Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A C-ment pond for birds

I don't know if it's the same where you live, but here it's been hot as hades. The man and I thought it would be nice to craft another little bird bath for the winged lovelies that visit our yard.

I was retro-meandering the first time I talked about homemade cement birdbaths. Click the highlight if you'd like to see the original post. It's one of those projects that didn't take long to make but twenty years have gone by, and it still holds water.

We used the inside of a trash can lid for a form. The handle of the lid has an indentation which would leave a bump on the bottom of the casting. So we covered it with a piece of cardboard. This gives the birdbath a flat bottom on which to rest.

Next, we covered the lid with a trash bag. This bag will make it easier for the finished product to pop out of the lid, albeit with a little wiggling.

We cut a piece of chicken wire that fits inside the form. This will be used to reinforce the cement to keep it from cracking.

The decorating part is totally your own taste. You can use just about anything to embellish. The first time we used polished rocks. This time we used pieces of colored glass.

We bought a bag of concrete and mixed according to the directions on the bag. It took about half of an 80 pound bag.

Since the trash can lid has a handle, it will not sit flat. So we set it on top of another plastic trash can to use as a base on which to work. We filled the can most of the way with water to stiffen it to support the lid's weight. Then we scooped wet concrete into the lined lid to about half its depth.

Pressing the piece of chicken wire onto the surface of the wet concrete.

We mixed a second batch...

...and added a half inch to cover the chicken wire reinforcement.

We wanted a similar shape to make an impression. To create it, we covered the lid of a picnic cooler with a plastic bag and placed it in the concrete, pressing it in slightly. Then we shoveled in the rest of the concrete to fill the sides, and smoothed with a trowel.

After that we pressed pieces of colored glass into the still-wet cement. We let it set for about an hour, then removed the cooler lid.

In two days, it was completely dry, set, and ready to use. Now that's what I call trash to treasure--literally.

I have in mind to make another one and decorate it with broken china pieces.


amy said...

you are amazing. amazing. like really. amazing.

Jodi said...

Amy, well, I admit that the virtual me is pretty dang cool [makes cheesy grin] although you might not like the real me if we met in person, haha, but I'm willing to risk it. :) I'm still holding out hope for an actual visit with you someday. xx

a soulful life said...

This is inspired! I love it! What a beautiful little work of art your birdies get to bathe in. Lucky birdies :)

Kat said...

That is so beautiful! Now I want to make one too. :)

Amy said...

You have too much fun! Really, I love the creativity and adventure you bring to life. This is beautiful. You inspire me because I probably wouldn't go to the "trouble". But when I see it here, I see the joy in the work. Thank you.

Jodi said...

Kat, make one. Do.

Jodi said...

Amy, I do have too much fun. x)

Anonymous said...

hi. so i have never made a c-ment pond for birds. i have a very shameful memory of breaking my mom's c-ment birdbath in our front yard when i was kid. it was full of ice, and the birds couldn't drink ice, so i took a hammer to the ice, and that was that. end of birdbath.

i like your colored glass pretties! i have missed you severely. it's been hot here too, record temps, drought, crunchy grass, etc.

Deb Colarossi said...

I gave our bird bath away to a friend a few years ago.. it was flowery and fluted and I just got tired of the style. But now , perhaps, I am inspired to make one. I have felt so sorry for all the birdies this year especially as well.

Nancy Franson said...

Amy, don't believe a word she says. Jodi is amazing both when she's imaginary AND in real life.

And, girl, I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the way you do stuff like this. I'm in awe.

Anonymous said...

way cool. That came out great, Jodi!
Love your skirt!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

This is great, Jodi! I could make one of these and it's so dry here now that the birds really could use the extra water. Probably all the animals could, though we have ponds and a creek not too far away and they don't seem too low yet, though our rain is way down.

rhonda jean said...

It's just lovely! The wasps and bugs in the garden will love this too. They need water as well as the birds. If you can put something in the water for the bugs to sit on while they drink, it will make it safer for them. :- ) I'll come back and see it when it's filled and in the garden. Well done!

Leslie said...

love this, and love the chair it sits in, too :)

Pam said...

That is just beautiful. What a great idea, and it turned out so well. Thanks for the sweet comment at my blog.

Aqeela said...

I love this idea, its wonderful! I have so many old broken bits of pottery and almost every bottle / can / jar lid we've ever used in the past 4 or 5 years all saved up for a similar kind of project. Im going to remove the grass from an area in the garden about 8ft by 5ft, edge it with old bricks or wood, then fill it with cement and press all of my collected bits into it to make a kind of patio area for a table and chairs or maybe just a bench and side table. I've had it planned for years but haven't been able to do it with D around, hopefully though when he starts preschool next month (God willing)i may just find the time before christmas!
Aqeela xx


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