How to turn cement 'lace' into unique home décor items

When you see the word doily you might think of a paper or fabric type of mat. Most of us see them on tables or under platters at holiday meals. But don't limit it to a protective role — examine the patterns. 
That is what caught the eye of Rhonda Brady, who is cementing a new role for the doily at Sproutsandstuff. She describes her creations as cement lace, and advocates using doilies and even crocheted hats to craft everything from bowls to planters to holiday ornaments to wall hangings. If you don't crochet, or know anyone who does, she finds her doilies at estate sales, thrift shops and even yard sales. 
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Here's what you need to get started:
1) You need doilies made of an absorbent material, such as cotton. Brady finds success using crocheted doilies or yarn crafts such as granny squares, but ditch any idea of using non-absorbent materials. Also make sure the doilies are clean, so no starch or other stiffeners.
2) Concrete-bonding additive is a crucial ingredient — try your local home-improvement store.
3) Use Portland Cement
4) Water will be required, but the amount depends on the conditions where you live, such as humidity.
Other tools include: 
1) Dust mask — it's a must-wear when working with cement products
2) Fine sieve
3) Measuring tool — small plastic container will work
4) Long gloves to protect your arms
5) A mold release such as cooking spray
6) Safety glasses
7) A sheet of plastic
8) Paintbrush
9) Molds — she favors plastic but says wood works, too
And now for the cement lace recipe:
5 part sifted Portland Cement
1 part of the concrete bonding additive
Enough water so it has the texture of pudding
Note: Make sure the temperature you're working in is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for mixing and curing times. 
Brady uses a series of photos on Sproutsandstuff to guide you through the process. Here's a snapshot of what you'll go through and end up with:  
To make some craft magic things will get a bit messy, so that means place the doily in the slurry mixture and then completely soak it, flipping and dipping it.
Now that your project designs are shaped up, it's time to cure them.
The patterns of a crocheted doily transform into an intricate cement lace bowl while cement slurry and a crocheted cap form a planter to keep a houseplant cozy.
A candleholder evokes a beach vibe while the dazzling chrome spray paint gives added depth and drama to the cement lace bowl.
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If this transformational project intrigues you, share the story and let us know how your artworks turn out. 
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