • Spell out names in front of your dinner plates as place cards
  • Attach them to your wood tombstones, which is what I am going to do with the “RIP”
  • Spell out your name for your mailbox post

GRASP

The possibilities are endless!

DIY Cement Candle Holder

Experimenting with cement is something that we were not used to, so we decided to pick some up and see what we could make.  We decided to create our own Cement Tealight Candle Holders from everyday containers we have around the house, like an empty Nyquil bottle, a butter container, etc.  The results were fantastic! 

 

We purchased Quikrete Anchoring Cement from Lowes in a 10 lb. bucket for about $9.00 and started mixing it in a small empty sour cream container with a wooden spatula.  We used a cement to water ratio of 5 tablespoons of cement to 2 tablespoons of water.  The cement consistency should be like a thick pancake batter.  If it is too soupy, add a little more cement.  After your cement is mixed up well, you need to work really fast with this cement as it dries quickly (within 10 minutes), and make sure you wear rubber gloves when working with cement as this cement actually gets hot when working with it. 

Take the container of your choice and pour the cement into the container very carefully, then take your “cap” (laundry detergent cap, milk bottle cap, etc.) and place it in the center of your container and push down.  (the cap is making the “indent” to hold your tealight candle) Now hold the cap steadily in place as the cement hardens. 

Once you feel that the cement is getting harder around your cap, start slowly turning your cap around in a circle motion so your cap does not get cemented in.  Once you feel that the cement has hardened enough around your cap, slowly lift the cap up.  (we found that by drilling a small hole in the center of the cap makes it easier to lift it out of the cement.  The reason being is that while the cement is curing, there is still water in the cement that sucks the cap into the cement, so the having a hole in the cap makes it easier to release it)  Once the cap has been removed, the cement is pretty much hardened, but you can still smooth out some rough spots (if any) in the cement with your fingers, but make sure you touch the cement only with gloves on.  Let the container sit for a few minutes, then try to release the cement from your container. 

If you use a container where the cement does not come out, you might have to use an exacto knife to cut down the side of the container carefully to remove the cement candle holder.  Or, you can use those waxy containers they have for chili or soup and just peel the waxy paper away from the cement for removal.   Once your candle holder is completely hardened, you can use sandpaper to lightly sand it if there are any rough edges. 

IDEA:  You can also use your different containers and not make an indent in them and create some cement coasters too!

That’s all there is to it, but after you make your first one, you will understand completely the steps above and you will be on your way to making your own cement candle holders.   Now, for the fun & creative part…. you can head on over to your favorite Dollar Store and pick up a glass shade for about $1 to set on top of your cement base!  I actually had a small glass shade that I took off of another candle holder and placed it on top of the cement holders I made, and it looked great!  But wait!  If you know me, I had a creative thought and went one step further – I went to my computer and made a small patriotic design to fit the inside of the glass shade, printed it out on a transparency, then inserted it into the glass.  WOW, instant patriotic charm!  But, if you were worried that the tealight would melt the transparency, use a battery operated tealight candle! 

If you make any cement candle holders with my instructions above, please send me your photographs of what you made and I’ll add them in a follow-up post!  Good luck & be creative, the results will amaze your friends and family that you made something this fabulous!