How to Create Your Own Nordic-Inspired Concrete Bookends

Smooth, clean, geometric shapes have been all the rage in home décor, and for a very good reason! Trends in interior design have been heavily influenced by the minimalist movement, which keeps your home simple, clean, and free of unnecessary clutter. Some of the key ideas in a minimalist décor strategy are to keep your palette neutral and avoid gaudy, over-the-top accessories. Luckily, using concrete for your home décor follows both of these principles to a T.

For those who are feeling crafty, creating your own concrete décor is a relatively inexpensive project that doesn’t require much working time! To get you one step closer to living in a minimalist space, try creating these Nordic-inspired concrete bookends, which are perfect for any living space or office. In this project, we’ll show you how to use SAKRETE ShapeCrete™ to create your own piece of concrete décor.

What You’ll Need

Total working time: 50 minutes

  • 1 pail of SAKRETE ShapeCrete™
  • 2 house-shaped molds (check your local craft store or build your own)
  • 1 jar of Varathane Premium Diamond Wood Finish
  • 1 bottle of vegetable oil
  • Measuring cup
  • Hot glue gun
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Paintbrush
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Placemat
  • Plastic fork

How to Create Your Concrete Bookends

1. Using a hot glue gun, glue down one side of each house-shaped mold to the placemat. Make sure there are no gaps or holes so that the ShapeCrete™ does not leak. Add a small amount of glue around the edges of the inside and the outside of each mold to ensure a complete seal.
2. Once the glue has dried, lightly spray the interior surface of each mold and the placemat with vegetable oil. If you are using a wooden mold like ours, be sure to use a generous amount of oil, since the wood will absorb some of the liquid.
3. Next, measure out and pour in 1 part of water into your mixing bowl. Then measure out 3 parts of SAKRETE ShapeCrete™ and set aside.
4. Slowly add the ShapeCrete™ to your bowl of water, and mix by hand with a plastic fork. The consistency should be pourable, but not too soupy or liquid. You can always add more water or ShapeCrete™ powder to your mix to get the consistency right. Keep mixing until uniform.

5. Once you have your ShapeCrete™ mix at the desired consistency, carefully pour the mixture into your molds. Be careful not to overfill!
6. Lightly tap the sides of the molds with a heavy object to pull any air bubbles to the surface of your concrete creation. This will help prevent cracking in your décor items as they cure.
7. Leave your molds to cure overnight, and revisit them the next day (after approximately 24 hours).
8. Once your concrete creations appear to have dried, you can safely remove them from the molds. Using a medium grit sandpaper, sand the edges until smooth.

9. To finish off your concrete décor items, brush all surfaces of your bookends with Varathan Premium Diamond Wood Finish. This will make your bookends shinier and easier to clean, as well as protect them from stains or discolouration.

Your new concrete décor pieces are ready to use!

Once the sealant dries, your pieces are ready to go! Display them on a bookshelf, desk, or even as an accent for your coffee table. You can achieve the minimalist look in your home with these Nordic-inspired bookends paired with sharp, cool furniture and warm, cozy accessories.

Want to find more SAKRETE ShapeCrete™ how-to projects? Check out the product page here for more information and project inspiration!

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