Sometimes garden art comes out of necessity. My need was to get rid of a 10+ year collection of nail polish. Over the last few years, I've veered away from having my nails painted all the time, and when I do paint, I now buy all the harsh-chemical free brands. So how am I going to dispose of all this old nail polish?
I can't just throw the bottles away into a landfill (that's not very earth friendly), and I can't put them in the recycle bin until they're empty. So how can I empty them? Sure I've used my nail polish to paint wood beads a number of times, but I don't think there are enough beads in the world to use up all my bottles, plus, painting beads takes forever! I need something faster.
So one day while watering my plants in the front garden, I was struck with inspiration. How about I paint these ugly grey cinder blocks? So that's what I did. Believe it or not, I painted 4 blocks & I STILL have nail polish to spare - guess I need to go buy some new blocks.
I did this last month in the blazing 100+ August heat of South Texas - the bad side, it was frickin hot - the good side, it was dry enough to let the nail polish fully cure over night. Here's how I did it.
Plain grey cinder blocks or bricks (mine are single hole blocks)
Ton's of old crappy nail polish
Tilt your block up on to some rocks - drizzle & swizzle nail polish one side at a time - let dry. Done :o)
This is the basket of polish I needed to get rid of.
This is the box of empty bottles that I could now recycle.
On my first block, I started out by drizzling on layers of color on the top. As I got more & more into it, I preferred to work on the sides first. I think the best results came when I dumped a bunch of paint on the side, then brushed it out with the brush to create a painted, solid color background. Sometimes I painted the background with a few colors. Then I went over the background with drizzles. Originally I started out trying to coordinate all may blocks colors - reds with reds, pinks with pinks, oranges & bronzes... I quickly realized that my color palette of polishes were not enough to do 4 sides and a top using the same 3-5 bottles/colors, so I just went all out & did each side different. It's hard to say how many bottles it took to do one block because I would save certain "pop-out" colors (like white & turquoise) to drizzle on each one for more interest. If I had to guess, I'd say I used 5-10 bottles per block.
Here they are all done. Obviously I haven't planted the centers of them all (hence the pots on top). I quickly realized that my sage was not happy with me that I decided to transplant him in the middle of August! He quickly flipped me the bird & said - I'm not growing any more lady - it's too frickin hot! He's still alive & I have hopes that we will get some cooler weather & some autumn rains soon - then maybe he will forgive me & begin to fill out again.
PS. I did end up painting some beads & bead disks as well. I just couldn't help myself.