How to Make Concrete Molds from Wood: Tips and Alternatives

Do you want to know how to make concrete molds from wood? This article will show you everything necessary for the project.

It is no secret that household items created from concrete like countertops, benches, and pavers are often costly to buy.

Luckily, most of these items are pretty effortless to complete through a DIY project. Further, you just need to get a simple mold to let the concrete harden in the desired shape.

Whether you are creating a concrete planter box, a simple side table, or a poured countertop, you will require a good, sturdy mold.

Hence, please read on to find out the steps to create molds from wood and the corresponding things to know.

How to Make Concrete Molds from Wood Step by Step

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Most projects of making concrete items start with pouring the material into simple rectangular or square molds.

Once hardened, you can assemble the pieces or simply lay them into place. The good news is that you will not require a lot of supplies and much time to build the molds.

So, if you are ready for learning how to make concrete molds from wood, let us jump to the steps below!

1. Buy the wood pieces

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Firstly, you should determine how wide and long the finished concrete slab will be. Then, decide how thick it must be as well.

Then, you can buy pieces of wood that meet the required wide, long, and thick at lumber stores or local home improvement shops.

After that, make sure that some of the purchased pieces are minimally two inches longer than the required measurements.

Doing so will allow you to assemble the board to one and another later.

2. Gather the equipment and tools

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Once you get the wooden pieces from a local store, the next step on how to make concrete molds from wood is to gather the required tools.

Typically, you will need a hammer or cordless drill, circular saw, 2 bar clamps, a caulking gun, and a marble or ball bearing.

Depending on what you prefer, either carpentry nails or drywall screws will be needed for the project.

Furthermore, do not forget to prepare safety equipment as well, such as latex gloves, goggles, and a face mask to work with ease.

3. Measure the wood boards

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The third step on how to make concrete molds from wood is to gauge your wooden boards.

Likewise, you have to measure the point of attachment by dividing the additional length of the longer wood boards in half.

Take a tape measure and use it to calculate the distance from either end of every longer board. Then, use a pencil to mark it.

4. Assemble the pieces

Initially, arrange the short edge of one of the tinier wooden pieces with a pencil mark on one of the lengthier boards.

Make sure you place the board lengthwise along the pencil mark. Get a clamp and hold the two boards together with it.

Next, you can attach them by sinking a row of 3 to 4 carpentry nails in a straight way with a hammer along the rear of the longer piece into the edge of the shorter board.

Moreover, complete this step on how to make concrete molds from wood by attaching the second tinier board to another pencil mark on the longer piece.

5. Continue to assemble the pieces

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Place the remaining longer piece in a way that the pencil marks on it line up with the separated short edges of the tinier boards.

Use your clamp to put them into place. After that, take your hammer again to attach some nails through the rear of the lengthier board into the rims of each shorter piece.

Remember that keeping the lines of the carpentry nails as straight as possible is crucial in this step of how to make concrete molds from wood.

6. Finish with nailing

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For finishing, attach a sheet of plywood over the open side of your old with some nails so that you can remove the molded cement later.

Indeed, this step is ideal if you will not pour the concrete onto a side just like in the case of a sidewalk project.

Tips to Create Concrete Molds from Wood

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Aside from the step-by-step on how to make concrete molds from wood, you will want to know some basic tips that can help you to get the job done more easily yet less costly.

  • Use wood with a coated surface

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To make bigger molds for house footings and curbs, people tend to take advantage of uncoated wood. Thus, this piece is typically capable to let the concrete release from the mold easily after curing.

However, when using a piece that is coated with a slick surface, the release will be even more effortless.

As a result, many recommend using a one-inch thick MDF board that is coated with melamine.

  • Take advantage of a release agent

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If you want to make the last step on how to make concrete molds from wood run easily, using a release agent makes a good idea.

Additionally, you can coat the surface of your wooden pieces with motor oil, cooking spray, a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent, or vegetable oil.

These release agents are available at home, so you do not need to worry about an extra cost.

Otherwise, if budget is not an issue, you may like to use a special product for this purpose like a brush-on or spray silicone-based, semi-permanent release agent and sealer.

  • Utilize a cheap disposable wood

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When studying how to make concrete molds from wood, chances are high that melamine board becomes one of the most recommended materials.

Many DIY lovers take advantage of melamine as it is somewhat inexpensive and easy to find. So, you can visit a nearby home improvement store and get this material in the shelving section.

Besides, the melamine board is pretty effortless to cut down to size. If you do not want to do it at home, have a friendly employee at the store to help with the process.

Also, a melamine board allows you to reuse this material for another similar project as long as it is not damaged or broken accidentally.

Although you happen to break the board during any step on how to create concrete molds from wood, discarding this after use will not be a big deal.

  • Use exposed removable fasteners

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You better build your concrete mold with fasteners that are simple to take out.

Likewise, screws make an ideal choice for this purpose since you can easily turn them out. Just make sure to expose the heads too.

In case the fastener’s head is embedded in your concrete items, it will be hard to access for a removing process.

Therefore, simply face-screw your fastener and do not sink it into pocket holes.

  • Utilize fine-toothed saw blade

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If you are working with a melamine board, make sure to use a fine-toothed saw blade and position the depth below the deepness of the saw cut, around 7/8-inch.

Further, doing so will help to reduce the possibility of chipping the melamine surface during any step on how to create concrete molds from wood.

  • Make concrete with wood grain

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In case you are interested in having concrete items with wood grain, make sure to take an intermediary step of casting the polyurethane rubber mold first.

This is because concrete casting typically generates the negative of the mold material.

Moreover, when you decide to cast the wood directly, all depressions including holes, knots, and wood grain tend to show up in relief.

20 Alternative Concrete Molds for Your Next Project

In addition to wood, you can also build a mold for concrete projects by using other materials. It is even possible to skip the hassle of creating one by using a thing that you already have at home.

The good news is that using these alternative molds allows you to get an awesome concrete item as well. Thus, let us check them out!

1. Plastic bowls

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If you want to skip the step-by-step on how to make concrete molds from wood, use an old plastic bowl as your alternative.

Hence, you just need to dust the old bowls off and cast them in concrete to create various things, such as a beautiful mod-art lamp, a planter, and a candle holder.

2. Laminate cabinets

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Due to its veneer and particleboard construction, laminate cabinets are rough enough to be turned into a crafty accent in your home.

Laminate cabinetry is sturdy enough to hold damp concrete mix as well while it cures. Besides, you can repurpose the household item into several things too.

3. Plastic furniture

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Without a doubt, plastic furniture can be any household’s hero. It is cheap and very durable to complete your outdoor patio.

More interestingly, this can be an alternative for knowing how to make concrete molds from wood.

In addition, with this plastic stool, you can have a durable seating option in your outdoor area by casting it into a concrete mix.

4. Beverage bottles

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If you are looking for a unique way to showcase your candles, look no further than your recycling bin or refrigerator.

Then, you will find those discarded glass or plastic bottles ideal for creating a DIY exceptional candle holder as shown above.

Aside from being a candle holder, you can turn it into a vase to display your favorite flowers.

5. Aluminum candle holders

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Turn your old aluminum candle holders into a brand new item by casting concrete. This idea is perfect for beginners and makes a lot of fun as well.

Furthermore, to make it more interesting, you can color the concrete and have a two-tone candle holder as shown in this picture.

6. Hand towel

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If you do not want to know how to make concrete molds from wood, discovering a good way to repurpose your old hand towel is probably of interest.

You just need to prepare an old hand towel, concrete mix, and a short plastic stool to make this extraordinary garden planter.

Do not forget to shape the towel however you like before the concrete mix hardens.

7. Milk cartons

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An empty milk carton makes a good material to become a concrete mold thanks to its sturdiness. Besides, you can cut it easily to meet your needs.

This small table lamp makes a great example of how to use this material as concrete molds.

8. Plastic bricks

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Now that you know how to make concrete molds from wood, you may like to use another material to create an exceptional item.

If you have a bunch of plastic bricks at home, take advantage of them to make concrete household items like a simple side table.

9. Buckets

More popular for their storage capability instead of their appearance, buckets can be found in practically every household.

However, if you see beyond its practical ability, a bucket has great potential to make the most of your next concrete project.

For instance, you can use it to create this amazing DIY planter that is ideal for both outdoor and indoor spaces.

10. Light bulbs

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This is another alternative to follow the steps on how to make concrete molds from wood. Thus, with a low-cost glass surface, you can create a crafty item too.

Take your collection of discarded light bulbs and repurpose them into a unique décor for your outdoor patio or garden.

Moreover, get a wooden board and mount the concrete bulbs on it. You can paint them in an array of colors for a style.

11. Baking cones

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Thanks to their toughness, baking cones made of stainless steel can be a great alternative for a concrete mold.

Then, try repurposing them into these beautiful hanging cement planters to add style at any corner around your home.

12. Little cones

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If the big baking cones are perfect for creating concrete planters, you can take advantage of the small ones to make these jewelry holders.

Therefore, you do not need to worry about how to make concrete molds from wood anymore since the material is right in your cabinet.

Simply find a few small baking cones that can hold the size of your rings. After that, you may consider staining the concrete surface for a style too.

13. PVC pipes

Count on this common item in your daily plumbing to cast concrete too. Therefore, this material is perfect for various storage units due to its water-resistant ability and varying sizes.

In addition to a storage unit, you can also use it to mold a unique pot as shown in the picture. The idea is to cut the PVC pipes into two and use the pieces to shape the outer side of the planter.

As a result, you will have a unique concrete pot that looks like a blooming flower.

14. Plastic pumpkins

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You might be aware of how to make concrete molds from wood that casting concrete in an accent of a particular item will let the mix resemble its shape.

For this reason, you can take advantage of plastic pumpkins from local dollar stores to make this awesome garden decoration.

Furthermore, consider buying a few different sizes so that you can stack the concrete pumpkins like this.

15. Eggshells

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Do you need a concrete craft idea for spring? Thus, these cute Easter bunnies will make a great inspiration for your upcoming project.

With quick cement, blown-out eggshells, and some copper wire, you can easily create these bunnies to decorate your home throughout the spring.

16. Cans in Various Sizes

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Gather any discarded can around your house to create a collection of concrete planters like shown above.

You can skip the steps on how to make concrete molds from wood as the materials are often available in your kitchen or garage.

Importantly, consider using a few cans in different sizes as a mold to make your collection even more appealing.

17. Balloons

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A balloon is one of the most flexible materials to make a concrete project. Besides, it offers an easy and inexpensive alternative to wooden molds.

Simply blow some balloons in different sizes and apply the concrete mix on the outer surfaces. Once it hardens, you just need to prick the balloon for finishing.

After that, you can turn the results into a candle holder or simply paint them as an outdoor decoration.

18. Old glass lamp globes

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This is another alternative on how to make concrete molds from wood that you can take into account.

With an old glass lamp globe or a playground ball, you can create this concrete sphere to beautify your garden.

Indeed, to make the sphere appear more natural, consider adding some peat moss and potting soil into your concrete mix before pouring it into the glass globe.

Moreover, make sure to get the consistency of your concrete mixture not too wet yet still easy to pour into the mold.

19. Bubble wrap

Who knows that this unique dish is made of concrete and bubble wrap. If you want to know how to make concrete molds from wood, this idea should be interesting too.

You will need an unused plastic bowl and bubble wrap to shape the concrete mix into this beautiful item. Once cured, it will make a perfect planter for your flowers too.

20. Shoes

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Do you need another exceptional planter to complete your garden? Therefore, try creating these concrete shoes for the next project.

This only requires a pair of your old shoes and some concrete mix to create the planter. So, just feel free to pick any type of footwear for the project.

Finally, you already know how to make concrete molds from wood and some alternatives for your upcoming project. Feel free to select your favorite and have fun!

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