6 Creative Things You Can DIY with Concrete

Everyone knows that few building materials are as strong or long-lasting as concrete. That durability makes it a go-to, cost-effective choice for hardscaping features, such as driveways, walkways, and patios. Still, not everyone appreciates the other stand-out virtue that makes concrete a favorite—versatility. Today, do-it-yourselfers are rediscovering how concrete—whether formed or poured, decorative or structural—lends itself to a wide range of exciting applications, particularly outdoors. With products from CTS Cement | Rapid Set, you can complete tough, eye-catching concrete creations much more easily and quickly than you may have thought possible. Click through now for just a sampling of ideas for concrete projects you can build this summer!

This content has been brought to you by CTS Cement | Rapid Set. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

  1. Furniture


    A variety of goals motivate do-it-yourselfers today, but if they share one thing in common, it might be the goal of building custom furniture. After all, who wouldn't feel satisfied sitting in a chair built with his or her own hands? The catch: Working with wood or metal often requires a high level of specialized skill. It’s a much different story with concrete. Sure, some types of construction are best left to experienced builders, but almost anyone can use Rapid Set Concrete Mix to execute a simple design for a garden bench, say, or a picnic table top. What are you going to build?


  2. Birdbaths


    Another attribute of Rapid Set Concrete Mix: Because it contains hydraulic cement (often used to repair leaks), it performs exceptionally well in any application involving water—for example, a birdbath basin. To make your own, begin by creating a mold, also known as a form, of the shape you'd like the concrete to assume once cured. Then, simply prepare the concrete mix and pack the material into the mold. Once the Rapid Set Concrete Mix has fully hardened—no longer than an hour—dispose of the mold and position your birdbath where you and the birds will best appreciate it.


  3. Patio Accents

    Patio Accents

    Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and other fire features hold an irresistible appeal, as they offer both cozy warmth and unparalleled ambience. Simple, utilitarian designs emphasize ease of use, while more elaborate takes deliver not only function, but a dose of decorative style as well. No matter your approach, multipurpose Rapid Set Concrete Mix can help you create the perfect accent for your fire feature. The high-performance material boasts not only exceptional resistance to wet weather, but thanks to its low-shrinkage properties, it fares well in the cold too. It's tough stuff!


  4. Stepping Stones

    Stepping Stones

    Concrete may very well be the most practical “just add water” product in the history of the world. Start with a standard 55-pound bag of Rapid Set Cement All, pour in three to five quarts of water, then use a drill-mounted mixer to combine the two. Once you have brought the concrete to a lump-free, peanut butter-like consistency, you can then add it to a mold of virtually any shape or size, letting the material cure and harden into whatever you like—for instance, stepping stones that you can lay out for a simple, low-cost garden path that will stand the test of time.


  5. Tabletop Projects

    Tabletop Projects

    It may be the stuff that's used to build interstate highways and vast public plazas, but that doesn't mean concrete isn't appropriate for projects small enough to fit on a tabletop. Creative do-it-yourselfers know that common, around-the-house disposables—small plastic cups or empty soda bottles—make ideal molds for accents like candleholders, paperweights, and best of all, planters. Indeed, because a standard bag of Rapid Set Cement All yields .5 cubic feet of material (in other words, plenty!), you can make multiple planters, for indoors and out, in an array of shapes and sizes.


  6. Countertops


    So long as you have a base sturdy enough to support their considerable weight, concrete slabs can serve as stylish, durable, all-weather surfaces for any outdoor kitchen or bar. Want a speckled sand look? Choose  Rapid Set Mortar Mix. Prefer an aggregate finish or the appearance of granite? Opt instead for  Rapid Set Concrete Mix. Indeed, with Rapid Set, you can achieve a stunningly wide range of effects, especially since products are customizable with integral color (added to the mix) or stain (applied to the cured concrete). You’re the artist, and the choice is yours.


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