How to Make Easy Concrete Hand Sculptures

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

We make our own creepy hand sculptures using disposable gloves and quick set concrete.

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 make concrete hand sculptures.

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.

 

How to make concrete hand sculptures

 

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 at concrete hand scuptures, 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 of our concrete hands 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 one into each of 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  concrete hands dotted around our vegetable patch.

Cocnrete hand sculpture - pair

 

We are thinking through a few ideas of how we may decorate our hand sculptures 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

 

For more garden inspiration check out our Acorn Cap LED Fairy Lights,  our Garden Art  Succulent Planter and our Plantable Seed Paper.

 

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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20 comments

Mary A Jones July 2, 2017 - 9:43 pm

Is there a way to make a base for the hand. My granddaughter for her birthday wanted a ring holder that looked like a hand, more zombie looking than a normal hand.
I am thinking that the concrete hand might be the answer but it would have to be able to stand upright and look zombieish. Does that make sense?

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders July 2, 2017 - 11:04 pm

Oh, what a good question Mary. They are quite heavy so the base would need to be really solid to stop them toppling over. I’d probably try sinking a screw/bolt/dowel into the wrist end before the concrete set so that you had a way to attach it to a base once made. Alternatively, if it was to be kept inside you could try making it out of plaster of Paris instead which would be much lighter and therefore much easier to attach to something. The plaster would be much softer but using something like acrylic paints to zombify it would give it a more robust surface – I think plaster would still need the pipe cleaners or something similar to reinforce the fingers. If you wanted to try and cast the hand and base all in one out of concrete you’d need a much more robust glove as the ones I used wouldn’t cope with the weight of the concrete if they were left to set hanging down without losing their shape. Do let me know what you go with in the end if you try it – I’d love to see it 🙂

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Catherine Williams July 2, 2017 - 1:36 pm

Brilliant! What a great idea for Haloween ,hope i have time to make some , so much to do indoors and out i need two of me.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders July 5, 2017 - 9:30 pm

Thanks Catherine, do share a pic if you find time to make them 🙂

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Zoe at Splodz Blogz February 9, 2017 - 9:23 am

Ha ha these are brilliant! I remember making some just like it at Brownies when I was a kid, we painted ours but I love that you’ve put yours outside in the garden. It’s not too weird for a 36 year old to make some on a Sunday afternoon is it?! 😉

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders February 10, 2017 - 12:17 pm

Not at all Zoe, but don’t tell anyone if you plan to plant them outside your garden as I had that idea and my hubby wouldn’t let me – apparently I’m not allowed to frighten the neighbours 🙁

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Lauren February 7, 2017 - 9:38 pm

Love this idea, another one that me and Fin can have a go at! I’m so bad at anything crafty or creative so storing up lots of ideas! Poor kid is never going to be bored that’s for sure!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 10, 2017 - 12:14 pm

Thanks Lauren, I bet once you start crafting with him you’ll find you’re much more creative than you realise 🙂

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Helena February 7, 2017 - 1:19 pm

Personally I feel that if your family love them that’s what matters. I like them too thanks for the frugal tips and showing us how to be successful at this art.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 10, 2017 - 12:12 pm

Thank you Helena and I agree with you 🙂

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