Working successfully with concrete takes a lot of practice. But with the proper tools, you'll be off to a good start.
Mix concrete cheaply using an old wheelbarrow and a garden hoe.
A Special Concrete Mixing Tub
You could buy a special mixing tub that does the work for you. Simply pour the concrete mixture and water into the tub, and turn the top, which turns plastic blades inside the tub and mixes the concrete.
A screed is a standard 2"x4" block of wood that's used to remove excess concrete and bring the surface to the correct grade.
Using a Screed
Cut the screed 2' longer than the width of the surface. Use it to spread the concrete, moving the screed back and forth across the surface.
Hand and Bull Floats
Hand floats and bull floats are used before final finishing to smooth the concrete's surface. Floats can be purchased or made by attaching a broom handle to a length of 1" by 8" wood.
A Steel Finishing Trowel
A steel finishing trowel is used to smooth concrete for a final finish.
A Concrete Edger
A concrete edger is used to round off the edges of concrete slabs.
Groovers are used to cut grooves or joints at regular intervals in concrete slabs.
A Hard-Bristled Broom
A hard-bristled broom can be used to add a rough, skid-resistant surface to concrete.