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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dirty Hands - DIY Hand-Shaped Cement Pots

I made cement hands this week using the directions from this blog:  They turned out well.  I really appreciate that this blogger shared her process with everyone! :)  I am re-sharing her information here, but with some additional pointers that I discovered through trial and error. Hopefully, they will make this project easier for the next person who tries it.


 1.  Put on protective gear: It is best to wear gloves while doing this, cement can really dry out your hands and irritate your skin. You may want a face mask as well if you kick up a lot of dry cement dust. 

2.  Mix casting cement according to the directions on the package. Stir the water and cement together in a bucket with a disposable item such as a paint mixing stick.

2.  Fill disposable latex gloves with the cement.  If you have an allergy to latex, use disposable vinyl gloves. The larger sized gloves work best because they can hold more soil later.

3.  You can place the gloves and the fingers in varying positions according to what you want the pot
to look like.  It may be easiest to drape the filled gloves over a plastic bowl, plastic pot or something in order to give them a curved shape. If you use a bowl or pot to do this, make sure it is one that you don't mind throwing away later.  Cement is messy and may coat whatever tools you are using.

4. Allow the cement-filled gloves to dry over night.

5. The next day, peel the gloves off of the cement hands and dispose of the latex or vinyl scraps.

6. Pack the palms of the hands with dirt and plant seed, succulents, grass, moss or whatever you like in them.

Some pointers: 

1. Use casting cement only. You can find it at any hardware. Usually, it is labeled "rapid set" and states "for use in casting" on the label.  It is NOT the same as plain quickrete or regular cement. Read the label carefully!

2. Latex gloves work better than plastic or vinyl.

3. Use something that can be torn away to separate the fingers - like paper towel rolled up. Do not use rocks, they will get stuck between the fingers.

 4. Wash off any cement that gets on the outside of the gloves, or else it will be difficult to peel off the glove.

5. When rinsing materials, remember not to wash the cement down your sink!  You could badly damage your pipes.  Rinse your hands and tools off in a bucket and then dump the liquid outside somewhere.

6. Remember to water your plants frequently. These bowls are shallow, so the dirt dries out more quickly than with other pots. I recommend spraying them with a squirt bottle of water 1-2x daily. 

I planted the gloves with succulents and moss that I found in my yard.  Once the plants are established, I will fill in some of the areas of bare dirt with decorative stones.  I will add pictures of that to this post at a later time... and/or I will do an update post.

I hope to sell  these to earn money for the Brighton Garden Club during their fundraiser at the Brighton Farmer's market on Saturday April 16.  If you are in the Brighton, Michigan area, please come visit the booth!

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