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Our Concrete Hand Sculptures

We've been inspired to try out a few sculpture ideas at home following our visits to the Elemental Sculpture Park and Abbey House Gardens.  Our first attempt was our Chicken Wire and Moss Living Sculpture, which turned out to be super easy to make, and looks fabulous - you can find our tutorial for it here.

 

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

 

This time, we decided to attempt to sculpt with concrete. It started with a visit to the builder's merchant. For those who don't normally visit builder's merchants they are fab. I buy various supplies there, such as PVA glue and brushes, at the fraction of the cost of craft stores, and they are always really helpful. This visit was no exception, the man helping me didn't show any sign of thinking I was bonkers, as I explained that I wanted to fill gloves full of concrete, and suggested a product that is usually used to set posts, can be used either wet or dry, and sets in about 15 minutes.

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

For our first attempt we simply filled our disposable gloves with the dry mix then added water. It became quickly obvious that the water was having difficulty making its way down to the fingers, and despite lots of massaging you can still see from the second photo above that some of the powder in the fingers is still dry.

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

For our next attempt, we filled the fingers of our gloves with water to start. This worked much better - the mix sunk down into the water displacing it, and the fingers filled up nicely. We left our gloves to set and cure (we gave them 24 hours) and removed our gloves. Handily (no pun intended!), the concrete didn't adhere to the gloves and they were really easy to peel off. Unfortunately, the fingers had proved too fragile, and had snapped during the setting process.

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

 

We clearly needed something to strengthen the fingers, and decided to try lengths of pipe cleaners. We popped them into the fingers, added the water and then our mix. This worked a treat! All our hands with pipe cleaners in their fingers were successful, and we now have a collection of slightly creepy looking hands dotted around our vegetable patch.

 

Cocnrete hand sculpture - pair

We are thinking through a few ideas of how we may decorate them in the future ( I quite fancy growing moss or lichen on them whereas the kids favour the zombie route!), but in the meantime they are staying in their natural state. We have had a mixed response from visitors, so they are clearly not everyone's idea of a garden sculpture, but the kids and I think they are pretty cool!

 

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete - Click through to see our full tutorial

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10 Comments

  • Reply Fiona Cambouropoulos

    such a clever idea though they do slightly give me the creeps sticking out of the ground there. I think I’d have to go the Zombie route and use them as part of our Halloween farm transformation! I love how you share the process of getting things just right and the pipe cleaners sound a handy tip.

    Thank you for sharing with me over on #Trash2Treasure
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Hop into the farm with Bunny JumpMy Profile

    June 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      They are a bit creepy :) I like to share the real process so that people know what to expect at home. I know how frustrating it is to follow a tutorial and for it to seem impossible to achieve what is shown in the picture. I’m planning to try and grow moss on these hands at some point – there’s pins on pinterest with moss lettering growing on walls which I suspect aren’t as achievable as they suggest, but it will be fun giving the method a go :)

      June 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm
  • Reply Angie

    Superb! I love your creativity!

    May 31, 2016 at 11:43 pm
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    You seriously are the best mom, ever! Your kids have to love it. I think the hands are magnificent and that they would look great in any garden. I always love a bit of the odd or strange to shake things up! Just wait till Halloween!!!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…#WAYWOW 50 What are you up to? Inspire me!My Profile

    May 25, 2016 at 3:38 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      They were such fun to make, Nikki – we were really pleased when we got them to work :)

      May 30, 2016 at 12:06 am
  • Reply Debbie

    Hi Sarah, these are excellent fun for the garden and something I can see Mum and Dad having in their garden, Dad pride and joy are his garden ornaments and as a child I remember him making garden ornaments using our empty bubble bath bottles as moulds.

    You could even put some hair (as in an old wig) on the soil to make it look really creepy!

    Love it!

    xx

    May 21, 2016 at 6:37 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Oh I like that idea Debbie, and the using bubble bath bottles as molds is fab too – will check out the shapes next time I’m shopping x

      May 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Lisa (BadMammy.com)

    Absolutely love the Zombie route idea – these actually look really simple to make, great idea.
    Lisa (BadMammy.com) recently posted…Learning To Manage Chronic PainMy Profile

    May 15, 2016 at 9:57 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      We have had lots of fun discussions of what we might do with them Lisa – turns out my kids have evil minds when they get going!

      May 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

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