DIY Doorstops out of Concrete Patio Stones

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It’s Monday, my friends, and today we’re going to talk about doorstops. If you’re like me, you live in an older building and while they do have tons of character, they may also have one other thing; uneven rooms. Most of the doors in my apartment don’t stay open when I want them to. What’s a girl to do?

Well, a girl can go to any home improvement supply store and pick up a few concrete patio stones. You can use regular bricks as well, but I like the patio stones for the shape. Having the wider bottom lends to creating some fun and interesting little characters to hold open your doors for you. However, I feel obligated to point out to you that you can paint regular bricks to look like books, which is also super fun decor (at least if you are a book nerd like myself).

What else might a girl need for this little project? A girl will need some acrylic paints and sealer. I highly recommend getting a large bottle of them at a place like Blick Art Supplies or Michael’s as these bricks are pretty large and you will most likely need more than one coat of paint. A girl may also choose to have decorative items such as ribbons, scraps of fabric, googly eyes, and felt on hand as well. And finally a girl will need paint brushes in many varying sizes and a hot glue gun. (If making these for outdoor use, make sure to get outdoor paint and varnish.)

I will now stop talking like a Faceless Man and move on to describing all the fun things you might want to do with your concrete patio stones. Since they are so easy to make and don’t cost a fortune, you can potentially make one for every holiday! Below are examples of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.

     

But you don’t just have to stick with holidays. Maybe you really really REALLY like chickens? Or dogs? Maybe you want something special for the door to your new baby’s nursery. Perhaps you live on a farm, or run a dog shelter, or a daycare? These three examples would work great!

     

To make these adorable decorations, start by washing your concrete patio stone with soap and water, then let it dry completely. This removes any dirt or dust that may prevent the paint from sticking to the stone. Once the stone is dry, paint on a layer of the sealer so that your paints don’t “soak” into the stone’s pores. Next, you’ll add your first coat of paint. Since the sealer isn’t going to block off those pores completely, this is why you may need multiple coats of paint for a nice, smooth finish. You don’t have to paint both sides of the stone but you can if you want to.

For your pattern, you can either use graphite paper to transfer a traced pattern onto your stone (you can even purchase patterns from sites like The Winfield Collection) or you can free-hand your own pattern onto the painted stone with a pencil (use light strokes!). Use your pattern to paint on the details for your doorstop. Faces, spots, hands and feet…whatever your pattern calls for that you don’t think you’ll use other mediums to depict. Example of other mediums; wooden cut-outs of hands and feet that can be affixed to the stone and give it more of a three-dimensional feel. Once all of that is dry, put another coat of your sealer on to protect the design. If you are using other mediums (such as those cut-outs or the googly eyes or pacifiers), use your hot glue gun to attach these items once the sealer is completely dry. And that, as they say, is that!

Baseball players, brides & grooms, cows, turtles, ducks, cats… you name it, you can probably paint a concrete patio stone to look like it. The heft of the stones makes them perfect for pretty much any door in your house (unless you live in a castle, like Hogwarts). As with most of my posts, these are great gifts for people as well. They’re functional and fun. They’re ‘fun’-ctional! (Get it? I know, I know… that was such a dad joke. My father would be proud.)

Happy painting, crafty people!

~Scribe Sarah~


Light Bulb Ornaments

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It’s just another Manic Monday, fellow crafters! The last one before Christmas Day! So I thought I would focus on the holiday that is quickly approaching.

If you celebrate Christmas, you no doubt have had at some point in your life, a Christmas tree. And you probably were really excited to decorate it too, right? Except ornaments (like so much else during this holiday nowadays) can end up costing you quite a bit of moola. And that’s money you could be spending on presents for your loved ones. But you don’t have to sacrifice your decor just so you can put presents under that tree. If you have old burned out light bulbs, you can decorate with your own personal flair. Heck, you can do what store bought ornaments don’t always allow and customize your tree to whatever your holiday heart desires.

All you need to accomplish this goal are those burnt out light bulbs (and don’t limit yourself to regular sized incandescent light bulbs! You can also use candle, flame, candelabra or even classic Edison style bulbs). You will also need a selection of different sized paint brushes, acrylic paints in the colors you plan to use, and some ribbon and a hot glue gun. I personally also like to keep some colored felt, puff balls, and scraps of old fabric to use, should I be so inspired.

If you don’t feel particularly good at coming up with ideas on your own, here are a few you can try. Christmas ornaments don’t just have to be Christmas-related, you can also do winter themed ideas. So in addition to Santas, Rudolphs, and elves, you can also make snowman and penguins! Really, you can make whatever you want to decorate your tree with. Maybe you want to go with a ballet theme to your decorations this year…paint a Nutcracker’s head. My mom’s house always has references to a Winter Wonderland…this would be a great theme to incorporate snowman and penguins and maybe even a narwhal into.

The penguin would probably be the quickest and easiest to paint. An upside down light bulb already resembles a penguin, you really just have to color it in. Go as simple or as exquisite as you want. You can make a simple cartoon penguin or a regal Emperor penguin (if you are a slightly more talented painter than I, that is. I’ll stick to the cartoon-y one). And you don’t have to add anything to the top to hide the metal portion, you could just paint it black. But I personally like the idea of giving your chill little friend something neat like a hat.

For you Santas and your snowmen, you have a couple different options. Stick with either the head only (easier to paint in the long run in most cases) or make the full body too! Again, adding little touches like a flannel fabric to Santa’s body (Santa Jammies!) or a tiny yarn scarf around your snowman’s neck can give your ornaments that something special, a little personal flair.

While I personally love this idea for decorating your tree each December, decorative bulb ornaments don’t stop at Christmas. You can make dreidels as well for Hannukah. You can make turkeys and scarecrows for Thanksgiving, witches and jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and bunnies for Easter. And you don’t have to hang these from a tree either. You can hang them in doorways (just warn your taller guests of the potential hazards), dangle from the front of your mantelpiece or even hang in your windows.

This is not only a great way to decorate with your own style and flair, it is also an inexpensive and relaxing way to holiday up your home. Enjoy sitting down with a few old light bulbs, some paints and your imagination and see where the day will take you.