Concrete is such a versatile building material. It is used in lining swimming pools, building sidewalks, covering patios, or creating entire buildings. Concrete is easy to mix and pour. It can be colored and textured in hundreds of ways. In short, it is the perfect masonry material for almost any home project! Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of concrete creation, however, is the use of a mold to shape custom concrete pavers.
Molds for concrete pavers
Concrete pavers are stones that are used in gardens, fountains, around flower beds, and in many other outdoor living applications. They are sold in dozens of shapes—squares, circles, rectangles, half-moons. They are usually gray, but can be found in reds other colors. It is possible to buy them at most masonry supply stores.
Concrete pavers are also easily installed. With just a bit of shoveling and leveling, you can make a flat space to place the pavers. Then, they sit in the space you have made without any extra grouting, mortaring, or other masonry concerns. While it is more than possible to find lovely pavers for sale, if you’re looking for a more custom concrete paver, you may want to consider making your own.
There are dozens of molds you can buy to shape your own concrete pavers. You can make hearts, flowers, suns, moons, birds, ships, and other shapes. Some molds let you pour several different colors of concrete. Two or more colors to a block of concrete pavers mean that your sidewalk or patio will take on a mosaic look. You can even place these multi-colored stones in patterns and designs to further highlight this look.
Beyond helping with concrete mosaics, other molds have textured features built in. When the concrete dries, it will retain these lines, grooves, and shape. These molds can also be used to make garden stakes, custom patio stones, and the legs for concrete benches.
To make your concrete pavers even more unique, consider molds like memorial molds, sports team molds, religious molds, and holiday molds. A memorial paving stone, for example, will help you incorporate a visual reminder of your loved one into your landscaping. These can be small or large and they can stand on their own or be a part of a larger walkway, flower bed, or patio.
Likewise, if you have a favorite sports team, you can show your support by creating mascot paving stones. Religious paving stones can help you add a spiritual message to your walkways and patios; and, during the holidays you can make paving stones to decorate the outside (or inside of your house).
Making your own paving stones is not as difficult as it sounds. All you need to begin creating custom concrete pavers are: one or more molds in the shapes you plan on making; a concrete mix (do some research to see what mix will work best for your project); water (for adding to the concrete mix and for cleaning out the molds after you are done); colorants for coloring an entire concrete paver or paints for painting parts of it once it is dry; and, a dry place to work.
Once you have assembled your supplies, you simply mix the concrete, color it if you’d like, and pour it into the mold. Then, wait three to four hours for it to dry. If it is drying in the sun or anywhere too hot, your concrete will dry quickly and likely crack. If it is colder where the concrete is drying (below 45 degrees), it will take a few extra hours for it to completely set.
Once the time has passed, simply remove the concrete from the mold and your paving stone is done. Then, be sure to wash the mold out with water and you should be able to make many more custom concrete pavers for your home and yard.