Patio bricks are an easy way to create a fantastic leisure area in your back yard. These wide, flat bricks can be arranged on a leveled section of ground without mortar for a professional landscaping look. The only real obstacle to using patio bricks is their cost. Nicer patio bricks can run several dollars each, a cost that can really build up when you are trying to cover any substantial area. Fortunately, patio bricks are something that you can make yourself.
For Do-it-yourself Brick Mold:
- Liquid rubber
- Brick prototype
For do-it-yourself Concrete:
- Cement powder
Step 1 - The Mold
The first thing that you will need for making patio bricks is a mold. You might, in fact want to have several molds in order to save time by making multiple bricks simultaneously. Patio brick molds are available from retail hardware stores or from several sources online. They range in cost from about $20 to $50 each. This might seem pricy, but when compared to the cost of the bricks themselves, these molds can quickly become worth it.
If the cost of the mold still seems like a little too much, you can opt to make your own mold. Making a patio brick mold is surprisingly easy. First, you need to find a prototype for your brick. You can make this out of wood, or you can even use a pre-made patio brick. Spread a plastic sheet out on your work space, and place your prototype face up on top. Paint a thick, uniform coat of liquid latex or other liquid rubber over the prototype, letting it pool around its base. Once the first coat has dried, paint it with another coat. With the second coat still wet, wrap the prototype in a layer of gauze, making sure to cover the top. Continue to coat with rubber and wrap with gauze every two layers until the mold is about half an inch thick. Let the mold dry completely, and carefully remove the prototype. Voila! You have a brick mold.
Step 2 -The Concrete
The second component of your patio brick will be the concrete. As with the mold, you can choose to use pre-mixed concrete mix or you can mix your own. If you choose to mix your own, you will probably want to experiment a little until you get the right consistency. The general measurements will be one part cement, two parts sand and three parts gravel.
Step 3 - Making Your Bricks
Now that you have your concrete mix purchased or prepared, mix it with enough water to turn it to a slushy mud in a large bucket or wheelbarrow. It is best to make smaller batches of cement as larger ones will become difficult to mix. Once the concrete is mixed thoroughly, pour it into the molds which should be sprayed with silicon lubricant. The amount of water used will determine how quickly the cement will set. Once the brick is firm enough that it takes force to scratch, you can turn it over and remove it from the mold. Let your bricks dry for 24 hours before using them.
These are the basics of making your own patio bricks, but there are many variations that you can incorporate. Cement coloring can be added for different looks. Laying rocks in the bottom of the mold will embed a decretive surface. You can even incorporate pieces of tile to create a mosaic look. There is virtually no end to the ways that you can create new and interesting bricks for your patio, once you have the process down.