We took an outdated 80's fireplace, stripped and started over. My husband built a surround out of MDF and used Fiberglass to reinforce and smooth out edges. We changed the fireplace out
to firetubes and used fire glass instead of gas logs, and I coated the surround in white venetian plaster, tinting it for multiple layers to give the look of carerra marble, then used a feather to add veining. It's polished and shines like marble, and is even cool to the touch, and I even fooled one of my subs who handles marlble and granite every day.
I collected plastic pots of different shapes and sizes, cut the bottoms off, slit them up one side and taped the slit back together. filled them with concrete and then removed the pot by
removing the tape after they dried 24 hours. They are still a bit damp so you can do "wet carving" on them to make your forms more rounded or smoothe. I used rebar again as I had with the Polatems in my earlier post, or you could use conduit, and make them into lanterns. Be sure to put a hole in the middle of each piece so you can fit them over the rebar/conduit. The circular pieces I made by just rolling in my hands...other pieces can also be made such as a finial for the top, which I have yet to make and put on the top.