Sep 5, 2019

DIY Concrete Pumpkins

Hey Ya'll!

Ready to make some concrete pumpkins for Halloween?
I sure am even though it is September 5th.  I've been ready for a few weeks now.
I made these two pumpkins for just about $4.00 each.
And they weigh approximately 25 pounds each!

This is a very simple and inexpensive process, so don't worry much about messing up.

Here's what you will need:
- A 50 pound bag of Quickrete $5.00 (I got from Lowes) Makes 2 pumpkins
-Pam cooking spray or Generic brand like I used "Chef's Own $1.00
-2 Plastic Pumpkins $1.00 each
-Mixing bucket
-Sharp utility knife
I didn't have any plastic pumpkins on hand from last Halloween so I first looked around at the local Goodwill.  There I found three of them for only .99cents each.   Sad only because new at Walmart they were 1.00 each. lol. So even though super cheap, I just figured they'd be cheaper for some reason.

Here is a photo of most of my supplies.  Notice there are three pumpkins I had ready.
Well, I found out quick that a 50 pound bag of Quickrete concrete mix only makes 2 pumpkins!
Yes that's right.  So each pumpkin after done will be approximately 25 pounds right?

I used an old Lowes plastic 5 gallon utility bucket for mixing the concrete in.

Here's my trick. Since the bag is so heavy and awkward to handle, I sit it on the back of my truck's tailgate.  Then I slit a whole into the bottom, corner of the bag and let it freely pour directly into my bucket.

This is so much easier than handling the bag so many times, adding a touch more and so.

Don't mix it too runny!  Read your bag for best instructions.

Here is a very important part!
Right before you begin to pour your concrete mix into your pumpkins, 
with a coat of the PAM or Generic cooking spray.

This will coat the insides and allow the concrete to release easier later on after drying.

I used a plastic, kids shovel I had on hand for dipping the concrete out and into the pumpkin.

I tried to keep it from coming out.
But it was hard because after you fill up your pumpkin, 
you must keep lifting it up and tapping it down on the ground 
to release any air bubbles trapped inside.
Do this over and over a few times.

You can always take your hand or cloth and wipe away the excess right at the rim.

Now comes the hard part.....
You must let them sit for about 24 hours before you start to cut the plastic buckets.

This is how I made my cuts.
I did four slices, top to bottom very carefully.
Try to avoid cutting so deep that it marks the concrete.
The concrete of mine, was still not completely set up even after 24 hours.

And then you slowly peel them back.

And then the concrete pumpkin will finally begin to emerge completely out of the plastic.

And this is it.
This is my very first try at making a Concrete Pumpkin.

I did let them sit another 24 hours after getting them out of the plastic before handling them too much.

You can see the holes in the concrete where air was apparently still trapped.

But for my purposes they are just fine.
I've read about a countertop mix available at Lowes that allows for a super smooth finish.
But for me just wanting them to sit outside as decoration, I don't want to add anything to the mix to make it very expensive.

Here are the plastic buckets after I got the concrete out.

And here it is after it was all complete.
I like the concrete look but on the next one I may do a white, crackle paint finish.

Jul 26, 2019

DIY Camping Sign EAT Sleep CAMP Repeat

Eat Sleep Camp Repeat Sign from

I saw an idea for this cute type of sign on Pinterest. Although, it was a cute, smaller hanging sign.
I loved the lettering and design but
I wanted something large that you could sit out and people would see it immediately. 
Kinda like a focus to get you in the outdoorsy mood.

So I went looking around in our garage and sheds until I found this old, solid board.

It was a large wood shelf from a wardrobe that I eventually used for a quilting cabinet.
It was large, like huge, had more shelves than I needed. I needed the room to stack quilts! So I had removed this shelf and saved it in case I ever wanted to put it back.
The years in the old dusty shed have really gotten to it. But thankfully it was easily washed away and ready to paint white.

This was a first coat.
First coat
I loved it kinda streaky, but want it completely covered so it would last for years.
I used an exterior enamel by Rustoleum.
I didn't bother with much of a neat thing. It's going to stay outside.
I just used rocks laying around to keep it off the ground while I painted, lol.
The board is way heavier than you think.
It was from a very old cabinet. It was solid.

After drying for a day, I used a black marker to write out the words.
I just looked at the Pinterest, smaller sign and kinda freehanded what I saw.
Arrows and all.
Eat Sleep Camp Repeat Sign from

And here it is standing up.
Lots of error here and there but I don't want it to be perfect, it's just for an outdoor camping and fire pit area outback.
Eat Sleep Camp Repeat Sign from

I ended up sealing it with some spray on clear coat. I hope that is enough to protect the marker lettering.  If I see it running or so, I will follow up with a brush on polyurethane stain.
As for now, it's still fine.

Eat Sleep Camp Repeat Sign from

As for now it's just a leaning sign. I think I will make a hinged leg for the back to lean it up on it's own soon.

And that's it. It's going to hopefully be used for many summers to come.
I am going to store it away each fall.

See ya'll next time!

Jul 25, 2019

Hand Stained Mason Jars in Various Colors

Assorted Half Pint Mason Jars stained by

Hey ya'll!
I have been in a kinda craft slump lately. It's just been so dang hot here in Kentucky. 
Even hitting "real feel" heat conditions of 105* out. 
So when I do run out it's mainly to just get where I'm going and such. Not much crafting, cutting, sorting or painting outdoors lately.

I am still staining new and old mason jars in all sorts of colors. 
Have been going on about 8 years or so now. 
And using the baking process to cure them. So thought I'd share a few pics of that for today.
Squatty half pint mason jars stained various colors by

So thought I'd share a few pics of that for today since I haven't shared much anything in a while.

This is the color AQUA that is the main seller. A certain view of the camera gives this belly shape look I love to these half pint, squatty style, mason Ball jars.

Half pint Squatty jar in Aqua by

Here they are upside down, drying, getting ready to be baked in the oven.
Aqua mason jars ready to be placed in the oven
In the oven is where they acquire their deep aqua color. Although in the pic below they don't appear to be much to look at yet.

Here is a close up of an aqua jar that has runs after the firing process.
Half pint Squatty jar in Aqua by

Look closely and you can see the imperfections.
I usually just end up keeping these for myself. So I don't mind the runs every now and then. lol.
The heat during firing  makes the excess stain I use run. So I can always see where I have used too much. It's hard to hold back when applying though. I love the deep colors a thick layer makes.

Before I bore you too much with my favorite jar colors I like to create, let me show you what I call antifreeze green. I just adore this color!
Half pint Squatty jar in Antifreeze Green by
When the light hits them a certain way, they really pop!
Half pint Squatty jar in Antifreeze Green by
And another favorite of mine is the soft, rosey pink.
Half pint Squatty jar in a Soft, rosey pink by

Half pint Squatty jar in a Soft, rosey pink by

Half pint Squatty jar in a Soft, rosey pink by

I have tons of more colors I use but don't want to bore you with each. I've also experimented doing two and three tones on some jars getting a fade effect. I didn't love those so much. But I do enjoy the colors above.
Whether you stick them on a shelf for display, use them as business card holders, battery operated candle holders or just junk jars, they add a little bit of color here or there.

Hope ya'll enjoyed seeing a few of the jars that's been keeping me busy lately.
See ya'll next time!

Assorted Half Pint Mason Jars stained by

Jan 19, 2019



I've seen the adorable photos in a jar posts on Pinterest and I just had to give it a try.
The only thing different I did was make it into a cute keychain.

I know it's glass and all, but these jars are pretty thick and could take a bit of handling in my opinion.

Another alternative would be to make it hang from a necklace. 
But for the person, my Aunt, I have in mind for this gift, she doesn't wear necklaces but does carry her door keys with her when she leaves.  
And the photo in the jar is of her late son lost tragically in a car accident. 
So I am pretty sure she will enjoy it whether she wants to use it or put it up as a memento.

This would also make a great, one of a kind Valentines Day gift!

Here's what you will need:

Well this, plus the Keychain key ring that I left out of photo.

-Glass jar with cork top 
(found at craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby)

-Yard or String of some sort
(I use twine)

-1 Eyescrew

-A safety pin 
(for pushing out the hole in the cork)

-E6000 glue
(for dabbing the twine at tip of eyescrew so it dont unravel

-Printout of a tiny photo
(must be small enough to fit down inside the jar you choose)

Okay, so very easy craft here that has a great meaning.
First off, I took off the cork and inserted the safety pen through it carefully.
It slides in pretty easy but then you just have to woller (move) it back and forth to make the
hole bigger.

Then it was time to use the safety pin to push the twine through.
It was easy as soon as I realized I needed to make a knot in the twine for something to push!

Then hold onto the bottom of twine and pull the safety pin back out.
Bam! There's your string in cork, ready to go!

Just tie a knot in the top, outter side so it don't slip through.
I also put a dab of E6000 glue on both sides by the hole and twine.
Just to reinforce it.  E6000 is strong, I love it. It's found at Walmart, btw.

Next, trim up your string to size needed to hang about halfway down in your jar.
The bottom will be covered at the bottom by the photo later.

And now time to cut your tiny photo.
I cut it to look like a vintage Polaroid picture.
You will also need a second piece of plain paper that will act as the back of the photo, the
same size.

I stuck them together, with a tiny piece of packaging tape INSIDE both photos and a tiny 
dab of E6000 glue in the twine.  You can't see it in the pic, I am talking about inside the two pieces of paper. The front and back. This is how it sticks to the hanging twine.

Then I took some clear packaging tape, stuck it to the top and folded it around to the back.
Covering both the front and back with one piece. 
Made the tape touch at all edges and then just cut around the photo, leaving a bit of tape to hold all intact. 
It makes for a glossy photo finish kinda like the old Polaroid photos were back in the day.

Screw in your eye screw while the glue it wet, so it will get a strong hold.
Back of photo with tape trimmed.

Then just bend your Polaroid looking photo slightly enough to slide it down in the jar.
And stick back in your cork.

Next just slide on your key ring and you are finished!

And that's it.
Seems way more complicated than it really is.
Just gather all the stuff you need to begin and it goes pretty fast.
Don't forget to print your photo very tiny!

 Happy Crafting, see ya'll next time, ~Lisa

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