Lately you’d be hard-pressed to walk into any home furnishings or kitchenware store without running into copper-accented decor. And with good reason, the bright, shiny color of copper is a sight for sore eyes in a sea of nickel and stainless steel metals. With Christmas around the corner, I decided to swap out the cherry red tone used in traditional decorations with this rose-gold metallic. But because it can almost be too pretty and one-dimensional, I incorporated unfinished concrete and shattered crystals to create the perfect Christmas ornament. Equal parts natural and glam, this DIY is sure to make your Christmas decor memorable this year. Check out my easy four-step tutorial to learn how to make this project yourself.
Step 1: Prep
Most concrete bags contain large rocks, known as aggregate, that help maintain the integrity of a concrete mix once it has cured. However for small projects like this one, the aggregate tends to get in the way. I recommend pre-sifting any concrete that you will need for your project by using a small strainer to remove any big rocks. You should be left with a fine, powdery concrete that will pour easily into your silicone mold once it has been mixed with water. When you have sifted enough concrete for your project, set the mixing container aside.
The crystal accent used in the project comes from large, clear crystal Quartz. Generally, these gemstones come in sizable pieces that most likely will not fit in your silicone mold. To break them down to size, place the crystal inside a paper bag and give it a hard strike with a hammer through the bag. The shattered pieces of the crystal will collect at the bottom of the bag and you can just shake them out onto your worktable. Crystal shards are as sharp as broken glass, so wear safety glasses and work gloves to protect yourself from cuts.
Step 2: Mix
Now that you have your materials ready, it’s time to mix the concrete. Add just enough water to your concrete to make it into the consistency of pancake batter. Pour the mix into the silicone mold slowly, working carefully to not overfill the cavities. Wipe away any splatters or drips of concrete with a paper towel and let the freshly poured concrete sit for a few minutes to dry. Gently place the shattered pieces of crystal into the concrete so that half of the crystal is submerged. Any pattern should work, just keep in mind that covering the entire top of the ornaments with crystals may make them hard to handle. Let the ornaments cure for 24 hours before removing them from the silicone mold.
Step 3: Paint
Before you grab your can of metallic copper spray paint, use some painters tape to mask off any parts of the ornaments that you don’t want to cover. Experiment with different patterns until you find the one you like! Apply even coverage of the copper spray paint onto the ornament, let dry, flip and repeat the process. You’ll most likely need to apply two coats of paint per side to achieve the right intensity. After painting, remove the painters tape and let them dry overnight.
Step 4: Hang
Since ornaments aren’t ornaments unless you can hang them on a tree, you’ll need some copper wire and hemp twine to complete this project. Use your needle nose pliers to cut and wrap the copper wire around the ornament securing it in place. With the wire, create a hoop at the top of the ornament that you can then use to string the hemp twine through. I found the hemp twine easier to work with, but you can just use copper wire to create an ornament hook. Now you’re ready to hang it on your Christmas tree and revel in its beauty!
Are you incorporating Copper in your Christmas decorations this year? Let me know in the comments!