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Picture of Concrete Faux Bois Up-cycled Chair
Concrete Faux Bois UpCycled Chair-2 - 28.jpg

This project is inspired by the very old art form (over 150 years old) of 'Faux Bois' which means Fake Wood in french. I have been working with concrete in many unique ways rather than the typical 'pour-in-a-mold' ways so this was just perfect to push the limits of concrete work even more, not to mention there is also an up-cycle component!

The details may look very difficult but it's more about the 'vision' than the technique...

Step 1: The Frame:

Picture of The Frame:
Concrete Faux Bois UpCycled Chair - 2.jpg
Concrete Faux Bois UpCycled Chair - 3.jpg
Concrete Faux Bois UpCycled Chair - 4.jpg
Concrete Faux Bois UpCycled Chair - 5.jpg

I have always marvelled at some of the amazing Faux Bois furniture that has been built by artists. It does however usually involve a welded heavy frame; something that I don’t do (maybe someday!) yet. However I did save a couple iron chair frames that are sturdy and have lovely lines. I knew someday I would figure out a perfect use!

The Materials:
There are many ways to add some structure on the frame to hold the concrete. I chose to use whatever material I had on hand; wire (thick & thin tie-wire) metal mesh, plastic gutter mesh, hardware cloth etc and some filler like pool noodles and styrofoam. Only some basic hand tools like pliers, wire cutter, xacto knife, gloves are needed. I made myself a raised platform (few mild cartons) to be able to work easily as a table would be too tall and the ground too low.

Oh, and did I mention pool noodles too? I had some images of branches in my mind so the round shape would work well. They are hollow in the middle and cut easily to allow placing over the wires. You can even use some pipe-insulation. The rules are pretty lax here as long as you think branches and secure well.

It’s a Wrap!
Wrapping the mesh and filler around the frame was done with the tie wire. Here’s a tip; to give it a sturdy start make a hook that can be anchored into the mesh or styrofoam and then pull tightly.

Nam201918 days ago
Now I know how Diane Husson makes her faux bois chairs (for 4 years)!
MadeByBarb (author)  Nam201917 days ago
Possibly, but probably not as they do not completely share their process. Yes, faux bois has been around for a VERY long time. I have yet to see any with leaves though... or using fabric wrap.
OliverM1819 days ago
i wanted to be the first to congratulate you for the grand prize, you REALLY deserved it! this was such an original and unique idea, and your implementation of it was spot on! WOW!
MadeByBarb (author)  OliverM1819 days ago
Wowowow!! I am so excited!!! This journey of concrete projects keeps me intrigued! I wish I had more time as I still have more ideas for this type of thing... and darn it will be cold soon here. Thanks for the note!
AnandM5421 days ago
Brilliant idea and way of did it awesome !!
CraftAndu22 days ago
Awesome project though I would argue with the "who needs live-edge wood!? " part :)
Molly3524 days ago
I just saw your concrete USB project. I normally don't find little desk items that interesting. But seeing the blend of concrete with wood and being a woodworker it really got my attention. Something I might try my hand at. So....great little project and it's great that you included the necessary tools to do the project.

One thing though, why in the world would I or anyone for that matter care about the camera, or any of the video devices you or anyone would use? It's about building a project dude not how to photograph how it's made thats for you to do not us the builders.

Lastly, what's with the links to Amazon?? Getting a favor or 2 from Amazon? Great project, poor, you adding in where to buy the video equipment.

PSSST....No one cares about your fancy photographic equipment. A good quality lens on a good cell phone would have done just fine.
You've got my vote! Wow, I always love your work, but this is just over the top! Your attention to the details is spot on!
MadeByBarb (author)  Works by Solo27 days ago
I always love your's too! You can tell that I've spent much of my career illustrating... Thanks for the vote!
OliverM1827 days ago
Wow, love the many clever techniques implemented here!
jeanniel11 month ago
Truly great suggestion to use / cover materials with the concrete! The dry brush method and staining really makes the textures pop! Good job!
I remember seeing this a lot in gardens when I was a kid but never knew how it was made. Thanks a lot for teaching us. Your piece is simply stunning, by the way!
muadibe1 month ago
You have got my vote.That 'throne' is just outstanding, well done.
MadeByBarb (author)  muadibe1 month ago
Much appreciated!!! Although I'm not really thinking it's a throne, who knows?!
KellyCraig1 month ago
This is just WAY cool. Nice, and thanks for the ible.
elbeckham1 month ago
shylynchair1 month ago
Barb, you definitely have my vote!
How comfortable is it to sit in?/nate
MadeByBarb (author)  shylynchair1 month ago
Thanks! It's not bad. It's heavy though so you'd want to keep it in one spot.
hfartsworth1 month ago
Beautiful work! I love the Big leaves on the ground. I will be giving this a shot. Thanks for the great instructions.
MadeByBarb (author)  hfartsworth1 month ago
Those big leaves may be what started me on this concrete journey maybe 18 years ago! They are easy to make too! I have much 'concrete' on my site. The Stepping stones are here and here.
Dumbphone1 month ago
Your work is amazing to behold! Beautiful chair you have there...Wow.
MadeByBarb (author)  Dumbphone1 month ago
It's a lot of little details but I would think it's an easy project since perfection isn't really that important. Enjoy!

Steinzel1 month ago
This is awesome! I voted for you!
MadeByBarb (author)  Steinzel1 month ago
Thanks so much!
Chimonger1 month ago
Bet one could use concrete colorants, or even paint-powders used for kids’ school projects, and add a bit of glue, like WeldBond (known to improve lifespan of ‘crete, and, helps waterproof it some).
On a different project, I made a mix of Portland + slaked lime+ onsite dirt, mixed with water + WeldBond, as a “plaster” over straw ales, which worked very nicely.
The batches were small-ish, only a 5 gal. bucket at a time. Once done, it was clear that the relatively tiny bit (about 1/4 cup per bucket of mix), was more impervious to rain, yes still breathable. Might use something like that, only without dirt, coating the straw completely, and packing it into a framework to set. Could even use that to make insulated garden buildings.
MadeByBarb (author)  Chimonger1 month ago
You sound like a thinker too! I have added small bits of paint and acrylic to the Rapidset Cementall but reacts instantly and almost coagulates, as it's not as simple as portland cement. Here's to experimenting! Great tips!
TeresaM71 month ago
This looks amazing! Number 1057 on my "To Do In The Garden" list. LOL! But how comfortable is it to sit in? Or is this ornamental only? Either way, great job :)
MadeByBarb (author)  TeresaM71 month ago
It's not too bad to sit it, not soft, but nice round logs there. It could be even flatter seat, but any place that holds water will tend to freeze/thaw in winter.
Holy mackerel! That is absolutely awesome! I have some old and rusty wrought-iron patio chairs that could stand this treatment. Hmmm.....
MadeByBarb (author)  PeeDonkeyPit1 month ago
A good way to imagine is taking a picture of them and then using Photoshop or something similar to see (and draw on) how you can 'rid' the original lines more.
Brilliant! Good tip!
MadeByBarb (author)  PeeDonkeyPit1 month ago
Thank you
This is just stunning, and you definitely have my vote in the contest! I have a question, though. I don't have any metal frame chairs. Is it possible to use chicken wire over a plastic garden chair for the frame or to construct a frame with pallet wood or say, cattle panels or some other heavy gauge wire fencing materials, or something similar? (sans welding, of course!) One would obviously have to change up the "free form" of the limbs and vines with a differing structure...any suggestions would be appreciated. I'd love to do this!
MadeByBarb (author)  OutofPatience1 month ago
I like to keep the forms out of things that will not get wet and absorb water as then they will expand as they freeze, esp here in our Canadian north. I don't think plastic chairs will hold up. Wire frames could work if they are strong enough for the weight and then get enough concrete to hold their shape. I am hoping to do a similar method for some waterfall that is hollow and light, so will pull out the 'guts' afterward.
doing2much1 month ago
Barb, you are a GENIUS! I have been researching Faux Bois and wanting - no, threatening - to make something like this forever but just did not know where to start. Something as simple as the fact that one needs to start with a pre-welded frame for maximum strength is a secret that eluded me until now... Thanks for getting me one step further to realizing a long-held dream! And you sure got my vote!
MadeByBarb (author)  doing2much1 month ago
HAHA, yes it was the same for me. Now every forlorn piece gets eyed for potential, even maybe a hack with a hacksaw!
satosi1 month ago
This has got to be the most beautiful chair I have ever seen! I'm blown away by your talent in working with this medium! So much detail & natural texture! I've been wanting to incorporate many different methods of shaping & creating a base & textures for my own sculptures, but wasn't sure where to go from my usual route. Your project gives me so many more ideas!

You've just provided me, and many others I'm sure, with a massive amount of inspiration & hope for my own pieces. I've got about 5 on the go, unfinished, which are nagging at me to finish, but I'm having issues getting to a certain point, then becoming stuck.

Thanks so much for such an amazing post! My mouth is still gaping open! I've voted for you, hands down winner!
MadeByBarb (author)  satosi1 month ago
Wow, such kind words! I understand how it gets in the middle of projects! As an artist and painter it sometimes id hard to push through the middle stages as they are not as fresh and exciting as the beginning. It's a typical dilemma I even discuss with some of my students. I do love crossing the borders/fine lines of typical practices to get even more unique.
jvincent11 month ago
This is amazing, great work! My only question is how much does this thing weigh?
MadeByBarb (author)  jvincent11 month ago
I'd say it weighs about 125 -150 lbs. It would be heavier if not for the styrofoam.
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