Create vases in dozens of fun shapes using everything from empty water bottles to PVC tubes.
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Learn this concrete casting technique by making a vase with a discarded water bottle. Then experiment with a variety of containers, tubes, and hollow objects for vases of all sizes and shapes.
Remove the label and saw the threaded top off a water bottle. If necessary, clean up the cut using a utility knife with a fresh blade.
Apply PVC adhesive to one end of the PVC pipe, attach the cap, and let dry. Measure from the bottom of the water bottle to the cut edge on top and subtract 3/4 inch. Then measure that distance from the outside bottom of the cap and cut the vase tube to length.
We used a 3/4-inch PVC pipe and cap for this vase, but you can also use 1-inch or 1-1/2-inch pipe, depending on the size of the mold and how you’ll use the finished vase.
Wear eye and breathing protection plus rubber gloves as you gradually add water to about 8 pounds of sand mix concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When squeezed, a handful of squeezed concrete should hold its shape and not crumble.
Adding extra water to the mixture may make it easier to pour into the mold but will weaken the finished project.
Add concrete to the water bottle mold until it’s about three-quarters full. Tap the mold on a firm surface for 30 seconds to help release air pockets.
Force the capped end of the PVC pipe section down into the concrete at the center of the mold while gently bouncing the mold. To hide the top end of the pipe, add and shape concrete to form a funnel that rises above and partially covers the pipe end. Let the concrete cure for 48 hours before handling.
Use a utility knife to cut the mold from top to bottom. Then remove the mold by hand and allow the concrete to cure another 24 hours.
If necessary, sand the base and top edges for a cleaner look. To add color, paint the vase or create bands following the contours of the shape.
Now that you’ve practiced the technique, make vases from other hollow containers using PVC pipes of different sizes. Whatever you choose for a mold, however, needs to be thin enough to cut away after the concrete cures or first cut in half and taped together so the mold can be removed in halves.
For a vase with a rectangular, stepped shape, cover the small end of a downspout connector with duct tape so that it’s sealed. Make a capped pipe section and mix concrete as you did in the previous section before casting the vase. The vinyl can then be cut away afterward. Sand any rough edges and let cure another 24 hours.
If the pipe floats upward, force it back down with your fingers and insert a large screwdriver or metal bar to hold it down.
For a tall vase, cut a length of 4-inch PVC pipe to the height you want. Then saw the pipe section in half along its length. Tape the two halves tightly together and cover one end with duct tape so that no concrete will leak out.
Make the capped vase pipe and mix enough concrete to fill the mold three-quarters full. After the concrete cures 48 hours, remove the duct tape and separate the halves of the mold from the concrete vase. If necessary, sand any rough edges or mold lines and let cure another 24 hours.
Using inexpensive concrete plus discarded containers, you can make vases by the dozen for less than $20. Share your creations with other DIYers.