I’ve been busy mixing up a lot of things this week. One was a batch of pillowy soft oatmeal cookies. The other was a beautiful concrete cake stand using *QUIKCRETE® concrete mix.
For the past couple weeks, QUIKCRETE® has hosted a One Bag Wonder Contest (ends August 31st!) to see what participants can create using just one bag of QUIKRETE® concrete mix. When I got word of the contest, I immediately began brainstorming ideas for, not only a unique, but a FUNCTIONAL creation. READ: I loathe knick-knacks.
My inspiration: A charming pair of squat, glass candlesticks that I’ve never use but can’t seem to part with.
Glad I held on to them because I always have use for cake stands, and the candle holders made a perfect base for a concrete topper. As for the topper mold, I rummaged through my recycling bin and recovered a clear, plastic take-out box and a rusty, round cake pan.
COST: Super-de-duper affordable!
One bag of standard QUIKRETE® concrete mix ran me $4.00. Two of my candlesticks I already had on hand and the other two I found at a thrift store for $2. However, you can get very creative with what constitutes as a cake stand base: unwanted egg cups, espresso cups, wide-mouthed jars, etc. With that said: In need of inexpensive centerpieces? Imagine how many concrete cake stand toppers you could crank out with just 1 bag of QUIKCRETE®!
So if you’ve got some concrete mix, a candlestick and a plastic container lying around, then you’ve got the makings for a beautiful concrete cake stand! Here’s how I made mine….
How to make a beautiful concrete cake stand using QUIKRETE®
YOU WILL NEED:
- 4 cups QUIKRETE® concrete mix (I used the standard mix, but for an even smoother look you can use their countertop mix or QUIKRETE® 5000)
- 1/2 cup water, to start
- protective gloves
- bucket or bowl for mixing
- flat-bottomed round or square plastic container (look for ones with scalloped edges for a more unique look)
- Plastic wrap (for lining if using a metal container)
- 1 sturdy candlestick or holder
Step 1: Check Yourself (before you wreck yourself)
First, put on those gloves as concrete is VERY caustic to the skin!
Second, since concrete dust is very fine, measure and pour the mix slowly and carefully. Try not to breath in the dust.
Finally, if you are using a metal mold for your cake stand topper, set a large piece of plastic wrap into your mold, making there you have several inches of excess spilling over the sides. Otherwise, you will have one heck of a time unmolding your topper!
Step 2: Mix Concrete
First, sift out most of the larger pieces of gravel for a smoother final product. Then, place 4 cups of concrete mix into your mixing bowl, and stir in 1/2 cup water to start. If the mixture is looking too dry while you stir, add another couple tablespoons until the consistency of your concrete is that of wet oatmeal.
Next, press enough concrete into your mold to reach 1/2″ up the sides of the mold.
NOTE: Make sure the surface of the concrete is PERFECTLY EVEN or your creation will be lopsided!
Step 3: Place Your Candlestick
- Fill the hole in your candlestick with concrete, then place it hole-side-down in the center of the mold. (This will help it grip to the topper.)
- Press another 1/2″ inch of concrete into the mold. (Ideal topper thickness should be between 1 and 1-1/2″. Any thicker will be too heavy and prone to topple.)
- For candlesticks with straight sides, press the concrete at least 1/4″ up the sides of the candlestick to secure it in place. If your candlestick has a lip, press the second layer of concrete over the lip to secure.
- Smooth out the concrete so that the surface and edges are all even.
- Tap the mold to work out any bubbles.
NOTE: Test the evenness of the candlestick by placing the mold on a flat surface and then placing a plate on the bottom of the candlestick. If the plate is crooked, you will need to pull the candlestick out and start over until your bottom concrete layer is even.
Step 4: Dry
Allow your cake stand to dry for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area.
Step 5: Unmold
Once dried, set your cake stand right-side-up and peel off the mold. Clear plastic will lift off like a dream!
Here is another cake stand I made using a metal pan, plastic wrap and a candlestick with a lip. Again, the plastic wrap unmolds and peels off with ease:
Step 6: Sand edges & wipe down
To finish, lightly sand around the bottom edge of the cake topper with a fine sandpaper until smooth. Wipe down candlestick with a damp rag.
Note: I painted the second candlestick with 4 coats of semi-gloss paint/primer.
And you’re done!
As you can see, the scalloped sides of the plastic take-out container made lovely edges!
ONE FINAL NOTE: Concrete cake stands are not food safe, but…
There are several solutions to this problem:
- QUIKCRETE® suggest applying a layer of concrete sealer along with a food-safe finishing wax (which will need to be periodically reapplied over time).
- Set food on a plate, and THEN set the plate on the concrete cake stand. Simple dimple.
- Use your cake stand for displaying non-food decorative items such as fabric pumpkins. Super simple dimple.
I had so much fun playing with concrete this weekend, and to think, I still have 78 pounds of the stuff left! Wonder what else I could make…..
For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest!
*DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated for this post. I just really loved the idea behind the #1BagWonder challenge and wanted to share my creation with you!
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