Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Hanging Plant Basket

One of my first pins on Pinterest was this DIY hanging plant "container".  I had been looking to hang a plant in our front bay window for a while, but didn't want to fork over some cash for a store bought one.  So I was excited when I found out that I could easily make one.

  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Small bowl (I got a white IKEA 365+ for $2.99)
  • 8 yards of piping-like ribbon (the original used climbing or cotton rope, but I couldn't find a color I liked) *Depending on how low or high you want your plant to hang will determine your actual yards.
  • Plant
  • Tiny rocks
  • Extra soil (if needed)

First, cut your ribbon (or rope) into 8 equal pieces.

Then tie all the pieces together (this will be the bottom of the hanging "container") and divide them up into sections of two.

Step 3: Measure out 2.5 inches from the bottom and tie a double not for one sections of two.  It might be useful to have someone around to use the ol' "press down your finger on the knot while I tighten" trick.  Otherwise, you'll have to use your foot, fingers, and mouth like I did.  I probably looked like I was doing some weird yoga move or something. 

Do this for each section of 2

Now, separate the first sections of two and pair it with the pieces of ribbon next to it.  This is what helps create the "web" part that will hold the bowl in place.  I measured out 2 inches from the first set of knots and repeated Step 3.

Repeat the measuring and tying step one more time and you have a hanging plant container.  Tie the ribbon near the very top to allow it to be hung.  Time to add the plant.  I put some small pebbles at the bottom of the bowl to help with drainage, placed the plant in, and filled the rest of the bowl with potting soil. 

I think it adds a little more color to the room. I am pleased with the results.  I planned on making three all together, but I think I like the one - at least for now.

Where do you hang your plants?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Hanging Towels

I just wanted to share what I started over Easter break and finished yesterday in between church, hunting for Easter baskets, and eating tons of food.  My Gram's birthday and my godmother's birthday is in April, so I told them I'd make an Easter hanging towel for them.  I had four towels, so I was able to make 8 all together.  Only five are shown:

Since I last made the shamrock one, I did find out that I can make a buttonhole with my sewing machine.  However, I can't find the manual so I still don't know how to use it.  So I'm still sewing snaps on the towels like I did here.  I did figure out that I can sew the button on at the same time as the snap, so that made it MUCH easier than the first time I did it.  I actually like the snaps and will probably keep with it even if when I do figure out how to use it.

I gave all of them away as gifts, except for one.  I think they turned out just springy :)

I hope that you all had a blessed Easter !

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Friday, April 6, 2012

Adding Some Color

I like the fact that the previous owners "bricked" the whole back patio. It's nice and easy to care for.  However, there is no color - no grass, no flowers, no nothing.  That's what I'm working on this summer.  Color.

My first addition was to our gates.  The gates are BORING.

While at JoAnn Fabrics I picked up two plant hooks for about $10.20 for both of them.  They were 40% off and I used my teacher discount.  Then, while at Wal-Mart a few days later, I picked up two hanging planter baskets for about $4 for both.  They were very cheap.  Then, a few more days later I picked up some flowers at Lowe's.

Kerry helped to put up the hooks on the gate ends.  The plant hooks came with screws, so we used those.  One screw head broke just as Kerry finished putting it in, but it didn't effect the sturdiness, so we let it go.

The gates already look fancier with the hooks!

I had some garden soil left over from filling up the garden bed, so I used that to fill the planter in.  Once the flowers were in, I hung them up:

Some more pretty flower shots:

The addition of the hanging baskets has already added some nice color to the patio.  Next on the list: bright pots, hanging pots on the fence, and a raised flower bed. So much to do !

How do you add outside color to your home?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You Got Served

I will admit - I can be a dumpster diver. Not the real dumpster diver, but the kind of person that, on a walk, might see someone put their unused stuff out and finds a hidden gem.  I hate seeing good stuff go to waste.  In the 11 months that we have lived here, we have given a new home to an IKEA Billy bookcase, three practically brand-new Sterilite storage tubs, three unopened boxes of Christmas lights, and a bamboo serving tray.  I can't help it.  Maybe there's a dumpster diver anonymous somewhere out there for people like me.  

Anyway, this brings me to the bamboo serving tray that was sneak-peaked in my wicker set redo.  Last summer I had been looking for a cheap tray that I could fix up when the renters across the street peaced out and left a TON of stuff on the curb for the trash man.  Inconspicuously as I could, I tiptoed walked over to the curb to see what goodies I could find and noticed the tray. Score !  I nabbed it and brought it in my house where it laid under my couch until this past week.  

  • Something to cut with
  • Something to measure with
  • Something to write with
  • Choice color of spray paint
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Sand paper (if needed)
  • Resin (I used EnviroTex Lite)
  • Something to mix the resin in and with (I used a plastic cup and popsicle stick)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge (or some type of craft glue)
  • Sponge paint brush

First, I roughed up the edges of the tray with sandpaper to make sure the primer stayed on.  Then I sprayed the tray with the primer.  I let it dry for a day.  Then I sprayed one even coat of the Key Lime paint.  I let that dry for a day.

The Key Lime color is JUST the color I wanted to brighten up the patio.

After it was finished drying, I put the paper in the tray part. I fit the paper in to see where I needed to cut.  I cut - and then I placed the paper in... and it didn't fit :-/ 

Somehow I measured wrong, so now the design had to be slightly altered. I didn't follow the age old rule: measure twice, cut once. Oops !

Next, I put a circle of Mod Podge in the middle and spread it out with the sponge brush.  I let it sit and dry and weighed it down with a book to make sure it stayed flat.

In order to cover up the parts that didn't match, I used some green ribbon to line the edges. 

I measured (better this time) and cut the ribbon to fit the perimeter of the inside of the tray. I used clear Elmer's glue to glue the ribbon.  It looked good !

After that was all fairly dry, I started the resin.  Just follow the directions.  You have to mix equal parts resin and hardener into a clean container.

After mixing for about 1-2 minutes, I immediately poured it onto the tray.  I needed more resin, so I quickly made more (so about a whole blue cup of resin was used) and poured that as well.  I used the stick to sort of swirl it/spread it evenly around the tray.  Then I laid it on a flat surface to evenly dry.

Let dry for about 3 days before placing anything on the resin.
Now, one thing that I didn't think of was whether or not the resin would seep through the cracks of the tray.  The next morning when I went to pick it up, it was stuck to the coffee table !  Thankfully I was able to pry it off with minor damage to the table.  Phew ! 

Just remember to put something protective under whatever you are filling with resin, in the event it seeps through a tiny crack or hole.

Final results:

After ALL that work, it turned out amazing !  I love the colors and the design of the tray.

I'm excited for the next time we entertain so I can use it !

What have you done with your dumpster diving gems?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Upgraded Wicker Patio Set

In November, Kerry's parents gave us this nice wicker patio set:

We needed something to sit, set down a cool drink, and relax on so we were excited about it.  I was fine with the white because it brightened up the patio...until I saw this set at Lowe's.  

I just LOVE the green cushions !!  And the color of the chairs.  I had to have it...but the price just wasn't right... yet... and we have a nice set already.  So, I decided to upgrade the white with Krylon Outdoor Spaces Hammered Finish spray paint.

I had some old wood pieces and an old shelf that I used to put the wicker love seat and table on when I sprayed them.  

Since the wicker is a little porous (the white was primer/paint so I didn't have to prime first.  Otherwise, you'll have to prime if the wicker is its original color) and interwoven with lots of space in between, it took three cans of paint to do the love seat and one for the table.
The color is slightly lighter and a bit more metallic than I had imagined, but the results are great:

One of my summers project will be to find some fun green fabric and make a cushion for the love seat.

This was a pretty simple project, especially since I didn't have to sand or prime.  I'm pleased with the results and can't wait for a sunny day to sit and relax.

What patio furniture have you repurposed? 

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get Your Newspaper...Pots, That Is !

I finally finished tearing up the patio enough to make a raised garden bed.  Last year we bought one that links together and just put it on top of the patio - it just didn't work out too well.  I think it needed to be deeper.  So I pulled up one layer of bricks, stacked the bricks to make a wall, and now I have a garden bed.

So I know that I'm a bit late on starting my seeds, but better late than never.  Two years ago my friend had mentioned that she made newspaper pots that can easily be put straight into the ground.  So I searched the web and found a video on making them.  I didn't want can size pots. I felt that was a bit too big.  I thought and then vaguely remembered my friend saying that she used toilet paper tubes to make the pots.  I didn't think that it would be much different than the video instructions, so I went with the tube. 

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • News paper
  • Toilet paper tube (or paper towel tube cut in half)
  • Seeds of choice
  • Dirt

First, I measured and then cut the news paper into 10 X 4 inch strips.

Second, I rolled the newspaper around the tube.  Make sure to leave about a 1/2 to 3/4 inch past the bottom of the roll.  You'll need this to fold in to make the bottom.

Third, I folded the bottom.  First, locate where the seam is.  You'll want to fold this part down first to help keep it together.  Once you fold that part down, fold the opposite side, and then the other two sides.  Sometimes I had to cup the bottom and press the tube to help make the bottom stay (that was in the video).  I also used my scissors to press down the folded parts from the inside to make sure that it stayed flat.

Once I did all that, I had a beautiful, little, decomposable pot for planting my seeds:

The rest is just planting history:  I put the pots in a tin casserole dish, filled them with dirt, put in my seeds, covered with dirt, labeled with popsicle sticks, watered them, and put them in the sun all day.  

Once it's completely warm enough and the sprouts are big enough, I'll just plant the WHOLE thing into the garden - newspaper pot and all.

Can't wait to see the first sprout!

How do you start out your seedlings?  In peat pots? In eggs? In plastic containers?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !