I saw these great incense burners (for cones) at a local boutique in Seattle a couple weeks ago; they were shaped like geometric prisms, made from a kind of cement, with a little triangular niche set into one side of the prism in which to tuck the cone.
What a great idea! Of course, I wanted to try my hand at making them myself - and given that the materials to make many of these cost as much as one cost to buy, well ... here we go.
It just so happens that A Merry Mishap posted a DIY to make a cement diamond, and that I pinned it some time ago because I was thrilled to try it out.
We printed out copies of the template that Jennifer linked to in her post. Instead of covering the template with tape, after trial and error, we found we preferred gluing it to E-flute and cutting it out (template goes on the outside, plain cardboard on the inside).
You simply cut it out, score on the dotted lines, and then tape it together.We mocked up the niches ourselves, covered them in tape, and taped them inside the form. (Cut the back/bottom off the template so you have a way to pour the cement into the form.) We lined heavy-bottomed short glasses with plastic wrap to protect them from spills and drips, and placed one form in each cup.
We used hydrocal to fill our forms. We placed 1 part water in a bowl and added 1.125 parts hydrocal. We stirred it evenly, then sprinkled in about 1 Tablespoon of powdered black pigment. We mixed it until it was evenly distributed, then added another 1 Tablespoon of powdered pigments and lightly stirred so that the pigment was not completely evenly mixed - in other words, to create a marbled effect. Here we are, pouring hydrocal into a form.
Jostle the cups lightly from side to side to make sure it settles evenly into the form. Let sit for at least 2 hours before testing how firm it is - if it's hard, you can peel off the mold and let it cure.
After curing, we did have to wash/scrub (using a nonabrasive scrubbing pad) to remove the fuzzy film of E-flute cardboard from the sides of the prism - and leaving a soft, papery kind of texture to the cement behind. We sanded the bottoms smooth with sandpaper, and voila!
I'm going to be giving some of these away with Blackbird's stunning incense cones for holiday gifts to a few ladies this year.