HD Gift Challenge – Cement

June 15, 2015

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Oh Boy. Did the question mark on my thumbnail give it away? Houston, we have a fail on our hands. But you know what makes up for a fail? A giveaway. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means, should you end up making a purchase, advertisers give me a small percentage of that sale, at absolutely NO EXTRA COST to you. Click here for full disclosures).

**Hit up the bottom of this post, for a GIVEAWAY worth 100 Dollars, for Home Depot (Courtesy of all the lovely bloggers in this HD Challenge group!) Go get it y’all!** 

Okay, back to business…. time for another HD Gift Challenge – Cement Edition (did you catch the last one?)… mine was to be gifted to the Dad of the house (just in time for Father’s Day), aka, my better half. Let’s just say, its a good thing he knows I love him.

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That’s not to say there isn’t a lesson to be had here. Let me show you what I learned about my first time, working with cement. And, why it won’t be my last. Plus, the “gold star” idea I came up with, that I will definitely be incorporated into my next attempt!

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

^ Supplies. Yep. Destined for greatness. The plan was a perfect little flower planter. Large bucket holds the cement. Small weighted bucket, creates the void for the planter. Easy right?

Ok. This went really well, with one critical error.

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

I let the top of my cement level touch the grooved part of the inner bucket.

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

Oops. Big oops. Because when cement sets… well, it’s cement. This meant I had to chisel the top of my perfectly formed planter, to get the inner bucket out. This weakened my project, leading to cracks spidering down the sides. Not ideal and it looked terrible. Then, as I attempted to even out the top a little more… the entire planter failed. Crap.

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

I had about a third of a bag of cement left for attempt #2. (Yep, I gave it another try). This time with a small bucket, and a paint can. (trying to stretch what I had left of my cement).

But before we get to that, here is my “gold star” idea — save this one for later! I used a chunk of old styrofoam insulation, and cut out our house number. This, was then attached (with hot glue) to the inside of the outer bucket to create a debossed, finished product. Perfect for the end of our driveway… and would of kicked the butt of our current “number on a stick” feature.

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

I couldn’t wait to get a look at how this worked out. Here’s what happened…

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

First, I repeated all the steps, up to curing my cement mould. Yay! This was totally working! It even ended up looking BETTER than, attempt #1. I’ve got this!

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

The number looked perfect! All I had to do is use a screwdriver, and chisel the styrofoam out of there… And, it came out perfectly, until…

What I learned making a concrete flower planter for the first time, and what to avoid. Plus a genius way to incorporate your house number for some added curb appeal!

The entire planter I was making (on this much smaller scale), couldn’t take the size of the styrofoam, and when I removed it all, the support along the top… (you guessed it), totally failed. Urgh. Fail #2. But, a failure with lessons learned.

To recap… if I had built, (and I will) another planter, in the scale of attempt #1, but with the skill of attempt #2… this would be sitting at the end of my driveway, holding some beautiful floral arrangement… and I would of already dug up the stakes of our current stick-in-the-mud-ground, address number.

I promise I’ll share attempt #3. But, until then, check out all of these success stories! Aren’t these ladies amazing? I’ll try to do them all pround, next time.

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28 thoughts on “HD Gift Challenge – Cement

  1. Krista @ the happy housie

    I can’t count how many things I try and fail… but you do definitely learn and revise, right? Thanks for the giveaway – I am following all now except the third entry – Churchhill DIY Mill didn’t link properly and I couldn’t find them on Pinterest.

    Reply
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  3. Amy@HomeRemedies

    I totally get your vision, Jen – and I think it will look awesome next time around! Most DIY’s have some kind of lesson to be learned, it just makes the final project that much more amazing!

    Reply
  4. Emily @ Table & Hearth

    Dude, I wish that we could have all done our projects together in person this month, it would be hilarious! Like a full day of failure. I find it awesome that almost all of us had issues :) I LOVE your idea and can’t wait to see it when you finally get it!

    Reply
  5. Emily, Our house now a home

    Ugh, it is so hard when something does not work out. I love where you were going with it. I have never worked with cement before, we are thinking of putting in a concrete counter top in our laundry room. It will be my first time, not sure how it will go. Hopefully you decide to give it another try!

    Reply
  6. Deb

    I love your honesty! Nothing better than a DIYer to make mistakes once and a while and share about it! Mine was major trouble too. Honestly if I didn’t throw out the first planter without taking a photo I would have shard that…woof…that was a disaster! lol

    Reply
  7. Shelly

    Wow quite the adventure! I love where you’re going with it and can’t wait to see your third try! I learned something by reading your post and that’s always awesome!

    Reply
  8. Shannon Churchill

    Rats Jen!! While I’m sad it didn’t work out for you, I really appreciate your honesty. All DIYers have been there. You usually knock it out of the park, so I’m sure you’re destined for greatness with your next project!

    Reply
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  10. April Rutherford

    I so love that you shared this! It is so great, the process. I’ve been needing to do some concrete myself, but I’ve never done it before. Guess I should just do it! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
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  12. Amanda Fettig

    OH shoot Jen!! I love your idea too, especially with the house number! I hope you try it again! Concrete was waaaay hard to work with, what was I thinking choosing it?! Thanks for sharing this, it really shows not everything goes according to plan!! :)

    Reply
  13. Breanna

    Aw girl, we’ve all been there. I love that you shared this anyway. And I’ll admit it gave me a good laugh, in the nicest way possible! I’ve yet to work with concrete, but I always love all the projects I see! Third time is def the charm ;)

    Reply
    1. freshcrush Post author

      LOL, glad I could give you a chuckle — Yeah! I’m totally going to experiment with some more cement projects. It IS actually really fun!

      Reply
  14. Tara

    Thank you for showing the failures along with the successes, Jen. Not every project works out, and there has to be a lot of trial and error before you get that killer project. That being said, I hadn’t even though about making cement planters! You’ve got my wheels spinning now!

    Reply
  15. Jessica

    Bum rush, but I have to applaud the fact that you are not afraid to put yourself out like that. I cannot wait to see your finished product!

    Reply
  16. Karen

    Thank you for posting your failure – no, seriously. I follow so many of these blogs for the inspiration, but feel that I am the only one who doesn’t get something right, or just has to scrap a project because it isn’t turning out the way I would like it.

    Reply

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