It doesn’t matter which home and garden show you are watching these days, all seem to be raving about the fact that you should be using your garden as an extension to your home, another “room” if you will, rather then just that convenient place to dump your bins and other stuff you don’t want in your home. This is all very well, but you don’t have to go far past the thresh-hold of many garden centres to see how expensive decorating this new “room” may cost you. However, with a bit of time, patience and creative flair, there is no reason at all you can’t make yourself some very striking garden features using concrete.

If you are unsure of how much concrete you will need for you project, you can work out a very rough estimate using this helpful concrete calculator which if you feed in the dimensions of your project, will tell you how much you require. (bear in mind this is based on a square, so if you are making a shaped item, you may well find you will need less).

Depending on how much you need for your project (or projects) depends on the best place to buy it from, if yours is a relatively small project, you may find it best to pick up your materials from somewhere like homebase, B&Q or another similar builders merchant – however, if you are tackling a larger project (making slabs for a patio, or attempting to make an arbour for instance) you may find it more cost effective to approach a specialist concrete supplier.

The first thing you must do before starting your project, is make sure you are familiar with the safety guidelines for using the concrete mix you have chosen. Once you have read thoroughly the information concerning the mix you have chosen, and are wearing the suitable safety clothing – gloves, overalls and goggles are an absolute minimum – you are ready to start your project.

There are many different techniques you can use, from simple casting (obtaining a mould that you support and then fill with your concrete mixture), to casting leaves, right up to the complex “Faus Bois” effect that allows items made from concrete to look as if they are actually made from wood. Whichever method you choose, you will soon find out how cheaply and easily you can create some very stunning concrete garden decorations at home.