By Gabrielle. Photos and styling by Amy Christie.
It’s April! Are you ready to think about working in the yard yet? Maybe planting some flowers, doing some landscaping, setting up the hammock? I’m am for sure ready! In fact, last weekend we cleared out the shed. Every single thing. Bikes, tools, buckets, rakes, old lumber, dutch ovens, camping lanterns, unused tile, and on and on. We dusted and de-cobwebed. We re-ogranized. We free-cycled the building materials. We bought hooks to make use of the pegboard wall. The whole family helped!
And the entire time, my eyes kept going to the gardening tools. The trimmers and trowels and gloves and watering can. I’m craving yard work like crazy!
So when Amy Christie texted me a photo of some painted bricks she was creating for her garden, I said, “DIY please!”
I’m super delighted I get to share them with you, because I find them so darn happy-making. Can’t you just picture a little brick village nestled in among the flowers? Adorable!
I also love that this DIY is a great way to use-up extra materials — the random bricks and cinderblocks left over from earlier landscaping projects.
Before we collect the materials and get started, I’m curious. Do you find yourself gravitating toward little villages? The kind people put out at the holidays? Or even toy village sets? I love them! I feel like when I’m shopping for travel souvenirs, I’m drawn to items that reflect that local architecture. How about you?
Here’s what Amy says:
We found a small collection of random bricks in the backyard from the previous owner and of course, I had to use them somehow. It’s springtime here but I’m a bit impatient for the color to arrive. With a little paint and those random bricks, the children and I created a fun cityscape in my favorite hues — berry reds!
This project is ideal for children. The painting can be done OUTSIDE!!! Hooray! No elevated blood pressure here, wondering where the paint will end up. Also, painting bricks does not require precise painting. Again, hooray! Just let the kids paint. They will love it. An adult can go back later and add the details. There is no right or wrong and the details can be really, really simple.
Don’t have loose bricks laying around? Check a local home and garden stores and bring your little ones to help. There are so many options, they will definitely love picking out their own “houses”.
– collection of bricks or cinderblocks
– acrylic paints, colors for the brick, colors for the details
– paint pens, optional
– clear coat, optional
Make sure the bricks are dirt-free and dry. Paint the bricks. One coat is typically enough, if the paint is good quality. Add as many coats as you think necessary.
Use more paint (or a paint pen) to add house and building details. You can copy the ones I’ve made here, or design your own!
If you’re nervous, draw out the details on paper first for a reference. And don’t worry if you mess up — you can always repaint!
The last step is optional: If you’ll be using outdoors in a place they will be subjected to the elements, seal with a clear coat like a clear spray paint. Allow to fully dry.
Want to use them indoors? Use hot glue to attach felt on the bottom side or the bottom and back side to prevent the brick from scratching indoor surfaces.
Arrange and enjoy!
Oh my goodness. I love these! Thank you, Amy. I can picture these on a porch or patio or sunroom, constantly being rearranged — almost like outdoor building blocks for the kids. And I can picture them directly in the garden — like a little gnome village — with plants growing up around them.
I think the reds would look lovely in contrast with green plants, but I also think making these in a variety of colors would be a really fun way to add some excitement to a boring patch of the yard — maybe a shadowy spot where flowers don’t do as well.
If you make these, please send pics! I’m dying to see your creations. And I want to hear where you’d put them too!
Credits: Images, styling & text by Amy Christie.