Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Concrete Leaf Stepping Stones

leaf stepping stones


Hey, hey, how was your holiday weekend? I know. It's Tuesday. I just had to have a day to recoup from our big Fourth of July party this year so I cleaned the house and took a break from blogging yesterday. I'm here today, though, to show you how easy it is to make these concrete leaf stepping stones. I was inspired by ones I found on Pinterest and featured in my roundup of DIY Concrete Projects. Although I couldn't find step by step directions, I figured it wouldn't be too hard, so I gave it go, and now I know...there's no need for step-by-step directions. It's so easy! My whole family got in on this project one rainy Sunday in the garage and it was a lot of fun.

concrete leaf pavers


Concrete Leaf Stepping Stones
Nap Rating = 1 nap (not including cure time)

Tools and Materials
  • Large leaves (ours were about the size of dinner plates)
  • 2-3 bags of Quikcrete (we used 3 bags to make 7 stones)
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Paint stirrer
  • Large pieces of cardboard
  • Trowel or handheld garden spade

Steps
  1. Pick as many leaves as you want stones and lay them vein side up on large pieces of cardboard.
  2. Mix the concrete mix with water in the 5 gallon bucket using the paint stirrer until you get a thick consistency that won't run all over. I'd liken the thickness of our mix to somewhere between cookie dough and a cake batter. Pourable, but not runny.
  3. Scoop the mix using a hand spade onto each leaf, trying to stay within the perimeter of the leaf so it has the right shape. Be generous. You want this to be about an 1 1/2" to 2" thick on each leaf, or else your stones will crack. Use the back of your tool of choice to smooth the concrete mix out so it will be flat on the bottom.
  4. Let the concrete cure, then flip the stones and peel off the leaves.

diy leaf paving stones


So, like I said, not my original idea, but I had to share how truly easy this Pinterest project was! I hope you're inspired to make something out of concrete now. Until next time...

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Anthropologie Terrarium Knockoff

anthropologie terrarium knockoff


Hey there! So right off the bat, I'm gonna tell you I cheated a little with this Anthropologie knockoff project because I already had the glass globe planted with a succulent. So for this project, all I had to buy was a small bag of Quickcrete. However, I priced the globes online and you can pick them up for around $7 or $8, and the rocks are only $1 at the dollar store, so you're still saving a ton of money by making your own planetarium terrarium, and it looks just like Anthropologie's, which have the nerve of selling for $58 without the plant! (I love their style, just not their prices.) Here's the how-to:

planetarium terrarium


Anthropologie Planetarium Terrarium Knockoff
Nap Rating = 1 nap (not including the time it takes for the concrete to set)

Tools and Materials
  • 1 small bag of Quickcrete
  • Plastic bucket
  • Paint stirrer
  • Garden hand spade
  • 1 large empty oatmeal container
  • 1 small empty oatmeal container
  • 7" glass globe
  • Small amount of potting soil
  • Decorative pebbles
  • 1 air plant or succulent

Steps
  1. Pour the concrete mix in the bucket and add water per the instructions on the bag. Mix with a paint stirrer.
  2. Use a garden trowel to scoop some of the concrete mix into the large oatmeal container so that it comes up about 2 inches from the bottom.
  3. Lift the container up a couple of inches and drop it a couple of times to bring air bubbles out.
  4. Nestle the small oatmeal container in the center of the large oatmeal container, on top of the concrete mix. Twist it a little to ensure that it's going to leave an impression.
  5. Set the whole thing aside to cure. I let mine sit for 24 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, plant your succulent by placing a small amount of soil in the bottom of the globe, tucking in your plant, and carefully layering pebbles around the plant.
  7. When the concrete has cured, peel away the cardboard to reveal your base. Set the terrarium in it and voila!

terrarium with concrete stand

DIY concrete and glass terrarium

succulent terrarium with DIY concrete base








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Monday, June 29, 2015

Cereal Box Snack Trays

cereal box snack tray


Hi there! Our family went to see Inside Out at the drive-in movie theater last weekend and it was so fun! Ok, there were a few hassles: it rained, so we all had to pile into our Subaru (cozy!) and we spilled snacks (more than once). But other than that, we had a great time. The next day, I made these snack trays out of cereal boxes to help with spillage the next time. Here are the instructions for how to make cardboard snack trays for the kiddos. I'm betting these things will be a lifesaver. It's really hard to keep track of everyone's drinks and avoid spills during a foray to the drive-in, so these should definitely help.

movie snack tray


Cereal Box Snack Trays
Nap Rating = 1 nap

Tools and Materials
  • Empty cereal box
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Red Sharpie
  • Utility knife
  • Paper lunch bag
  • Chalkboard labels (optional)

Steps
  1. Cover the cereal box with strips of duct tape. I wanted ours to resemble red and white striped popcorn containers, so I used white duct tape, but you could pick out any fun pattern you want. I had to use two layers, though, because the writing on the cereal box showed through.
  2. Use a ruler and a red Sharpie to draw fairly even stripes on the top and sides of the box. Color in every other stripe. If you buy patterned duct tape, you can skip this step.
  3. Using a utility knife, cut an X and push the triangles in a bit. This will hold a cup or bottle of water.
  4. Use the bottom of the paper lunch bag to trace a rectangle onto the cereal box. Cut the long sides of the rectangle with the box cutter, leaving the short sides uncut. Make a vertical cut connecting the two horizontal cuts down the center of the rectangle. Push in the flaps a little. This will hold a lunch bag full of popcorn, peanuts, or other snacks.
  5. If you want, affix a chalkboard label to the front of each box so there's no confusion over whose is whose.

I'm so happy with how these little cardboard serving trays turned out, and they seem sturdy enough--thanks to the duct tape--to last us several summers worth of drive-in movies.

Here are some other things you can upcycle!


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