I made quiet a few easy DIYs using cement before getting into bigger one. This is one such trial and error projects made with cement. While making it, I broke it and fixed it. Everything is a learning process isn’t. In this blog, I tell you all about it. DIY Cement Business card holder.
- Any oil
- Scrap wood
- Painter’s tape
- Mold – Square box
- Silicone bumpers
- Mixing container
- Mixing stick
- Water based clear Sealer – polyacrylic
- Sand paper or Sanding block
- Black acrylic paint
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DOs and DONTs
- You can use any kind of mold for your casting. I have seen people use all kinds of material as mold. You can make silicone mold with this kit from amazon or buy one (like I did to make my DIY cement coaster) or make one with melamine wood or use any plastic container. It really depends on the size of your object and what shape you want to cast. If you are casting a small and simple object, you can also make a mold in the desired shape with cardboard. Once concrete cures, cardboard can be peeled off easily.
- Prepping the mold: Make sure the mold is water tight. If you are using any material other than silicone or melamine, I recommend coating the mold with clean vegetable oil or some release agent. This will help a lot when you demold.
- Make sure that you follow the cement to water ratio as per the manufacturer’s specification. I have used ‘Cement All’ in this project. As per the direction, I used a 1:4 ratio. You want the mixture to be in pancake batter-like consistency.
- After you fill the mold, it is very important to release the air bubbles. So, give a few taps on all sides and corners of the mold. If you are casting a bigger item, pound on the mold with a rubber mallet.
- To add a personal touch, you can add liquid cement color to your concrete mix. In this project, I have only used acrylic paints to color the cement. In the case of acrylic paints, use as little as possible. Otherwise, it could affect the composition of the mixture.
- After curing, you should seal it with a water-based sealer. I use this polyacrylic sealer for most of my projects. It gives a little shiny finish to it.
DIY Cement Business card holder
Step – 1: Cut the scrap wood to the width of the mold and at least 3/4th inch deep. One side of the wood can be slant like in below image or if you do not have relevant tool to make angle cut, then just leave it square.
Step – 2: Cover the wood all around with packaging tape and hot glue it to the mold.
Step – 3: Grease with vegetable oil.
Any oil can be used. It will help to demold easily.
Step – 4: Mix the cement. Follow the ratio as per the instructions given in the package. I use the ratio 1 : 4 water to cement ratio for the cement all. I even added black acrylic color to the mixture. Make sure you do not add too much paint. Otherwise it will disturb the curing process.
Step – 5: Pour the mix into the mold and fill up. Tap the container on all sides to help release the air pockets.
Step – 6: Let it cure for at least 24 hours.
Step – 8: Before de molding, try to loosen up the edges a bit. Then, slowly peal off the cardboard box and remove the wood. Be very careful while removing the wood. Otherwise you could break the piece like I did. I have mentioned below how I was able to fix the broken pieces like it never happened.
Step – 9 : Sand the whole piece and remove dust with clean towel.
Step – 10: Personalize the stand with any color paint you want or leave it as it is in cement color. Finally finish with water based clear sealer.
Step – 11: Add bumpers.
While demolding the piece, it broke into two. Seems like the joint was too thin or I gave too much force while trying to separate the wood or it could be also because I did not pour enough to fill up the mold. Anyways, I was pretty disappointed at first. But, I found a way to mend the broken pieces together. All you need is a heavy duty construction adhesive.
So, I applied glue and clamped it for 24 hours. the next day, It had beautifully set and was ready for painting. Painted it black to hide the joint.