Our Stealth Semi Inground Pool Story- Post 4

We were so busy enjoying our pool this summer I didn’t get around to showing you the area now that its completely finished. It was such a fun summer! Relaxing in the pool, surrounded by beautiful plants, left me feeling a bit like I’m in Florida instead of Tennessee. Sitting here on a cold January night makes me long for those days. I guess there isn’t a better time to reminisce about it then right now. So here we go!

Welcome to our pool!

To save money on fencing we ended up buying two huge bundles of raw cedar. We hand planed every single piece. This fence was my husband’s design. We incorporated cedar, cattle panel, and 4″ round fence posts. For the amount of fencing we installed, I can’t imagine being able to do it cheaper then this! It was a TON of work processing each piece of cedar by hand, but I think it will weather nicely and last a long time!

Here’s another look at all the fencing! We wanted to fence enough area to have three raised planter beds in the rocks, a fire pit and maybe one day a little pergola area.

Another thing we used that raw cedar for was to build this cute little pump house.

We wanted to make sure our pump and other equipment was out of the weather so it could last as long as possible.


Also from a design perspective, I really didn’t love the look of those big pumps out in the open. An added bonus, I have one more space to decorate!

My goal for this space was for it to be a tropical retreat.

A space where we could entertain, and feel like we were on vacation. Our natural environment, while beautiful, doesn’t lend itself to a tropical feel. So we did A LOT of landscaping.

We added big planters to hold our banana and palm trees.

I found all our outdoor furniture second hand on Facebook Marketplace! I could hardly believe my luck that all the pieces match even though they were bought at different times and from different people! I added the striped cushions from Walmart to pull everything together.

The stone we installed around the sides of the pool is holding up well!

Thank you for being patient and following along with this journey. From beginning to end this project took us about 6 months. We did everything ourselves with exception of the pool installation and the concrete. I’m still so thrilled that my dreams of having our very own pool came true!



$10 Concrete Pumpkins!

I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I saw a tiny thumbnail of what looked like concrete pumpkins. I clicked on the link but there was no descriptions or instructions on how to make them. In true Amanda fashion, I didn’t bother to search further. Instead I dove head first into the project. Later I found out that these pumpkins are a pretty popular idea! 


Here are the supplies I used for this project. Any concrete mix should work. Just be aware these bags are HEAVY and cumbersome. You might need help moving them around! 

I mixed half the bag of concrete at a time so it’s easier to work with. You could do even less if mixing by hand. Just add a little bit of water, mix, and add more water as needed. Ideally, you want the concrete to be pancake batter consistency. My husband has this neat concrete mixing tool for our drill, but you can definitely mix it by hand! It will give you a good arm workout . 🙂 

Using a trowel, I filled each pumpkin with concrete. This is a tedious process. You might find another tool (a big serving spoon?) to make this go a little faster!

I also collected a few sticks from the yard to work as stems for the pumpkins. I wanted them long enough to push down into the concrete but still have 3-4 inches sticking out of the top. 


This is what my first filled pumpkin looks like! Only a few more to go. 


So I was a little ambitious on my pumpkin buying. One 80 lb bag of concrete mix was only able to fill 3 pumpkins completely. I also filled a 4th pumpkin… only half way though before I ran out of concrete. It will be interesting to see how that one looks! 

When the concrete dries (mine took about 8 hours), you basically have a pumpkin shaped bowling ball! Getting them out proved to be a bit of a challenge. The method that worked the best for me was to score the sides of the plastic from top to bottom with a pocked knife in several places around the pumpkin. You will eventually be able to peel the plastic back like layers of an onion. Be careful not to cut yourself! 

What emerged were these AMAZING, heavy statues! I absolutely love them! You see that little half pumpkin…the one I was worried about? That one might be my favorite. If I was to do this project over again (which I might!) I would fill the pumpkins to random heights so I could have a fun variety of sizes.

Now is where your creativity begins. There are so many possibilities for these pumpkins. You could paint them. You could add moss to the top by the stem. You use sandpaper to smooth out all the rough edges. Or you could chose to leave them completely au naturel! The sky’s the limit! I chose to use liming wax. I didn’t want them white, but I was hoping for a lighter hue then the plain concrete. The liming wax will also wear really well outdoors which is important when you live in a rainy, humid state like we do! 

Alas, these cuties are ready for porch duty! 

I think for the month of September I will keep the plain side facing out. For October, I might turn them around to show the jack-o-lantern! 

Ahh little half pumpkin, you have my heart!  It’s just so darn sweet! If you haven’t seen this DIY before, I hope you guys will try it out. It’s such a cost effective way to decorate outdoors for fall. And the best part, these pumpkins will last for years to come!