Cement Compass Tutorial

Here is a tutorial on how I made the large compass rose in my backyard lagoon.
Firstly, I drew a large compass to use as a pattern. I drew this onto some butcher paper, it measures approximately 37 inches round.
The next step was to create a mold if you will to pour the mortar mix (I use mortar not cement) into to create the cement compass. I cut long strips of cardboard into two inch strips. Next, I used hot glue to attach it to the paper backing and to other pieces of cardboard to keep it all together. Here it is completed. The cardboard strips are all glued in place to the paper backing and to the joining cardboard pieces as well. I pulled off the paper backing in this photo. I did this to better anchor the mold in place in the dirt. I tried it with the paper backing still attached but it didn't sit properly in the dirt so it wasn't leveling like I wanted it to. So off came the paper!
Here is the cement mold in place ready for the mortar mix to fill in the areas to create the compass in the lagoons floor. I just poured some of the dry mortar in a bucket and added some water until it was a nice ever-so-slightly-runny consistency. *wear gloves,  mortar is brutal on bare skin*
The mortar mix sets up pretty fast. I usually take a knife and run it along side the cardboard to make the edges a little softer. If you don't do this step, the edges can be pretty sharp on your feet when you walk across it barefoot.
Once you start pulling up the cardboard pieces you'll be amazed at how great it looks. Which in turn gets your mind racing to all kinds of other fabulous things you can make with mortar!
Here is the compass rose all finished with some faux bricks that I made to fill in the area around the medallion. There is no way I was going to cut brick to fit in those areas.

Here it is painted with the first coat of acrylic paint.
I also distressed it as well and painted all the brick around the compass black to give it all an old-old look. Lastly, I swept some dirt and sand on to the bricks to set them all in place.

It was super easy to make. I hope this encourages you to make this or something similar. 
big hugs,


  1. Wow - Great job! I would never attempt something like that as I don't have the patience.
    I did a lot of cleanup Sat. of tree debris and fallout from the squirrels dining on hickory nuts - looking out today, looks like I did nothing.:/

  2. I'm very impressed, Cheryl! You did a great job!

  3. I'm really blown away by how amazing it looks! Wonderful!!! So inspiring!


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