I’ve never really considered myself to be artistic but I do enjoy being crafty at times. “Crafty” has basically two meanings:
- Clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods.
- of, involving, or relating to the making of decorative objects and other things by hand.
While I think I have a decent grasp of both disciplines it’s the latter that I’m talking about in this instance. I know what some of you may be thinking, “Wow, Cribsy must really have his chestnuts in a jar if he’s willing to ‘craft’.”I take umbrage with that line of thinking in general, and want to start with a word or two about what I think makes a man a “real man”. As dedicated readers already know, we live in a relatively well-to-do Houston suburb. Around here, one could be forgiven for assuming the equation for serious manliness breaks down something like this:
(F250 + sports team sticker + lift kit) X steakwhiskey / AR-15 = MAN
I humbly submit that the above equation really equals “emotionally stunted fratguy wannabe”. If this resembles you, I apologize….to your wife. Being a man is about the day in day out need to go out and kill something to provide for your family. It’s about being a good role model for your kids and someone your significant other loves and respects. It’s about being responsible, thoughtful, slow to anger, and quick to play Candyland with your 3 year old. “Real men” turn off the TV, dry dishes, read stories, and have no need measure their genitalia figuratively. So yes, I have no problems crafting when the situation calls for it. I’ll get off my soap-box now.
Personally, I enjoy a good foot massage. I enjoy a hard foot massage, maybe one that could be provided by someone beating my feet with round stones. Eureka! A stone bathmat would do just the trick! After searching the interweb I found several examples of kinda-sorta what I was looking for and decided that it did not require a degree in astrophysics to just DIY this deal. In fact, there are some good DIY instructions online for just such a mat.
- You gotta have a substrate. A base upon which to build. You can use a rubber door mat or something similar. There are a lot of options here. We used an old rubber desk blotter. To each his or her own. Our cost, zero.
- You gotta have drainage. Bust out the drill and put a bunch of holes in your base so water will go through it easily. In our case, we put this puppy right in the shower so the ability to drain was key. Remember not to glue over these holes later.
- You gotta have rocks. We bought decorative river rocks by the little bag at the dollar store. Total cost – 14$. There are other options here including 40lb bags of these rocks at the lumber yard. If you live near the ocean or a river maybe you could just go collect some. That would be a nice personal touch and a good excuse to spend some time outside.
- You gotta have glue. And not just any glue, but something that’s waterproof and flexible yet will stick to both your substrate and to tumbled rocks.
The rest is just assembly and letting the adhesive dry.
- Don’t be chintzy with the glue
- Put the rocks together in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and will be pleasing to your tired dogs. This means don’t leave tall pokey rocks in a sea of flat ones. That won’t be comfortable to step on at all.
- Consider that you need an escape route. Depending on how well you’ve done with placing your rocks this isn’t going to be something you want to stand on all day. It’s meant to be a bit uncomfortable. That’s where the massage part comes in. In our case there is plenty of shower to maneuver around in without standing on this mat. It’s there when you want it though.
- Be willing to adjust. Found you’ve placed a rock poorly? Rip that sucker out and put a new one down that’s more comfortable.
All told this only took us a few hours to put together and was very satisfying. The resulting mat is heavy but then that should be expected. It is after all, covered in rocks. I’ve taken several showers with it so far and really enjoy it. Personally, writing this up makes me think maybe I need a small one for my desk at work. It’s addictive…in a good way. Happy Crafting!