So you may have started to look around for a way to make some additional income. You want to make good money and be your own boss.
What do I need to get started?
Probably one of the most important pieces needed. If you have poorly crafted and low quality molds your finished goods will look it as well. There are lots of varieties of molds in the market. Aluminum, single use plastic, rubber, fiberglass, wood, and even nature itself.
But if you want the best and most reliable molds that give you the least amount of grief, a good latex rubber mold with a fiberglass casing to support the rubber is your answer. Sure you can buy cheaper molds that you need to sit in some sand and pack around it, but you can’t always get it right. THose molds can be frustrating to use and cut into your profit because of all the fiddling around you will have to do. How do you vibrate any air bubbles out if the item is buried in your sand box? With molds that have self-supporting cases you everything is self-contained and easy to use. You can pour right in the mold, shake out the bubbles, and set the mold aside to dry.
Also when you have a quality rubber mold, it allows you to get the detail of a professional sculptor.
So quality molds produces quality garden art, which puts more money in your pocket for your effort.
2. Cement and Sand and Stone and Water
Cement – bagged Portland cement from any hardware or building supply store. Yes you can use the QuickCrete mix if you wish but then you are paying for sand and stone at retail prices. I recommend getting a white Portland cement. It may cost a bit more but produces a nicely colored item.
Sand – Dry, clean, and washed course river sand.
Stone – a pea gravel works well. It is not necessary for smaller molds but does give strength to the cement. The stone will not show in your finished item.
Water – fresh clean cold water
Your mixer could be a simple wheelbarrow or small electric mixer. Most people have a wheelbarrow lying around, so by using it does not add to any startup costs. With the wheelbarrow you need to hand turn the cement/stone/sand/water mixture until you get the right consistency. With a mixer you simply add in your sand/stone/cement/water and let the mixer spin while you do other tasks. They can be purchased for around $500 and use a simple household electrical plug.
Shovel – for scooping your sand and stone
Bucket – for moving mixed cement and pouring in your mold
Rasp/File – for cleaning up any edges of the finished cement garden art
Screwdriver, hammer and pliers – always handy to have around
5. Release agent
The release agent is an oil or waxed based product that is applied to your molds before pouring in the concrete. It creates a barrier between the mold and the cement so they do not bind and are easily released when dry. Release agents also help to extend the longevity of your molds by keeping them soft and not allowing the cement to pull bits off the mold. Different molds take different release agents so it is best to ask the mold manufacturer. Some latex rubber molds need a non-petroleum based oil so as not to destroy the rubber and cause it to soften and melt. You can either mix your own release agent with castor oil and mentholated spirits or buy a premade mixture. Release agents are usually hand rubbed or lightly sprayed on to your molds.
Just a simple place to allow you to work on finishing your dried art work at an eye level vs working on the floor.
7. Paint brush and paint
How are you going to finish your dried concrete garden art off? You can leave them the simple white or grey concrete, but by adding color you can add more value and charge more for them. A good quality exterior paint works best. Remember to leave the bases unpainted to allow the cement to breathe.
OK pretty basic clean up tool!
9. Vibrating table
This is an optional accessory. A vibrating table is a metal platform mounted on springs or rubber with a vibrating motor attached. The vibrating shakes out the trapped air bubbles and settles the concrete for a nice clean finish. They cost from $500 and upward. For smaller molds a simple rubber hammer and hand shaking will work just as well.
Start making beautiful concrete yard ornaments and benefit from the low cost and huge profit margins