I came up with a fantastic idea...I think. But first we need to gather a few things before we get started. I have a massive collection of empty tin cans for the luminaries that the kids love to make, so I borrowed a few. I also took a few ribbon spools to Lowe's and found the biggest dowels that would still fit into the spool centers. I also have my daughter's beach bucket, a wooden paint stick which I can now tell you is not strong enough, water, a bag of quick setting cement, and painters tape. I love painters take for everything except painting. :-) I also covered the floor with newspaper.
Close up of one of my new favorite things.
Step one. Do this outside. Step two. Wear a mask. Step three. Pour the 'Quikrete' into the bucket. Do you see all that dust?
Don't fill your bucket up all the way. You will need plenty of room for water and stirring. Also, I would probably recommend using something a little wider and more shallow for the mixing. Our deep and narrow bucket was not ideal.
Now, add water. Not too much. The wetter it is, the longer it takes to dry.
Now, mix. I would recommend a heavy plastic or metal trowel. Or maybe even a sturdier stick. Mixing this stuff took a bit of muscle. His muscle...not mine. I had to save my finger for taking pictures. You understand.
When the stuff is all mixed up and your son is happy with it, it can be poured into a can.
When the can was full I put on a pair of latex gloves and patted the top so it looked a little nicer and less lumpy. You don't really have to do that. Ribbon spools will cover it up later.
Now, in goes the dowel. Push it in all the way to the bottom of the can.
When all the cans were filled with cement and the dowels had been placed in the can, we started cleaning up. I pushed the bench up against the wall and then started taping the dowels to the side of the bench so they would all dry straight up and down. But then I started thinking about four kids, a hubby and a dog that bump into things so I taped the cans into place as well.
Like this. I am sure that the standard threatening to stay away while the cement dried would have been useless. So I used tape. :-)
I would say that we gathered supplies, did the project, cleaned up and taped everything down in less than an hour and a half. Quick project if you do not count the drying time. By the way, quick drying might take longer than you think. We left ours over night before I took the tape off.
The next day I went through my ribbon and organized it into six categories...because we made six towers. We just slid the ribbon spools on and we were good to go.
And the finished product....
I have them displayed on a board on a bench so they are straight and easily visible, but I plan to store them in a closet. I am so happy with them. If I could do it over, I might paint the cans before I willed them with cement, but for now, I am VERY happy!!! They are portable too. When I was making a little package up for a neighbor, I grabbed the whole thing and took it to my work area. How cool is that?
I also used more blue painters tape to tape the loose ends of the ribbon down. I love blue tape. :-)
My six ribbon categories are from left to right:
- Plastic Curling Ribbon
- Non-Wired Craft ribbon
- Wired Project Ribbon
- Scrapbook Ribbon
- Thin Single Color Ribbon
- Wide Wired Decorating Ribbon
Note* Please read your cement package to find out how much water and drying time your project will actually need.
Note* To be honest, I was going to do the work and have the kids take pictures of the process, but they said I was too slow and too worried about making a mess so they revolted and made me get out of the way. That is the truth.