Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Soap Dishes: The Project Part II

OK, we are now into part II of our soap dish adventure. I met yesterday with the girls and we sculpted up a multiple number of concrete leafs. The leaves were all varying sizes and shapes. Of course, the bigger, the better.

The recipe for mixing the concrete and play sand is as follows. How much you mix will depend on how many leaves you will be making (and the size of the leaves).

1) Form a hill of play sand on a flat surface. This sand must be moist as it will hold up the weight of your leaf. Keep a squirt bottle of water near by. You will see what the 'sand hill' should like like in my prior post.

2) Cover the sand with clear plastic being careful not to leave any sand on the top of your plastic. This will cause "pockets" on your leave that will not dry correctly.

3) Mix 2 parts sand to 1 part cement in a small bucket, tub, or anything you have available. Mix thoroughly.If you need too, you can can add 1 more part of sand. The mixing is very important. You must thoroughly mix.

4) Now add water- there is no measurable amount. Use a cup container and SLOWLY add the water! You want to add enough water to make your cement mixture comparable to cookie dough. Mix each time you add water. It's always better to have it a little dry; you can always add more water, but once you add too much water you'll end up with quicksand. No amount of additional sand or cement will be able to fix it.

5) Take your mixture and begin anchoring the leaf. You may want to anchor each end and sides before filling in the entire leaf. You can do this with straight pins (the kind with rounded tops work best). You'll want the thickness of the leaf at least 3/4 to 1 inch thick to prevent breakage. See this post as to how to anchor your leaf on the sand pile.

6) When you are finished sculpting your leaf, allow it to dry for 48 hours. Do not try to flip it over too soon or it will crumble and crack.

7) When the concrete has hardened, flip over your leaf placing one hand under the plastic and the other on the top of the cement leaf. Remove the leaf. Some leaves will come off easily while others require more labor. Let the cement leaf cure for at least another day before painting. You can use acrylic craft paints purchased from stores like JoAnn's or Michaels.

8) After painting (front and back sides), let the concrete leaf dry for 24 hours and then spray with a clear protective lacquer sealer. Allow to dry overnight and then spray a final layer of sealant.

There you have it... cement soap dishes ready to display your handcrafted soaps. We will have more upcoming photos of our finished soap dishes (we are even making bowls) displaying soaps made with GoPlanetEarth products.

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