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(BPT) - From driveways and sidewalks to porches and steps, concrete is the cornerstone of a home’s curb appeal. The same is true in the backyard where patios, fire pits and other concrete features define the value of any outdoor living space. However, in recent years concrete has migrated indoors where homeowners are enjoying the functional beauty of cool, whimsical furnishings, décor and other designer home accessories made from what is traditionally a building material.
While durability is an attractive trait, the versatility and flexibility of concrete for do-it-yourself projects is driving its growing popularity among homeowners. Anyone can create customized lamps, tables, chairs and other interior home amenities with packaged concrete like <a href="https://www.quikrete.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">QUIKRETE</a>. The concrete is simply mixed with water and poured into a form. Sure, there’s a little more to it, but that’s the general idea. Even better, making home amenities from concrete is more affordable than purchasing similar items from a store. Consider these examples.
A pendant lamp injects light and style into typically under-illuminated areas like kitchen islands and living room mantels. The concrete is poured into a mold created by two plastic soda bottles — one smaller than the other. After removing the concrete mold, thread a light fixture into the end. Hang it up, turn it on and let there be light.
Cost: Around $20
<a href="https://www.quikrete.com/athome/video-concrete-pendant-lamps.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Click for How-To Video</a>
A console table featuring a concrete top attached to a cast iron base makes a bold statement. A traditional mold made of melamine board and rebar will cast the concrete and should be vibrated to prevent any voids. The narrow design and industrial look make the table versatile enough for any room.
Cost: Around $50
<a href="https://www.quikrete.com/athome/video-building-concrete-and-iron-bar-table.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Click for How-To Video</a>
For those new to working with concrete, a bucket stool is a great entry-level DIY project. A five-gallon bucket serves as both the container for mixing the concrete and the form for the seat. Mix the concrete right inside the bucket and, as the concrete starts to cure, insert three legs fashioned from wooden dowels.
Cost: Around $5
<a href="https://www.quikrete.com/athome/video-concrete-bucket-stool.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Click for How-To Video</a>
Mobile planter / cooler
This planter serves double duty when keeping beverages cold for a party. The mold is made from an old dresser drawer holding a block of rigid foam to create the void. The concrete vessel has a spigot to remove water and cast wheels for mobility. The multi-purpose planter / cooler has a home inside and out.
Cost: Around $40
<a href="https://www.quikrete.com/athome/video-concrete-planter.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Click for How-To Video</a>
Using a <a href="https://www.quikrete.com/productlines/concretemasonrywaterproofingsealers.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">natural look</a> or <a href="https://www.quikrete.com/productlines/concretesealer.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">high gloss</a> sealer is a good way to extend the life of interior home furnishings, décor and accessories made of concrete. After the concrete has cured 28 days, a sealer can be applied with a roller or brush to protect the surface from dirt, oil, grease and other unwanted stains. For more information on concrete do-it-yourself projects, visit <a href="http://www.QUIKRETE.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">www.QUIKRETE.com</a>.