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‘Petrified’ Log

Make your own ‘Petrified’ log

This ‘petrified’ log looks just like a log, but being made of cement means it lasts much longer out in the garden. The sky’s the limit when it comes to being creative with concrete or cement in the garden. All you need is a fertile imagination. Logs, apart from looking charmingly rustic, can also be very useful as buttresses for garden beds, or retaining elements on slopes.

The problem with natural ones is they don’t always last very long, especially in moist environments which speed up the natural rotting processes. An alternative is to make cement logs – done properly, they can look like the real thing and last for years. It’s easy and affordable, not to mention great fun making these décor accessories for your garden!

What you Need for your ‘Petrified’ Log

Materials

1. Silicone, for a mould.
2. A log with character, preferably with pronounced bark grooving
3. Chicken wire (enough to form a cage equivalent in size to your log)
4. Newspaper
5. PPC Surebuild 42,5 N Cement
6. Plaster sand
7. Cement stain (we used one in a sandstone colour)

Tools

1. Scissors; wooden dowel and a paintbrush.

What you Need to Do

1. First make a mould of the bark patterns on your log, using the silicone. Take the log, and simply apply layers of silicone to its surface, building up to a thickness of approximately 1 cm. Allow the silicone to dry overnight and then remove it from the log.

2. Roll up the chicken wire to form a ‘cage’ that approximates the size and dimensions of the log. Close up one end, by bending the wire, and then stuff newspaper into the cage, using the dowel to pack it in tightly.

3. Make a cement mixture, using one part of cement to four parts of plaster sand. Add water slowly, turning the mixture until it attains the consistency of thick yoghurt. Then, with your hands, pack layers of it onto the wire cage, until it is about 3 cm thick.

4. Take the silicone mould and wrap it around the wet cement, pressing it in firmly so that the bark pattern is imprinted onto the cement. Then remove it gently.

5. Leave the cement log to dry, before painting it with a cement stain.