I have been working hard trying to combine glitter and concrete for a while. They seem to me, to be a perfect combination between raw material and holographic frippery.
I have made several sets of concrete coasters and I love both the raw luna concrete colour, as well as experimenting with concrete pigment.
My favourite concrete to work with is Viva Decor concrete, I have tried others but I feel I get a much cleaner finish with this brand.
I learnt the hard way that you can not substitute proper concrete pigment for food colouring (not even the really strong gel ones, I used a whole pot…) or poster paint. You will get a slight colour change, but if you want it to be dramatic, use the pigment, a little goes a long way. I used this brand by Creleo. They do a huge range of colours and I can’t wait to try some of the others.
Ok, now we have discussed concrete, we need to talk glitter. Not all glitter is created equal and there are some fabulous chunky holographic glitters on the market at the moment. The standard fine glitter you can buy in all craft shops really isn’t suitable for this project, as it would get lost in the concrete and you would need a huge amount to get a good sheen.
This is the glitter I use. It comes in a wide range of fabulous colours and each colour has unique shapes in the glitter. Clearly the women in these photographs have never used this glitter in concrete, but really they don’t know what they are missing.
Ok lets get on with the fun.
Firstly you need to prepare the mould. The mould I use is in fact designed for baking tea cakes, but each mould is just under 4″ in diameter and therefore perfect for coasters. The silicone makes it so easy to remove the coasters once you are finished.
Grease them with a little oil, then add the glitter as you wish it to appear on the top of each coaster. I added a little crescent on each side of the mould. However, there is no room to be precious or exact about this process. There are methods to follow which ensure you have an outcome you love, but you have need to be aware that the concrete will push and move the glitter. The beauty is in the unknown and asymmetrical designs you will create.
Weigh out approximately 500g of concrete powder. If you want the coasters chunky add more, if thinner then add less. It is hard to give you exact amounts of water to add to get the perfect consistency. Use approximately 100ml per 500g, but be advised by the manufacturers recommendations. Add the water little at a time, you can always add more. It will be the consistency of thick porridge when ready without any crumbs of concrete left visible.
HINT – If you do accidently add too much water to your concrete don’t panic. I have wasted concrete trying to add more when the mix has become sloppy. Wait one minute go back give it a good stir and repeat until your concrete is the desired consistency.
Add approximately 1 tsbp of pigment and stir thoroughly until completely mixed in.
Place the mould onto a tray or board and then spoon equal amounts into each well. Be careful not to dislodge the glitter, do not smooth or spread the concrete as this will move the glitter from your desired location. Then take the edges of the tray or board and tap firmly against a hard flat surface until the concrete has equally distributed itself.
Your concrete will contain tiny bubbles. Some people like the concrete to dry with imperfections, some people don’t. Continue to tap the mould to remove the bubbles. However, if you tap for too long the water will start to puddle at the top of the concrete and effect the finish once it is dry.
Leave to dry for a few hours and then turn out onto a flat surface.
Leave for 24hours to cure.
Once they have fully dried you can spray them with a clear matt protective sealant. This isn’t essential but it will protect against spills and stains. Add three or four little rubber feet to protect work surfaces.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
I have made chunky ones in the natural concrete colour and slimmer black ones using the pigment. I get lots of positive comments about both sets.
If you enjoyed making these and want to have a look at my other concrete crafts – click below.