How to Make Concrete DIY Ring Cones

I was ready to put the concrete away and move on to other materials, when I saw some cute ring cones on Instagram, and it occurred to me that I could make my own DIY ring cones out of concrete. So of course I had to try it.

Make concrete DIY ring cones

I’ve seen DIY ring cones made out of polymer clay that look nice, but they don’t have the weight of concrete. In my opinion, concrete is actually a much better substitute for the ceramic versions, which you’d need a kiln to make. And you’re not stuck with plain gray–you can paint your concrete however you’d like, or add some gold leaf.

Make concrete DIY ring cones

Make concrete DIY ring cones
After I had the idea to make concrete ring cones, this project took a lot of experimenting to get right. I wanted the finished cones to have as smooth of a surface as possible, with materials that are easy to get. So while you could do this by making a clay mold with a casting kit, that seemed like it would be way too involved for most people. I tried several different materials for the ring mold: craft foam sheets, a plastic cup, a paper cup, plastic shelf liner, a plastic folder, and maybe a few more I’m forgetting. Some were too stiff, and didn’t form a proper cone shape, while others left too big of a seam, or didn’t result in a smooth enough surface on the cone. But I finally realized that the answer was literally right in front of me: contact paper. Right in front of me because the marble background I use in a lot of my photos is actually marble contact paper, although I have some real marble pieces I sometimes use, too.

Concrete DIY Ring Cones

Materials

Quick-setting cement – I used Quikrete Quick-Setting Cement (No. 1240). It’s for repairs, so it’s smoother than other cements. Look for the number 1240 on the label if you’re unsure whether you have the right one.
Clear packing tape
Contact paper – I used this one, but any contact paper with a smooth, glossy surface should work.
Disposable mixing cup
Mixing stick
Paper plate, or cardboard
Plastic wrap
Cone template

This is the template I used for my ring cones. Make concrete DIY ring conesIf you want to make different sized ring cones, here are some options. The middle template is the same size as the one above, but there are slightly smaller and slightly larger versions so you can make multiple sizes if you want. Click for the full-sized file, and print at 100%. The straight edge of the template above, and the middle-sized template below, should be 2  7/8 inches.
Make concrete DIY ring cones

Tools

Scissors
Marker
X-acto knife, or razor blade
Heavy item as weight (optional)
Make concrete DIY ring cones

Steps

1. Print out the cone template, cut it out, and trace it onto the contact paper. Cut it out, leaving the backing on the paper.
Make concrete DIY ring cones
2. With the good side on the inside, pre-roll the contact paper cone into a cone shape, then very carefully tape the flat edges together with the packing tape. The more exactly you match up the edges, without overlapping them or leaving a gap, the more smooth your final ring cone will be.
Make concrete DIY ring cones
Make concrete DIY ring cones
3. You’ll need a place to leave your cone to dry with the pointed end down, so take a paper plate or sturdy piece of cardboard, and cut out a circle with about an inch diameter. Make sure to do a good job cutting out the circle, since if it’s lopsided or lumpy it can cause your ring cone to be misshapen. I made three ring cones at a time, so I cut out three holes around the center of a paper plate, leaving enough room in the center to set it on top of a cup to hold it up. But if you only want to make one or two, you can use a weight to hold down the other end of your plate or cardboard.
4.  Mix up and pour your concrete. Start with the directions on the package, but for the best results, the following tips are important:

  • Add the water to the cup first, then the concrete, and mix really well.
  • The concrete mix should be pretty wet, about the consistency of pudding. A drier mix will result in holes, which you don’t want.
  • Put a little bit of concrete in the cone, then shake and tap it until it’s flattened out before you add another scoop. The more shaking between scoops, the fewer bubbles you’ll end up with.

5. After you’ve filled your cones, put them in the cardboard holder, and smooth a piece of plastic wrap over the end. Let the concrete set for at least 12 hours.

Make concrete DIY ring cones
Make concrete DIY ring cones
6. After the concrete has set, carefully slice through the packing tape, and unmold your cones.
Make concrete DIY ring cones
Make concrete DIY ring cones

Your cones will have tiny seams down the back, and you may end up with some bubbles, but shaking your concrete a lot between additions should help eliminate them. If you do end up with big holes, you can always re-do them til you get cones you’re happy with–a $10 pail of concrete would be enough to make hundreds of ring cones.

Make concrete DIY ring cones

If you don’t want plain gray cones, you can always paint them. I added a white tip to one, which gave it kind of a snow-capped mountain effect.

Make concrete DIY ring cones

I also experimented with one of the earlier prototypes I made. First I painted it with white paint, let that dry, then added the pink tip, let that dry, and added the gold stripe.

Make concrete DIY ring cones

Concrete kind of soaks up paint, for a matte effect, but a coat of glossy sealer would probably make it look more like ceramic. You could also add gold leaf, either on top of the paint, or directly on the concrete. Other ideas: stripes, splatter paint, or polka dots. Have fun!

17 thoughts on “How to Make Concrete DIY Ring Cones

  1. Now, this is a good one! Doable, inexpensive and useful! Thanks for the detailed tutorial. All those little factoids you included are very helpful for a newbie. Thanks! I’m off to buy concrete. This is my holiday weekend project. Can’t start too early for Christmas and Bdays!

    • Linda, so glad you like it. I hope they turn out well! You’re smart to start early on that stuff–we should all be so on top of it 🙂

    • Leanne, I’m glad you like it! As for my rings, I think I actually made most of them, except for the bigger band and the heart ring, which were gifts. If you search for stacking rings on Etsy, you’ll be able to find similar ones, though. Hope that helps!

  2. Hola! me encanta este trabajo que quiero hacer, pero no me doy cuenta donde se apoya el plato para que las puntas de los conos no se rompan y se sostengan. saludos!

    • Hola Angela! I translated your comment, since I don’t speak Spanish, and I think you’re asking how the plate is supported? There’s a cup under the middle of it. I’ll add a photo that shows it, sorry! I hope that helps!

      Google translate versión :
      Hola Angela ! Traduje tu comentario , ya que no hablan español , y yo creo que estás preguntando cómo se apoya la placa ? Hay una taza debajo del centro de la misma . Voy a añadir una foto que lo muestra , lo siento! ¡Espero que eso ayude!

  3. Hi Rachel, I loved this one, I have been finding some kind of attractive yet simplistic holder for rings and bracelets that have hoarded up in my cupboard. I just found some logs and trees kinds of sticks fixed into concrete; too lazy to diy that. And this is genius. Now the only thing is that I don’t know how to work with concrete and all, so can these be made with a lighter material like white cement or something like that? Or else I’ll just maybe try concrete then?

    • Glad you like it, Inshirah! Ok, so the concrete I worked with is soooo easy, all you do is add it to water, and stir. I was intimidated before the first time I tried it, too.
      I wasn’t sure why you’d want to use cement instead, so I looked up the difference between concrete and cement. Here’s what the internet said: “Although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of aggregates and paste.” And the more cement in the mix, the stronger it is. So I’d think a white cement version would be great!
      I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same kind of cement, though, maybe you mean plaster? I bet that would work, though I’ve never worked with it. And I’m sure you could even try a clay version, too. So there are tons of options you could try. Hope that helps!

      • Yes that was really helpful, thank you! I finally decided to work with concrete itself, as I just got to know we have quite an amount of concrete lying around around the home, so yayy, I’m starting off on this project, thanks again, Rachel!

  4. Hello! Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I just tried this out and it worked great. But as I was painting the point of one of the cones broke off and that made me worry that maybe I did something wrong/didn’t make the Quikrete correct (too much water, maybe?) Everything else seems strong/firm. Or is that just the peril of making something with a slim pointed top…

    Thank you!

    • Mary, I’m not sure if you can tell from my photos, but the very pointiest tips of mine broke off, too. I don’t know how much of yours broke off, but I hope that it wasn’t too much more. I think you’re right that it’s one of the perils of making something with a small point. Adding more water does make concrete weaker, though, so that could be part of it, too. Glad that they turned out well otherwise!

  5. Hi there!
    I went to Home Depot today to get some quick setting concrete. They guy advised me against Quikrete because of the large chunks or rock in it. Do you sift these big pieces out before mixing? Or does your kind not have the chunky pieces? I was looking at the cheap 60 lb bag.
    Thanks!

    • So glad you like them, Eden. Yeah, I’ve been there, too, leaving my rings scattered around the house. Thanks so much!

  6. Thank you for this, my sister and I have made many but the problems we are having is the concrete sets up so fast and we end up with a lot of bubbles and also can’t seem to get them nice and smooth on the bottom so I end up sanding them flat which takes ages.

    • Michelle, to prevent bubbles try adding just a spoonful of concrete at a time, then shaking and tapping the mold to release bubbles before adding the next spoonful. If your concrete is setting too fast to release bubbles, you might need to use a different type. For a flat bottom, stretch plastic wrap over it, and smooth it down before the concrete sets. Hope those tips help!

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