Painted Pumpkins

I have been a pumpkin carver my entire life. No, my pumpkins were never spectacular, but they were fun and my own.

I remember as a kid we would pick out our pumpkins (usually at Target, no big pumpkin patch or anything). But then my dad would lay out a big beach blanket on our living room floor and my sisters and I would set out to make the greatest pumpkins. Usually we enlisted dad to scoop out the bulk of the seeds, as we were never fans of the gooey stuff. And every year we each came up with a fun new face/design and displayed our works of art on the front porch until they molded away. 

Then came college, and my friends and I decided we still needed to carve pumpkins. We would all get together and head out to the pumpkin patch, run through the corn maze and search the lot for out ideal pumpkin. Some looked for the biggest, some the best stem, some the smoothest skin, whatever the characteristic we searched high and low (mostly low) until we found the best pumpkin. And of course like any college adventure we made sure to take a TON of pictures. I think Charlie Brown would be proud.
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Well this year I haven’t been to the pumpkin patch, and I haven’t carved any pumpkins (yet). But I did help my godmother with her daughter’s wedding decorations…which you guessed it, included pumpkins. What we did for these pumpkins was a bit different. First we spray painted them so we had different colored pumpkins. Then we grabbed the puffy painted and started dotting away to make lovely swirls and designs. Here’s my favorite: IMG_1546

To make these super simple, unique and pretty pumpkins all your really need is puff paint and pumpkins! Then just squeeze the paint into dots in what ever shape, design or words you want. I took 4 of the pumpkins after the wedding and today the boyfriend is coming over and we’re going to carve two of them. 🙂

The lot of them.

The lot of them.

My tall skinny one.

My tall skinny one.

A nice round pumpkin.

A nice round pumpkin.

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Tile Table

My sister gave me her old patio furniture when I moved into my apartment that had a patio. And of course I decided the nice white table needed to be spiced up a bit. Having helped me mom (rather, watched my mom and sister) tile our kitchen floor when I was like 12 I had some idea what to do, and of course this wonderful post helped quite a bit too. This post gave very thorough directions, but here’s the alterations I made while making my table.

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First part: Sand the table
I tried, but my arm and the measly piece of sandpaper were no match for this professionally painted and finished table. So I ended up taking a razor blade to it and calling it “sanded”.

Step 2: Determine how you want you tiles laid out and make any necessary marks.
I had a large mosaic type tile I was putting in the middle, so I marked where it would be so I could attach the outside tiles first.

Step 3: Apply Adhesive, I used a premixed adhesive.

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Step 4: Place tiles, separating with tile spacers.
(I got creative and cut up straws as my spacers. I also applied my outside tiles first. Here is where I made a slight mistake. My table was smaller then the space I needed for the size tiles I had, so my tiles all hung over the edge about .5-1 inch. I just went with it, in retrospect I should have thought this through better. This would have been better executed had I bought a piece of wood the size I actually needed the table top to be, and attached it to the original.)

Step 5: Remove excess adhesive with a sponge or towel.

Step 6: Let it dry. I broke up the project over two weekends, so mine dried for several days.

Step 7: Grout it. For this you need a lot of grout, apply heavily.

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Step 8: Clean up the grout. Then use a sponge to remove the excess and smooth it out. It works best with a clean damp sponge. I filled a bucket with water to rinse, as you don’t want the grout building up on the sponge. I found that I had to do this several times in some spots to get an even layer of grout. Make sure to remove grout completely from the tops of tiles. Let dry before using. (I let mine sit for a few days, but the grout you use should say how long it needs to dry)

Step 9: Enjoy your masterpiece!!!

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A few words to the wise: Make sure your original surface is large enough (see step 4) for the tiles to completely rest on. Mine was not and my tiles hung off about an inch on all sides. I thought this would be fine. And in all reality it was…until it was time to move. In my move almost all of the white surrounding tiles broke off. It was a bit sad, but I enjoyed the table while I had it. I have now given the table to my best friend for her new apartment, even though it is missing all the white tiles. The bright side now she can enjoy whatever project she decides to try on this neat little table.