Tag Archives: DIY

Patio Fountain Makeover

Fountain Makeover Header

My mom recently gave me this (somewhat cute), faux stone fountain that she no longer wanted, for my patio. I figured what the heck, it would be nice to hear the trickle of running water as I sit outside in the morning sipping my coffee. As soon as I got home I eagerly plugged the little beauty in and sat back to enjoy the scenery.

Fountain plain

Unfortunately, it just kind of sat there looking awkward. You couldn’t help but stare at it but not in a good way. More like when you are distracted by a piece of spinach stuck in someone’s teeth kind of way. I immediately started a plan on how to spruce it up a little so it had more appeal.

I knew I wanted to pull off a tropical look, but I don’t have a backyard that I could put the fountain in. I know what your thinking, “Well then what is all that grass we see there in the photo?”. Common area, we don’t own it, we just get to mow it. That’s the beauty of living in a gated community. So back to the drawing board! I decided the best way to display my fountain was to build my own contained tropical area for the fountain by making a planter box.

I decided to make a wooden box that would fit in between one of the panels of my patio screen, so I took some measurements and made up a rough draft of what shape I wanted, then headed off to my happy place, Home Depot. I decided to use 8 foot pressure treated landscape timber since they were only $1.87 each and I only needed 3 1/2 of them.

When I got home I had my handsome lumber jack men make my wood cuts based on my design. Aren’t they cute??

Lumber jacks

Once we had all the timbers cut, I used metal brackets to hold the inside corners together, then hammered a few flat and used those to hold the top and bottom together as well.

Corner Bracket Top and Bottom Bracket

I didn’t bother to sand the wood much except for obvious snags since I wanted it to look pretty rustic. I stained the wood with 2 coats of Rust-oleum Dark Walnut stain.

Wood stain

I also needed a plastic liner to put inside the bed and decided to look at pond liner. Whew! That stuff is expensive. I decided to wait on it until I came up with a better plan, but as fate would have it, as I was leaving, the store placed large plastic bags in a cart for people to use to protect their trunks from dirt. Well, don’t mind if I do, thank you. Liner problem solved. Heavy duty trash bags will work just as well depending on the size of the box.

It was really long, so I folded it over a few times and placed it in my planter box as shown.


I tucked the edges of the plastic under and used a staple gun to attach it to all the sides of the box.


The planter box was then moved to it’s planned location. I put two paver stones in the box where I wanted my fountain to sit, then put the fountain on top, before filling the box with soil.

Fountain with dirt

Now comes the fun part, filling it with plants. I chose a variety of succulents and other hearty, tropical plants that would be hard for me to kill, like I usually do. I also added a few fun touches like moss on the faux stones, a solar light and a couple little gnome friends for the grandbabies to explore. Baby Kenzie even got down and dirty and helped me. Well actually, she did most of the work.

Fountain Helper

The box itself with wood and brackets cost me about $20.00 and about another $30 for plants. So now my morning coffee sipping view is just delightful!

Fountain Complete 1

Patio Fountain Collage





Mother’s Day DIY Gifts

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I am blessed with many mother figures. First, my mom and grandmothers, as well as my hubby’s mom, step mom and grandmothers- plus all of the aunts, sisters, and friends who are amazing mothers too! These women deserve the world; and with all of these great women to honor and appreciate, Mother’s Day gifts can add up quickly.

Being on a budget (I have multiple graduations, birthdays and baby showers in the month of May too), I needed to get creative! I scanned Pinterest boards and DIY projects (that I actually felt confident that I could accomplish without burning the house down), and finally, I settled on a few projects.

First, for my darling mama, I made homemade Garden Markers for her blooming garden.

Markers and Stone

I used bake-in-your-oven clay from Michael’s. I rolled and flattened the clay out with a rolling pin on a sheet of wax paper. Then I used my rolling pizza cutter to cut the clay into rectangles and trimmed one edge to a point. With the leftover clay, I made a “stone.”

Markers 1

Next, I stamped words onto the clay marker (tiny stamp kit from Walmart’s craft section) and baked the markers at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. [Well, actually, longer than that. I forgot they were in the oven. I was gently reminded when I smelled them burning, and I had to fan the smoke out of my house. Oops… but I didn’t burn the house down! Mission accomplished… sorta.]

Once I took them out of the oven, I painted them using Acrylic paints (and used the eraser end of a pencil to stamp polka-dots) and applied a polyurethane coating to ensure that they were weather-resistant. She loved them!

Markers 2

I also made some note card sets for my beautiful grandma. She is so thoughtful and loves sending loving and encouraging notes via snail mail. So I thought this would be perfect for her.

DIY Notecards

I purchased a kraft card set from Michaels and used craft supplies that I already owned. On one note set, I used rub-on transfer letters to spell out words like “laugh,” “joy,” “happy” and “jojo” [because that’s my Grandma’s adorable nickname]. I added some cute washi tape and stamped some flowers. On a second set of notecards, I used adhesive rub-on transfer designs and applied glitter to the adhesive. I wrapped these sweet paper gifts up in twine and a cute tag.

DIY Notecards 2

I also gave my sister a custom Sea Lillie necklace with her daughter’s initial stamped into a gold heart with a raspberry pink teardrop stone. I wrapped the little beauty in this… Just a kraft bag, some stamps, and super-cute washi tape. [Are you starting to pick up on my obsession with washi tape?]

DIY Gift Wrapping

A couple of months ago, while “window shopping” at the Lowes’ Garden Center, I saw these sweet succulents hanging from simple white pots. I immediately thought of my mom. So I went back and got one for her… It’s now a lovely addition to her garden, even if I didn’t actually make it.

Succulent Hanging Planter

So those were a couple of the handmade gifts this month. I think some of the best gifts I have received were handmade, and I cherish them all the more because they were made from the heart. I’m hoping these lovely ladies enjoyed receiving these gifts as much as I enjoyed making them.

Love all you mamas and grandmas out there!