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I've got all my fence sections done and painted and I'm thinking of making a pair of columns for either side of my sidewalk, nothing to fancy. I'm guessing they are just a frame of 1X2s covered with styrofome then painted. I have a couple of big blow mold pumpkins I wanted to put on top, the pumpkins are about 17 inch diameter and about 2 feet tall. Thanks. Also, how to you keep them from blowing over?? I thought about making the frame from PVC and then sliding it over rebar like the fence.
 

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The quickest and easiest columns are made using sonotube (10" or 12"), painted with latex paint and distressed with watered down black paint, then placed on a 12" square concrete paver and capped with a 12" square concrete paver. The weight of the paver on top will add enough stability that they will not blow over. If you want a fancier look, you can use a larger sonotube and two different sizes of concete pavers stacked on one another.

The best part of this design is that you can literally set it up in your local Home Depot or Lowes and tweak the sizes of the sonotube and pavers until you get the look you want. Find the sonotubes in the concrete area, and the pavers in the garden center.
 

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I think i would buy some blue styrofoam insulation panels. Rip them to your desired dimensions on a table saw (carefully) and then glue them with liquid nails or Great Stuff (it won't eat away the foam). Also cut a top and bottom to fit ,then, before you seal the columns in (with tops and bottoms) weight them with bricks, soil or bags of playsand so they don't blow over. Paint with fleck stone paint (in the can) or similar spray paint and VOILA! instant pillars to your specs. They are also pretty sturdy and can take a bit of a load as well. That blue styro is a great halloween prop builder's dream! To give the blue foam panels a "weathered" look, you can use acetone (nail polish remover) and a small brush and spatter the acetone (sparingly) onto the panels. The acetone will dissolve small portions of the foam, depending on how much you have sprayed onto the panels, and give the panel a beaten and weathered feel. Once you paint the panels, you'd swear they were the real deal.
 

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The quickest and easiest columns are made using sonotube (10" or 12"), painted with latex paint and distressed with watered down black paint, then placed on a 12" square concrete paver and capped with a 12" square concrete paver. The weight of the paver on top will add enough stability that they will not blow over. If you want a fancier look, you can use a larger sonotube and two different sizes of concete pavers stacked on one another.

The best part of this design is that you can literally set it up in your local Home Depot or Lowes and tweak the sizes of the sonotube and pavers until you get the look you want. Find the sonotubes in the concrete area, and the pavers in the garden center.
Thank you for a great and simple column idea -- I've been wanting a couple of tall columns for my cemetery and these fit the bill perfectly!!!
 

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OK.. so my columns are shown in one of the links provided above... my question this year, is how do I keep them from killing a 20" x 20" area of my lawn this year?? the wife was not too happy with the dead grass issue, but simply placing them on the driveway won't work either... I'm thinking maybe just propping the corners up with some small brick blocks... I'll still have dead spots, but much smaller...

any thoughts?
 

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You're out of luck unless you can move them to a different area every day. The fact is, if you block all sunlight from an area of grass, it is going to die. The good news is, with proper spring treatment, new grass can be grown over the dead grass very quickly. Scott's Turf Builder for the win. We used it on all our dead patches and a few weeks later you would have never known the grass had died.
 
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