DIY Pumpkin Topiary

Standard
DIY Pumpkin Topiary

So years ago, I’d gotten three Styrofoam pumpkins from Hobby Lobby.  I liked the colors, as they aren’t the typical orange pumpkin.  I’ve used them each year, just basically grouping them together on the porch.  They were starting to look a bit worn, since they are Styrofoam, so I thought I would try to camouflage the gouges and scrapes a bit.

This is what I started with.  I’d already removed two of the stems, which turned out to be really easy, since they were separate from the pumpkin body, and just glued on.Styrofoam pumpkins from Hobby Lobby

I grabbed a wooden basket that was on sale at Joann’s, and bought some window and door spray foam, which I sprayed into the basket.  I did create a liner with a plastic sack, so the foam wouldn’t expand out the sides of the basket. I let that expand overnight, and the next day it was about an inch below the top of the basket.Spray foam for volume

I’d also purchased some red Spanish moss on sale for $.97 a bag.  I used one whole bag to cover the spray foam in the basket.Red Spanish Moss for filler

Next, I started with the bottom pumpkin, and hot glued some more moss to the top of the pumpkin. Spanish Moss glued to top of pumpkin

Once that had dried, I used a wooden kabob skewer and pushed it through the top of the bottom pumpkin, and connected the middle pumpkin, using the skewer to hold the two. I also added moss to the top of the middle pumpkin.Wood Kabob skewer to attach

From there, I was able to work on the top pumpkin.  I had also bought a bag of fabric leaves, and I started hot gluing those to the top pumpkin, around the top. I connected that one to the middle pumpkin, using the same process with the wood skewer. Hot gluing leaves to pumpkins

That brings us to actually placing the pumpkins in the basket. Originally, I had only placed one skewer in the bottom pumpkin, to push into the spray foam. After I tried it the first time, I thought it was a bit unsteady, so I used a second one, and that seemed to help a bit. Adding skewers to base pumpkininsert skewer into spray foam

Now I was ready to spruce the topiary up a bit.  At first, I had just hot glued a few leaves on the pumpkins, but it seemed to be a bit blah.  I decided to go crazy, and so I added the rest of the leaves, some wire garland with plastic beads, and then some really cute orange and red bead picks, just placed randomly to cover as many of the nicks and indentions as I could.Adding leaves, garland, and plastic beads

Finally, I created a large bow to go on the top, but I did make sure that I can take it on and off.  I couldn’t decide whether I liked it with, or without, the bow better. Add bow to top of topiary

And here is the topiary in all its blinged out glory.  I’m not normally drawn to fancy things, but this is such a contrast from the three plain pumpkins I originally started with, that I’m liking it for now. Pretty easy, and fun to do this fall.pumpkin topiary with bling

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch, A Stroll Thru Life, Funky Junk Interiors, Rustic & Refined, and Domestically Speaking:

One on sidebar

IMTbutton_zps110fd80c

1-Funky_Junks_Party_Junk_link_party_29-AM

 

 

 

DD Button 250 PNG

Inspire-Me-Monday4_thumb3

 

Summer Trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Standard
Summer Trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Double D and I only got to take a short trip to Milwaukee this summer for our annual vacation.  He has friends that live up there, and I had never been, so we decided to spend some time there.  Since we were trying to pack a lot into three days, we didn’t get to see everything that we probably should have, but here are some stops we made.

The Milwaukee Art Museum has literally one of the coolest art installations that I’ve ever been a part of.  We arrived right before noon, and got to see the wings actually opening to create a sunshade for the inside hall. It was fun to see all 72 fins open as we watched. The view from the hall of the water is pretty spectacular, and of course, the art within is worth seeing.Wings of the Milwaukee Art museum

This is the view of downtown Milwaukee from the art museum.Downtown milwaukee from the art museum

The next stop was the Basilica of St. Josaphat. This place is just absolutely breathtaking, and once you know the history of it, it is even more special.  One of the most interesting facts I learned is that this building was created used the body of a Chicago Post Office that was going to be razed.  It was finished in 1901.  It wasn’t until 1926 that the inside was painted, which took two years to do.  I love history, so this stop was very cool to see.Exterior of BasilicaDome of the Basilica

As I said earlier, Double D has a couple of friends that live there.  One evening, we drove up  to Random Lake, WI to visit.  We ate dinner at the Random Lake Pizzeria.  While the pizza we got was incredibly good, the thing that I enjoyed the most was the fresh farm strawberries that the owner shared with me.  He makes his own ice cream to sell at the shop, and one of the flavors that night was strawberry.  We got to talking, and I told him my story of picking wild strawberries out of our field when I was little, and that the taste couldn’t be beat.  He came back to our table with just a bowl of the little strawberries, which I have to say I ate like crazy.  What a wonderful memory to go with my childhood experiences.Fresh strawberries at the pizzeria

The next day we traveled to the Historic Third Ward, and walked around down there. It is a really cool area, with lots of shopping, all among the old warehouse buildings.  It also backs up to a river, so we hung out there a bit, watching people going by on kayaks and boats.Buildings along the river

We also ate lunch at the Milwaukee Public Market, which was a fun experience. We couldn’t buy too much food, because we were traveling, but our lunch was pretty tasty. Interior of the public market

We continued on to the Lakefront Brewery to go on a tour.  Let me tell you, it was hilarious!  Those guys must have so much fun at their jobs.  If you like beer, and laughing a lot, go ahead and take the tour.  It was fun, and you get to have several different kinds of beers. Front of Lakefront breweryLakefront brewery tour

That evening we traveled once again up to Port Washington to meet up with another friend. Port Washington has a quaint downtown area, and it’s right on Lake Michigan.  We went to the Upper Lake Park, which has a beautiful view. Port Washington view of lake michigan

We decided to take the 83 steps down to the beach area.  There were a lot of people playing in the water, but it did seem a bit cold for me.  We could also see the Breakwater Light from here. It was time to hike back up the 83 steps, but I was glad we did, because the view was amazing.Beach at Port Washington

We had dinner with Double D’s friend, and then we decided to walk out to the Breakwater Lighthouse.  They had been doing construction on the walkway, and had just opened it back up for people to go out to the light. A bit more information can be found at this website, and the second B&W picture on the right shows the length of the walkway. The walkway is about 2500 feet out to the lighthouse, which is a bit under half a mile. It was a beautiful evening, and a lot of people were out there fishing. Boats in Harbor2500 ft out to breakwater lightBreakwater light

And that was pretty much it, as the next day we headed back home.  Such a quick trip, but I know we can go back to do more. Had a great time in Wisconsin!

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

 

 

 

Building Wine Bottle Tiki Torch Stands

Standard
Building Wine Bottle Tiki Torch Stands

My friend and I went to a winery one day, where they had hardware kits available for purchase, complete with the ceramic stopper and cotton rope.  These kits also included the pieces that enabled you to hang a wine bottle on the side of a fence, or a house, and put oil in them to keep the bugs away.  We have mosquitoes like crazy here, so they would work perfectly for our front porch.  I snagged two of them. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that we would have nowhere to hang them on the front porch, unless we wanted to drill into our vinyl siding, which I really didn’t want to do.

The kits sat around in my garage for a while, until I was finally able to figure out a plan.  Finally, I stumbled across a picture of a free-standing, portable wood design on the internet.  I have no idea where I found it, since I didn’t save it, but it was exactly what I needed. There were no instructions to go with the picture, but I knew Double D could make it in a snap.

The first thing Double D did was measure how tall the wine bottle was, which would decide the height of the piece.  Then he measured the bottle and the threaded rod that would be holding it away from the wood, which decided the width of the stand. Then he cut two pieces of the 4×4″ wood at 14 inches.treated wood 4x4

And two pieces of the 1×6″ wood at 12 inches, allowing for enough of the wood to stick out one inch past the 4×4″ in the back.treated wood 1x6

Next, Double D screwed the two pieces of wood together on the bottom.combining wood pieces

We then mounted the top plate connector to the 4×4 that would hold the threaded rod, and the wine bottle. We did a trial run where we actually put one together, so we could make sure the wine bottle didn’t stick out past the end of the 1×6″ base. Everything seemed to be fine, and it didn’t tip over from the weight of the bottle and oil.  We disassembled the torch hardware, but left the top plate connector on the 4×4.attaching metal hardware

I decided to paint them yellow to match my door.  I started with a primer coat, which I used Rustoleum’s spray paint.  This took a couple of coats to completely cover the wood.  I had only lightly sanded the edges, so they definitely have a rugged look about them.Rustoleum primer in white

I’m glad I used the primer, since I only had one can of yellow spray paint by Rustoleum. I did two coats of the Warm Yellow for each stand.Rustoleum warm yellow paint

I didn’t get any pictures of the next step, but I had picked up two copper newel post caps that would be used for decking or fencing normally. I made sure it was the size of the 4×4, and just glued the two caps to the wood. Also, I put rubber feet on the bottom of each stand, just so it would be up off the table slightly since they are outside.

Here is the final product we created.  We screwed the threaded rod into the plate, and attached the split ring hanger to the rod.  Then we just inserted the neck of the bottle, and tightened the screws on the split ring. We actually used two smaller wine bottles than the regular size we measured for, but it will at least give us room, in case we want to use the regular size at a later point.wine bottle tiki torch completed

And here they are on the tables.  The yellow pops against the grey siding, and it matches the door, and the flowers in the cushions. I like how they turned out, and they do seem to work just like they should.  We don’t have nearly the mosquitoes buzzing around when these are lit!  tiki torches on front porch

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch, Dishing It & Digging It, Domestically Speaking and A Stroll Thru Life:

b4449-oneonsidebar

DD Button 250 PNG

Inspire-Me-Monday4_thumb3

IMTbutton_zps110fd80c