While at my parents house this summer, my mom and I did a little cement diamond project. Our inspiration and instructions came from A Merry Mishap. Though Jennifer’s instructions were just what we needed to complete our project I wanted to go a bit more in depth here.
What You Need:
Clear packing tape
Cement – We used Sakrete Portland Cement Type I-II*
Plastic tub or bucket – For mixing cement
A box filled with dry soil or sand
Sand paper – 80 to 120 grit
*You should consider doing this project with a friend because it would be more fun, and these bags of cement are huge!
First you must print your diamond template, this will become your mold. Take your packing tape, and carefully coat your template front and back. Overlap the tape edges just slightly so you have no paper showing through.
For our version, we removed one side of the diamond giving it six sides rather than seven. This makes a stronger mold resulting in straighter edges and a more elongated final product. In order to make this shape cut out the template and remove the “lid” which is unnecessary, and cut off one of the short tabs – see photo above.
Now fold all of the dotted lines with a strong crease so the edges of your diamond do not end up rounded. I used the edge of my scissors to make sure I was getting a good fold.
Your diamond should now be starting to take some shape. Hold the side where you removed the “tab” and draw it in so it overlaps with the other side of your diamond creating a point at the bottom. Put a strip of packing tape from the point to the tab.
One by one fold all of the tabs in (they should already be creased) and tape them to each other to create a solid mold.
It’s cement time! I would recommend doing this outside, possibly with an apron, to make sure none of your favorite things get ruined. Be sure you have all of your supplies together so you can move quickly through this part. Pour some dry cement into your tub and slowly add water, mixing with your gloved hands. I do not have specific measurements for this but you want to end up with a consistency that is easy to grab but melts a bit in your hand. Similar to mixing natural peanut butter.
Fill your mold with cement carefully pressing the cement down into the point of the diamond. Fill it up to the top, almost overflowing, so you don’t loose any height. This part gets a little messy, especially if you are doing more than one. Don’t worry about getting cement on the outside of your mold, you will be peeling this off.
Once your mold is full, set it into the soil/sand filled box. This will help support the sides of your diamond so they bulge as little as possible. Now let your diamond sit overnight to set up and solidify.
After your diamond has dried overnight, you can remove the paper.
Your diamond may be exactly what you want at this point but we wanted the sides to be a little smoother, and a little flatter. We used 80 -120 grit sand paper to sand down the sides and bottom to achieve a more polished look.
If your first diamond doesn’t turn out exactly the way you want it, try again. We ended up with some that were a bit misshapen, some with holes from air pockets, some with rounded sides, but we found that the imperfections give them a bit of character. I hope you enjoy this project as much as we did!