In every hardware store worth its salt, there is a medium that even the craftiest of crafters staunchly avoid — concrete. But even though its considered messy and difficult to work with, you should know cement- and concrete-focused projects aren’t as tricky as you’ve been led to believe!

A bag of quick-drying concrete costs a few dollars, but the possibilities for what you can make — once you mix in a splash of water — are seemingly endless. Read through these creative concrete ideas and you’ll definitely find a project within your level of craft-expertise…

1. Instead of just marveling over gigantic leaves on the plants in your neighbor’s yard, ask to snag a leaf or two to make a permanent replica. Using the leaves as molds, you can create layered bowls or a platter-type vessel.

Home Building Art / YouTube

2. Unique planters are hard to find and can cost an arm and a leg. Spend a few dollars on a bag of quick-dry concrete, dip an old lace doily in the mixture, and drape it over a bowl to maintain its shape while drying.

Garden.org

3. Take an empty light bulb, rest it upside down in an egg carton, and fill it to the brim with concrete. While the mix is still wet, place the flat end of a screw into the top. Wait for the concrete to dry. Break the bulb, and say, “Ooh la la!” to your spiffy new wall hangers.

Jenny Button / Pictame

4. Access your inner Hermione Granger by mustering up portable fires. Cover the inside of a large bowl with petroleum jelly, fill it with concrete, and press a smaller petroleum jelly-covered bowl into the wet mix. Once dry, break apart, place a gel fuel can inside, then top it with a wire screen and colorful stones.

Ri Price Point

5. Rock soap dishes are one of the easiest projects tackle. The trickiest part is finding the correct-size Tupperware dish to use as a mold. Other than that, you pour in a shallow amount of mix and gently place stones of your preference in to dry.

Made by Barb

6. An easy rustic paper towel holder combines two natural elements — stone and wood — for an inexpensive yet modern addition to any kitchen. Fill a mold with concrete mix. Then, secure the wooden dowel in the center and wait for it to dry.

7. That old pair of oxfords with the hole in the sole that you just can’t stomach throwing away? Well, immortalize them in concrete! Literally, dip the shoe until fully submerged in quick dry, making sure to cover completely. Hang upside to dry.

Dea Vita

8. Concrete projects are regular fixtures to any well-maintained garden. Fill two rubber gloves with quick-dry, then rest ’em in a bowl, palms up. Place a smaller bowl in the “hands” while they’re drying. Cut the gloves away and give yourself a hand.

The Whoot

9. Before these concrete-covered stuffed animals are fully dried, they’re a bit spooky. Once they’re finished, you have a preserved version of your cherished plush pals.

Crazy DIY Mom

10. Personalized letter or photo displays make a simple gift for any housewarming or graduation. Fashion molds out of cardboard or snag a silicone set online. While the cement mix is still wet, stick the wire holder in.

Etsy

11. Initial fixtures in the home never really go out of style. Crafting an ornamental letter is as simple as filling the mold and letting it dry. Sand off the rough edges and coat with a paint color of your choice to make a statement bookend.

Little House on the Corner

12. Usually, the most challenging part of a concrete DIY project is pinpointing the proper mold. For an upright plant stand, a bucket does the job just fine. Embed three wooden dowels into the concrete as the legs for your plant to stand on.

13. Hollow out eggshell (they don’t need to be perfect). Now, place the hollowed shells back in the carton, drop a magnet in each one, and fill ’em with the concrete mixture. Break the shells off the dried “eggs” and your magnetic paperweights are complete.

14. The unread, boring books clogging up your shelves can be repurposed into a statement art piece: a leaning tower of periodicals. Simply dip each text into a bowl of concrete and stack accordingly.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

15. Dress up your drab door-stopper with cement, some rope, and a pop of paint. Fill a container of your choosing, based on your intended shape, with quick-dry concrete. Knot the rope and submerge into the mix, being sure to leave a looped handle for convenience.

16. Once you’ve mastered concrete bowls, incorporating texture is the crafter’s next challenge. Finally, there’s a use for those retro floral swim caps! Wrap the cap around a large bowl, pour in the mix, and press a petroleum jelly-covered bowl into the center.

17. Exercise some restraint and don’t pop that leftover bubble wrap. It’s a perfect textural tool. The same method used for the swim cap created this circular patterned bowl.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

18. This planter craft is legitimately as simple as filling a paper gift bag with concrete and pressing a plastic container into the liquid center.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

19. Sorry to spoil the surprise, but these gilded roses are, in fact, smelly old socks. Who knew a fossilized sock could make a more permanent gesture than a bouquet of fresh flowers?

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

20. The clearance aisle of your local home goods store is jam-packed with novelty silicone molds. Stock up on them solely for the concrete trinket potential. Whip up elegant party favors like these floral votive candle holders.

21. Dropping a wine glass is a crafting miracle in disguise. Refashion the stem into the base for a custom cake stand! Here, they used an old cheese container as their mold, which could be cut off the finished product.

Look What I Made Dot Com

22. Fool house guests into admiring your Pottery Barn-quality pillar candle holders. No one would guess the secret behind their elegant design in an empty Pringles can filled with concrete.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

23. Concrete and toys are words that normally don’t coexist. But thanks to giant silicon Lego molds, parents can make their kids one-of-a-kind Lego figurines without spending hundreds of dollars.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

24. Reinvent the kitsch garden gnome with this concrete project that is much easier than it looks. Fill a nylon stocking with concrete and section off a “nose” with a rubber band. Position the tip of the stocking into a point while your creature dries.

5 Minute Magic / YouTube

Concrete can satisfy anyone’s creative itch. But, scattered around your house, mostly in your kitchen, are even more common items that can be repurposed for projects and crafts…

1. It’s no secret that power tools are, well, powerful. But did you know your basic electric drill has uses far beyond screwing things into the wall? By attaching a scrubber to the drill bit, you suddenly have a power washer that will have your kitchen and bathroom sparkling almost instantly!

Reddit / DingoDamp

2. Hitting your finger with a hammer is the worst. It hurts like crazy and leaves you feeling like a moron. To avoid any future hardware blunders, you can simply stick a nail through the eraser of a pencil, and use that to hold your target still. Your fingers will thank you!

Instructables / FPSXGames

3. Stinky shoes keeping you down? You can eliminate that lingering odor by placing a couple of ordinary teabags in each shoe and leaving them overnight. Just don’t make tea with them afterward, or you will regret it.

The Homemade Experiment

4. When it comes to lawn care, you could always go out and buy a proper sprinkler. But what if there was a free alternative? As it turns out, putting your hose inside a soda bottle with a bunch of holes poked through the plastic does the job just as well.

Reddit / yeadude

5. Are you the type of person who’s always misplacing your things? For a key holder that you’ll never forget, just cut a hole in an old tennis ball and attach it to your wall. You have a clamp perfect for any object! Googly eyes are optional, but highly encouraged.

Reddit / hossainabir150

6. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you need to wrap something up for storage, but the bag is just slightly too small. But there’s always a bigger bag! In fact, you can make one by sealing two zip-lock bags together.

Reddit / Vega_128

7. Next time you’ve got a clogged drain, try this science fair strategy before you call a plumber. Just like a middle school volcano, pouring a combination of baking soda and vinegar will bring about a foamy explosion. It will also clear any clogs right up!

Epic Dash

8. Dog sweaters in stores sometimes cost just as much as people clothes, even though they have less fabric and dogs only wear them in certain weather. But there’s a cheaper way to outfit your dog — a pair of long socks, with a bit of trimming, serves as a very stylish canine cardigan.

Reddit / llaunay

9. Cleaning out the gutters has to be one of the most reviled chores, but most people make it harder than it has to be. Put that ladder away, and instead, attach a length of PVC pipe to a leaf blower. Now you have a tool that can suck out gutter gunk in minutes, all from ground level.

TR Cleaning

10. After a while, some charging cords lose their ability to click perfectly into laptop ports. Instead, they fall out with the slightest movement. A quick way to remedy this annoyance is to put a washer on your cord and glue rings of velcro to the washer and charging port.

Reddit / Evil Shogun

11. Are your kitchen cabinets an organizational nightmare? To make a bit more room, here’s a way to keep your pot lids from clanging together every time you move something. Simply mount a couple towel racks inside the cabinet door, and the lids will never get in your way again!

Reddit / hgska

12. No matter what, it always seems like you run out of chip clips. However, you probably have some great substitutes scattered across the house, but don’t even know it! Pants hangers — particularly cheap ones that come with clothes — usually have removable clips on each side. Just pop them off and use them to keep your snacks fresh.

Epic Dash

13. Most tie racks get cluttered and tangled with just a moderate tie collection. But if you have a ton of ties that you want to show off in style, you can attach an unused bed frame to your closet door. In terms of size and weight, frames from old baby cribs tend to be the best.

Reddit / robinbiro

14. Can’t find a funnel? Well, there’s a much better alternative to pouring the old-fashioned way and hoping for the best. If you pour the substance into a plastic baggie and snip of the corner with scissors, you’ll be able to effortlessly transfer it even into the most narrow of openings.

Instructables / mikeasaurus

15. Sometimes your desk gets so crowded that you don’t have any room for snacks. We’ve all been there. But what if we told you that that old hoodie in your closet has a built-in feedbag? It’s true — all you need to do is flip that bad boy around. To avoid public humiliation, this hack is best tried out in private.

Reddit / anonymeowz

16. Whether you’re a budding artist or a real Van Gogh, paint can get sloppy. To keep your supplies in check, you can put together re-sealable paint bottles with just old soda caps, a plastic sheet, and a knife. Soon you’ll be focusing more on your masterpiece, and less on the mess.

Reddit / alansartlog

17. Everybody hates the theft-proof plastic packaging that surrounds so many retail goods. Sometimes, it seems like you spend more time opening an item than actually using it! However, an easy way to slice right through these plastic prisons is to trim of the edges with a can opener.

Epic Dash

18. Nowadays, it feels impossible to live without a cell phone, which means that nobody wants to see a frayed charging cord. However, this DIY-er came up with the clever trick of braiding leather around the damaged section. It actually looks better than the original version!

Reddit / hahnatelier

19. Even the nicest furniture will acquire little dings and scrapes over time. Luckily, you can erase these marks just by rubbing them will a walnut — really. The nut leaves behind an oily residue that blends in with the wooden finish and makes your furnishings look brand new.

Reddit / cametodropbombs

20. Here’s a nightmare scenario: you want to pop open a couple brewskis in your hotel room, only to discover that the room has no bottle opener. It’s hard to imagine yourself in a more depressing situation. But don’t panic. The lever over the door happens to be the perfect size to pry off that cap. Emergency averted!

Reddit / AlbertDumblestein