This shrine for the Blessed Virgin Mary is actually fairly easy to construct, using, concrete blocks, stucco, and Mexican tile.






The first step, of course, is to level a spot. This shrine is six blocks wide and three blocks deep.





The next step is to start the blocks up the sides. These are half blocks. The blocks up the back are normal thickness.





Next a garden arch is was put over the blocks. It was cut down to the correct height. The arch was then covered with concrete reinforcing wire, and contractor’s mesh.  (Normally, you’d wait to put the statue in and tiles on, but I didn’t get the shrine finished in time for the Immaculate Conception, so I put the statue on, and it looked nice as a platform.)





Small pieces of thin, composite lumber (fencing) were screwed behind the mesh to hold it together and give some stability and backing for the tile and stucco. This is a rather rough option, and something else could be used instead.





Then the whole arch is covered with a thin layer of concrete stucco. However, before the top is actually completely covered, the tile need to be fixed to the front. You will see why.







The tiles are glued on with tile adhesive. They were slipping, so I tied a pice of twine around them, putting the twine up through the top. That is why you must put the tiles on before closing in the top completely.






Make sure tiles are arranged just right, and fill in spaces with stucco.







Next, the inside is also covered (sides only) with contractor’s mesh, and then stuccoed. The hollow parts in the back were filled in with a couple more blocks, contractor’s mesh, and then tiled.

Blocks are set across the front, and serve as a planter!


















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