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Concrete Garden Projects: Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More [Paperback]

Camilla Arvidsson , Malin Nilsson
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 23 2011

For gardeners and backyard do-it-yourselfers, concrete is a revelation. It's durable, weatherproof, impossible to steal, and it provides much-needed insulation for outdoor plants. Concrete weathers beautifully, softening around the edges, developing moss, and becoming more picturesque with age.

Concrete Garden Projects takes advantage of concrete's numerous assets, showcasing an inspiring array of creative options. The step-by-step instructions for dozens of easy, do-it-yourself décor ideas include containers of all shapes and sizes, elegant benches and stools, miniature ponds and birdbaths, stepping stones, a barbecue, and a fire pit. The authors use a variety of molds easily found or made, household items like bowls and baking pans, and simple wooden frames and boxes. At pennies per pound, and so simple to use — just mix with water and pour — concrete is the key to hand-crafted backyard décor.

Frequently Bought Together

Concrete Garden Projects: Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More + Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden: Making Pots, Planters, Birdbaths, Sculpture & More + The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook
Price For All Three: CDN$ 50.88

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Product Details

Product Description


"...features easy - to - follow projects that will keep any gardener busy creating new vessels for their plants." (Argus)

"The book is useful, fun, and sure to ignite imaginations." (American Reference Books Annual)

“Stylish concrete vessels and creations.”

“The texture and color of concrete provides a pretty vessel for blooms and foliage.”

“A convenient and inexpensive base for garden projects.”

About the Author

Camilla Arvidsson is a graphic designer and photographer. She is also a regular contributor to home and garden magazines.

Malin Nilsson is an interior designer and stylist specializing in homes and gardens.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage!! If I could give 0 stars I would! Oct. 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book along with Easy Concrete and also Concrete Ornaments for the garden.

Easy Concrete and Concrete Garden Projects are both the same. (I'm sure the "authors" must know each other) they are almost identical in some of their information.
I read both of these books in under 15 minutes and didn't learn anything iI couldn't have picked up on You Tube or in a kindergarden crafts class.
The projects and finished pieces are extremely basic and tatty looking.

If you are looking to make a gift for your 95 year old blind granny then maybe, (I'm sure she'd prefer a cookie and a nice cup of tea though)

Don't buy this or Easy Concrete, contact me and you can have mine for free!!
These are a complete waste of trees!!!!
Enough said I think.

Concrete Ornaments for the Garden (recommended with these two by Amazon) is a gem. I would rate that book at a 4.5.
It shows helpful mixes for different applications, classy modern sculptures and writings from real artisans.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star July 26 2014
By Louella
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
not what i expected,.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  75 reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is sure to be a major hit with all do it yourself (DIY) homeowners! Oct. 12 2011
By Mamabear Cherei - Published on
I VERY much enjoyed, 'Concrete Garden Projects' by Camilla Arvidsson and Malin Nilsson. This book will save you quite a bit of money making cool things out of cement! We've been doing quite a few do it yourself projects in our backyard this year.. and found out how expensive SIMPLE concrete benches cost at one's local nurseries. After wasting precious gas driving from nursery to nursery, store to store.. we finally decided that we could handle mixing a little water with cement.. and making our OWN garden pieces!

Right now.. a bag of quick set concrete already mixed with sand.. costs around three dollars a bag. For some of the larger projects in this book.. you'll need a few bags of cement, and a little faith in yourself! That's it! I figure.. we saved ourselves a few thousand dollars. No one is the wiser.. that we made our OWN designs..

If you're looking to make some homemade gifts for folks to put out in their backyards for Christmas.. then this book.. is sure to inspire you with some GREAT ideas! A gift.. that you will select.. a bag or two of cement.. and your recipient will love and cherish! We'll keep it our little secret.. that the gift itself.. if you were to buy.. would cost a great deal more! Shhhhhh!

I only wish that they would have put the step by step, how-to pictures of the projects in the same chapter as the item. Instead of doing them all in a huge index in the back. They DO have step by step instructions.. but, one has to flip back and forth for little tips.

I can't wait to try and do some of the smaller projects that are in the book! I always wondered how one made a form from an existing item.. without ruining it. Now, I feel confident enough.. to take something I've been wanting to duplicate.. and making my own mold!

This book is sure to be a major hit with all do it yourself (DIY) homeowners!
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great inspiration for inventive things to make with concrete Oct. 23 2011
By Fern Richardson - Published on
I've found many ways to convert found objects into plant containers (flour sifters, wine boxes, portable BBQs...), but I don't think I've ever tried making my own container "from scratch." That is, until I read Concrete Garden Projects. Though the book isn't limited to containers, authors Malin and Camilla also have ideas for making your own built in BBQ tables, potting tables, water fountains, and more.

The majority of the book is filled with "inspiration," lots of different ideas to get your creative juices flowing. The authors introduce the concrete object, give you a brief overview of how to make it, tips for customizing it, and ideas on how the piece will weather outdoors. Each idea is accompanied by at least one large, beautiful photo. Many of the author's ideas have several photos or a two-page spread. They also share different techniques for adding texture, color, or embedding little treasures in your concrete creations.

The last quarter of the book shows you how to work with concrete to make the ideas in the first part of the book. The "how to" section has lots of step-by-step photos to help you understand how to complete each project.

I am definitely going to make the shoe scraper door mat. I've long needed something near the door from my balcony into the condo, but I could never find something the right size. Now I can make one that is to my own specifications. Of course, I also plan on making several of the different pot ideas, as well as some stepping stones for my work garden. It's hard to keep the list of projects I want to try from the book realistic (unless I want to dedicate every weekend of 2012 to concrete casting-which is sounding better and better). I really like several of the bird bath ideas and the modernist bench. The tea lights are cute, as are the tic-tac-toe board and hanging garden ornament. Ugh. See why I'm already blocking out weekends in 2012?!

All-in-all, this is a great book. I have only two tiny quibbles. The authors recommend making holes in containers meant for plants, but suggest that it's possible to create a pot without a drainage hole and merely put some clay balls in the bottom to keep the plants in the pot from rotting. In my opinion, all pots must have drainage holes unless they are the self watering variety. My second gripe-and again, these are such minor issues-is that there is a photo with a hens-and-chick (Sempervivum) succulent cutting floating in a bird bath. It looked adorable, but why would anyone float a drought tolerant plant in water?

Anyway, don't let these two little complaints from me prevent you from enjoying this book, I'm just trying to keep it real. I know my copy will be well used and probably covered in flecks of concrete.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fictionators Review Sept. 30 2011
By Kassiah Faul - Published on
Concrete Garden Projects highlights a variety of projects and interesting items that can be made from concrete. There are definitely some things that I never considered making, like tea light holders and board games. The Project Handbook instructional section is informative, but I would've liked more directions or more pictures during the process. I also would have liked to have some more of the decorative techniques explained and demonstrated, like adding color. This book is great to get ideas and make simple projects, but doesn't offer much in the way of advanced or highly decorative projects. With that being said, the commentary was good and the authors gave great tips on where to find things and what they used for casting.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I did not expect to find concrete this interesting Oct. 5 2011
By Todd S. - Published on
Prior to opening this book, the word "concrete" typically conjured up for me images of charmless, expansive parking lots, or indifferent Soviet architecture. I didn't consider using it in something as organic as a garden, much less describing objects made with it as "clever" or "fun". Shows what I know.

"Concrete Garden Projects" is a project book, the front half filled with charming photos of a wide array of ideas, and the back half containing step-by-step instructions for the same. Some of the ideas are a little beyond my ability (I'm not much of a carpenter, so I won't be building a bench any time soon), but many others are literally so simple, anyone could do them. Not a few projects involve repurposing everyday items as molds -- and with results that look far cuter than "cement in a cupcake mold" might initially sound.

But it's also an inspirational book. After reading through it, I found myself wondering in what other ways I could apply its concepts. I truly was excited to go out and buy myself a sack of concrete mix and start experimenting -- and let me stress how very unlikely it was before I picked up this book to utter any sentence with the words "excited" and "sack of concrete".
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most creative Oct. 9 2011
By James T. Hammond - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have a number of really good books on this subject, but this by far is the most creative of all. Very detail and complete. You will love these projects.
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