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How to make an elf cave

    By Les Kenny
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a wheel barrow full of concrete plaster 11. Make a mix of plaster

In a wheelbarrow (or concrete mixer if you have one) add four spades full of sand, two of cement and then another four of sand.
This is a mix ratio of four parts sand to every one part of cement. Use washed sand or sand suitable for plaster - your supplier will know.
Mix the dry mix (before adding water) to a uniform consistency. That means until the mix looks even throughout.
If you use bags of pre-mixed plaster,the instructions will be on the bag. A smaller spade is easier to work with than a bigger one.
Start pouring water in and mixing. The above mixture will take about a third to a half of a standard household bucket of water. Mix with the spade from underneath and fold over. Keep doing this and adding the water until it is a uniform consistency, a bit like porridge. Make a stiff mix - not too runny or it will fall through the wire netting. If the mix is too dry, add a bit more water. If the mix is too runny, add some more cement and sand (at the same mix ratio) and mix well.

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the first bit of cement plaster on the elf cave 12. Let the fun begin!

Safety! wear a pair of long rubber gloves (preferably with some sort of lining on the inside) and a pair of safety goggles so no plaster can splash in your eyes.

Grab a handful of plaster: gently place it on the wire netting and smooth over with your hand, sort of like stroking a cat. If you throw it on of push too hard, the plaster will fall through the wire netting and land on the tarpaulin. You will soon get the hang of it, and all the plaster that you drop or that falls through the netting can be picked up and used again provided it is still clean and hasn't gone hard or crumbly.

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