The Great Garden Mandalas

The Great Garden Mandalas

Local homeowner adds visual interest to her fence with DIY project

By Karla Hollencamp

Who says that you can’t enjoy flowers outside all year long? Homeowner Kim Bramlage’s creative use of art adds color and visual texture to her Harrison Township garden, allowing her to enjoy her yard no matter the season.

Where did she get the notion?

“The idea came from seeing on the internet privacy fences painted with big flowers or scenes. They were so cool, freehand. I decided I wanted designs that would make sense to see all seasons. I didn’t want to look at sunflowers in the middle of winter when snow was on the ground. I love mandalas. They are meditative and fun and the possibilities are endless for designs and colors, other things.” How did she do it? “I used my sister’s old-fashioned overhead projector (think elementary school) and printed the designs I found online onto clear transparency sheets. Once it got dark, I put the projector outside and adjusted the size depending on the design and location.”

Homeowner Kim Bramlage

What materials did she use?

“I use outdoor latex paint, DecoArt brand. Hobby Lobby carries it but I also ordered recently direct from their website. Obviously, black for the outlines and then it’s basically like coloring in a coloring book, only with paint. I used a set of six to eight colors for all of them, but tried to make each one a bit different, depending on the pattern and design. “

How long did it take?

“Takes me a lot of time. I go over each one with several coats and then clean up all the black lines. The wood is rough and takes more effort. The plastic fence was a lot easier. Once they are all painted the way I want them, I use spray clear coat sealant, a couple of coats. “

How long do they last?

“The first ones I did three years ago are getting a bit faded with a few chips. I may have to touch up.”

What does she enjoy about them?

“Painting them is truly art therapy for me. Very relaxing to color on my big canvas, listen to the birds. When I started on the first one, the smaller red one, the hummingbirds would come right next to me to the feeds just to the left. It was magical to be at their level, just holding still for minutes at a time, watching those fascinating birds!”

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