I love my pool. My kids love our pool. None of us love sunburns. Sure we use sunscreen—lots of it—but shade is also helpful. Alas, my dreamy pool that we all love had none.
Enter our pool umbrella. It seemed like the answer to all my sunny prayers. But even with weights, our pool umbrella came tumbling down.
I was determined to not give up on my pool shade, so I took matters (and a few cinderblocks) into my own hands.
I’ll be the first to admit: Cinderblocks are not cute. Cinderblocks painted aqua with orange honeycomb stencils, however, are cute. Seriously cute.
I nabbed my cinderblocks from the home improvement store. They are really cheap. When I got home, I piled eight of those heavy suckers into a pattern on top of my umbrella stand. Good luck blowing over now, Mr. Umbrella.
Next, using Plaid Folkart Paint, I gave the sides of my cinderblocks a navy-and-aqua paint job. I let this layer dry completely.
I had been dying to use the Honey Bee stencil from Plaid Folkart (designed by Stencil1), and this was my chance.
I used Aleene’s Repositionable Tacky Spray on the back of my stencil to make sure I had good contact between the stencil and the cinderblock. I applied the stencil so that half of the honeycombs were on one cinderblock and the other half on another.
The key to stenciling is using a very dry brush. DO NOT GLOB THE PAINT ON. I used a stencil brush to get my paint where I wanted it. Carefully pull your stencil up and wash clean. Repeat. Allow the paint to dry completely. Check out this great stenciling video series from Stencil1 creator Ed Roth if you need more stencil advice.
Next I added dirt, plastic Easter eggs, and more dirt. Yup, I said eggs. When you are filling a deep planter, using something like packing peanuts (or old plastic Easter eggs, like I did) helps your dirt go farther. I knew I would be planting succulents that could withstand the Texas heat, so I used soil for cactus. All that was left to do was insert my plants.
The sidewalk around my pool slants slightly towards the grass, so when I water the plants (and when it rains), any dirt will be washed into the grass and not the pool.
Now, my family has made in the shade—at least in the shallow end of the pool.