DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
Crystals and succulents have become some of my latest obsessions. Both are naturally beautiful and when put together make for a breathtaking combination. This has sparked my latest project- making my own mini crystal + succulent garden. I decided to start small with this project and hope to add to it and create larger arrangements as I collect more crystals and succulents. I recommend that you trust your gut with this project and simply follow your intuition when selecting and placing your succulents and crystals.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Supplies Needed

• Succulent plants
• Crystals
• Planter
• Potting Soil

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

First select your succulents and begin visualizing an arrangement within your planter. When you are ready, fill your planter about half way with potting soil and begin placing each succulent into the pot, filling in with more soil where necessary.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Next, gather your crystals and begin placing them around your succulents. Remember to let your intuition be your guide and arrange your crystals in a way that feels meaningful to you.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Once you’ve finished, find a sunny spot in your home for your mini crystal succulent garden to glisten and grow.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

I’ve recently gone through some major life changes, one of them being a complete overhaul and reorganization of my home. I had piles and piles of ‘stuff’ accumulated over the years that was literally taking over my space and my life. Making room for a new roommate was the perfect motivation for me to sort through and get rid of stuff and it feels so good to say goodbye to ‘the pile’ and start fresh.

Now that my life feels back in order, I can make time for some new decor ideas for my home. The first thing I wanted to do fill my new bedroom with hanging plants in the window. I spied a lovely Boston Fern at the grocery store and brought it home on a whim. Macrame is one of my favorite craft activities, since I already have the supplies on hand and a hanging planter is a fairly simple project to take on. I decided to use precut strips of jersey (t-shirt) material that I had in my stash for this project, but you can also recycle an old t-shirt by cutting it up into strips.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Supplies Needed

• Jersey (t-shirt) fabric, cut into strips
• Wooden beads
• Scissors
• Ruler or measuring tape
• House plant
• Hook (to hang the plant from)

Cut your t-shirt material into 1.5″ strips (you’ll need 8-12 strips total), then stretch each strip into round cords (if you pull on both ends and stretch the fabric strip it will roll itself into a cord naturally).

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Take 8 strips and tie them together into one big knot as shown below. I chose to use two different colors of blue jersey fabric.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Group your cords into 4 sets of 2 and tie a knot in each set. To determine where I should tie the first knots, I first measured the radius of the bottom of my plant pot, then divided that number in half (my pot radius was about 6″ so I tied my first knots 3 inches below the first big knot).

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Next separate your sets again into twos as shown in the photo below and tie knots again, approx. 3″ below the first set.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Repeat the last step to make a third row of knots. At this point you can stretch your macrame around your plant pot and adjust any knots if necessary. To finish, simply gather all your cords together and tie into one big knot at the top to finish.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

But I tried my own variation…

You may have noticed that the cords look too short in the photo above to complete the hanger. Inspired by this image, I decided to change cord colors to finish the top of the hanger. To do this, I loosened the last row of knots and inserted a purple cord though the knot, then tightening securely.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Use scissors to trim the extra blue cord to 2-3″ long.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Next I added beads to the purple cords, using an awl (bookbinding tool) to help feed the cords through the bead holes. I also added wooden beads to the bottom of the big knot for some extra flair.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Finally, I stretched my completed macrame hanger around the plant pot, pulled the purple cords up and tied a knot at the top. To hang, install a screw-in hook into your ceiling.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

May DIY Challenge Results!

This month’s DIY Challenge theme has reached full bloom, and we’re very excited to share a roundup of submissions we received from our readers. With a theme like ‘flowers’ you know you’re gonna have some fun. Without further ado, here are the May DIY Challenge Award Winners along with the gallery of everyone’s lovely submissions…

DIY Challenge Award: Brightest Idea

The award for “Brightest Idea” goes to Lori Miller of Eldridge, Iowa. Lori is a fine art fiber artist and loves transforming cast-off sewing materials into something new. You can see more of Lori’s work on her website.

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

As I am always seeking ways to turn the cast-offs into some type of treasure, I came up with a variation of the zipper pin. The idea is not my own originally but I modified it to make a more fresh, funky flower design. Combinations of colors was fun as well as the different type of zippers. – Lori Miller

DIY Challenge Award: Most Inspired

We were “Most Inspired” by Gail Griffin’s handmade foam lilies. Gail is from Millersville, Maryland where she teaches crafty classes and creates various projects for her blog, Plum Perfect and Me. Check out Gail’s step-by-step tutorial and have fun making your own foam flowers!

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

DIY Challenge Award: Most Treasured

This beautiful handmade journal deserves the “Most Treasured” award because it is almost too gorgeous to write in! Made by Nikki, the creator of Venus Envy Paper. Nikki used K & Company scrapbook paper to create this book and used the coptic binding technique. As a lifelong journal writer, she loves that her handmade journals have the ability to lie completely flat, for easy writing. Be sure to check out Nikki’s Etsy shop where she sells handmade wax seals, custom journals, paper flowers and more!

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

I specialize in making custom art journals, paper flowers and wax seals. I live in a smallish (read growing way too fast) town in Northern California. I am a proud sci/fi nerd and have adopted six homeless cats. Or I should say, they decided I was going to be their human servant for the rest of their natural multiple lives. I am most passionate about creating journals that will last not for the moment, but for generations. – Nikki

Flowers Gallery

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

Credits (left to right):

1. Homegrown Lollipop Flowers by Stephanie Rose from Vancouver BC, Canada
2. Field of Flowers Tote by Donna Heron
3. Mixed Media Collages by Becky Brooks from Issaquah, Washington
4. DIY Flowers On A Stick by Despina from Greece
5. Painted Sunflowers by Madison Lee from Southern California

Thank you for participating in the May DIY Challenge! We will be taking a break for the month of June but we’ll be back with our next DIY Challenge theme in July!

DIY: The Simplest Paper Flowers

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A while back my friend Susan made a bunch of simple paper flowers that found a home on a shelf in my store.

Every few weeks a kid would ask me about the flowers, and I would give them one and tell them to take it home and try to figure out how to make their own. Without fail the kid would stare at the flower until it was time to leave, and I could see the parents trying to work out what materials they needed to make it happen.

Sometimes they asked me to demonstrate, but mostly I just loved the idea that I had inspired a kiddo to use their imagination and ingenuity to make something fun.

I think this is a great project to do with kids of all ages, and you just need a few simple supplies to make it happen.

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Supplies

• Scrap Paper – Anything from text weight paper, to light weight card stock will work. Big pieces will make big flowers, small pieces will make small flowers. Susan used some old book pages for her flowers, you could use wrapping paper, catalog pages, or anything really!
• Scissors
• Your favorite glue – I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue but Elmer’s would also work.

Step 1

Cut an oval out of your piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to keep the corners rounded.

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Step 2

Starting from one side, cut the oval into a spiral. You should have a pointed end on the outside, and a rounded end on the other.

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Step 3

Take the pointed end, and fold it down toward the center of the spiral.

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Step 4

Starting at that fold, begin rolling the paper into a flower shape.

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Step 5

When you get to the center portion of the spiral, tighten the bloom up by twisting the paper around the folded piece.

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Step 6

Hold the bloom in your hand, and apply a drop of glue to the folded portion you started the flower with, then

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fold it over and hold it for a few seconds until the glue holds.
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The whole process takes a couple of minutes, and gives you a lovely simple flower to brighten up your day. You can put them in a basket, like I did, hang them like a mobile, or decorate a table with them. They don’t fade, and the possibilities are endless!

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So make a bunch and send us a picture of your creation for the DIY Craft Challenge this month! Or share your favorite flower craft.

DIY: Simple Flowers from Old T-Shirts + Free Templates


I’ve been in a major cleaning and organization mood, so most of my projects have been focused on “using up” materials I have around. One giant project used a bin full of old printed t-shirts (I’ll show you when I’m done!) and I ended up with so many colorful t-shirt scraps that I over-ran my rag box. I decided it was a perfect time to combine those scraps, and the May DIY Challenge theme to make some simple jersey flowers.

After playing with the fabric for a day or two, I came up with two basic flower-making methods that you can use to make a whole army of blossoms.

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Supplies

• T-Shirt or jersey scraps
• Fabric scissors and paper scissors
• Needle and thread
• These printed template files : Stitch & Draw-up Petal Template, Pinch & Piece Petal Template

Optional Extras

• Shredding scissors, or other decorative edging scissors
• Straight pins
• Buttons
• Felt for leaves and backing. I used wide grosgrain ribbon.
• Pin-backs, bobby pins, or other clips to attach to the back
• Fabric Paints, or floss, or other decorating tools.

The Stitch & Draw-up Method

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This is by far the quickest way I made flowers, and was also especially useful for adding details to the center of other flowers, or for making the smallest simplest bonus blooms to add to a flower bunch. The template includes two example petal shapes to play with, and a feathered shape that I used for a center detail. It works with basically any shape you want to use, though, so be sure to try your own ideas for rows of petals.

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Step One

Cut the template shape out of a piece of jersey. (This is from the arm of a t-shirt.)

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Then stitch a loose line starting close to one edge and ending close to the other.

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Step Two

Put a stitch through the end you started on, to pull it into a ring.

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Step Three

Pull both ends of the thread to gather the fabric into a round shape. Make sure the extra puckered fabric from below your stitch line if on one side of the flower.

Step Four

Take a couple more stitches through the puckered side of the flower (which will be the back side, tie your favorite knot, and cut the thread.

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Step Five

Flip the flower over and add a button or other decoration. You can also stitch a clip or pin to the back side.  I put a button in the center of this one by stitching through the middle of the bloom,

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and added a couple of leaf-shaped pieces and a piece of ribbon to the back, by stitching them through the back of the petal.

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Voila, a quick simple flower that I can use on a package, as a pin, or in my hair. (Or all of the above.)

The Pinch & Piece Method

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This method takes a little more work, but I loved the way it makes a fuller and more complicated flower shape. I’ve given you four petal shapes to try on the template– each with a different number of petals per flower– but you can try all sorts of shapes for different results.

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Step One

Cut the indicated number of petal pieces out of jersey material. For this flower, I also used the “Center Detail” piece from the other template page to create a fuzzy center for my flower (shown above in dark purple.)

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Step Two

Stitch a loose line across the middle of each the petal (shown as a dotted line on the template) starting close to one edge and ending close to the other.

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Put a stitch through the end you started on, and pull to gather the fabric.

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Step Three

Bend the petal piece in half, and put a stitch in the fold. Then do the same to each petal to connect them all together. Tighten them together, and tie a knot at the first petal.

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Step Four

Wrap your thread between each petal  section to draw the center together and fluff the petals out. Then stitch through the back of the flower, & tie off the thread using your favorite knot. For the center on this flower, I used the “Stitch and Draw-up” method on my dark purple center detail piece, and then sewed through it and the center of my bloom. I attached a leaf shape and a piece of ribbon to the back like my first flower, and used that to bobby pin it in my hair.

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I’ve started flipping through my flower books for inspiration, and I love the flexibility and the whimsy of using old t-shirts like this.

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Soft, sweet, flowers.

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Remember that if you do this or any other flower project, send us a picture to enter the May DIY Craft Challenge.

DIY: 8 Watercolor Inspired Projects

Since the theme for this month’s April DIY Challenge is watercolor, we decided to dig through our archives to find our favorite watercolor inspired posts. We hope you’ll enjoy revisiting these ideas!

1. DIY Watercolor Affirmation Cards

DIY: Watercolor Affirmation Cards #tutorial

2. DIY Watercolored Business Cards

Watercolored Business Cards

3. DIY Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

4. DIY Appearing Leaf Drop-Dyed Tissue
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5. DIY Hand-Dyed Paper Flowers

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6. DIY Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

7. DIY: Tie-Dye Tissue Paper

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8. Free Printable Watercolor Gift Wrap

gift-packaging-eye-pillow-1

DIY: Easter Inspiration

Easter is just a few days away we’re soaking up some inspiration in preparation for Sunday. I usually keep things pretty simple on Easter. Fresh flowers, dyed eggs, brunch and an easter treat are my favorite ways to celebrate. This year I’m hoping to make something new and even start a new easter tradition. How will you celebrate?

DIY: Easter Inspiration #recipes #craft

1. Bunny Topiary Wreath by The House That Lars Built
2. Egg Shell Candles by PunchBowl
3. Flower Napkins by Source Unknown
4. Bird Nest Votives by NaturKinder
5. Pussy Willow Wreath by Better Homes & Gardens
6. Easter Place Cards by Casa e Trend
7. Sugar Cookie Easter Egg Nests by Lovely Little Kitchen
8. Hot Cross Buns by Delia Online
9. Easter Egg Planter by Angenuity

SHOW + TELL: Gift Card Mosaic Letters

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With one week before our March DIY Challenge deadline, we thought we’d throw a little more inspiration your way! This letter project incorporates a bunch of our favorite things – thriftiness, recycling, bright colors, and kiddos! Here’s what Deb shared…

Hi. I’m Deb DiSalvo and I live in Dublin, Ohio. I’m excited to share with you a letter project that I taught with a group of elementary school kids. I was teaching a recycled arts and crafts class after school with kids in the 3rd and 4th grade. Over the years, I had accumulated hundreds of used gift cards. I am an avid Starbucks coffee drinker and loved the designs on their gift cards. I started saving them and had friends and co-workers saving their used gift cards for me as well. I came up with the idea of having each child cut out the letter of their first name. I helped with this part and cut the letters using heavy cardboard for the base of this project. I, along with the kids, cut up the used gift cards in various shapes and sizes and then glued the shapes onto the letter to create a mosaic look. It was such a good way to use the colorful gift cards and the kids had a great time coming up with their own style mosaic letter.
The kids are so excited that I submitted this project. They are so proud of their work and should be!

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I bought the thickest cardboard I could find in the art section of the craft store (Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s sell this), drew the letters and cut them out using an xacto knife.

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We used heavy duty craft scissors to cut the gift cards.

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We used turbo tacky glue to glue the cut up gift cards to the cardboard. Double sided mounting tape works as well.

 

 

Well, we’ve been working on Letter projects all month, and now we’re inspired to do more! How about you?

DIY: Scrap Paper Ironwork Letter

IMG_6993I’ve been playing with black card stock a lot lately, which deposited a nice collection of paper scraps in my “use it this week or dump it” pile. I decided to use the Diy Craft Challenge as an inspiration to use them, and play with another thing that’s been catching my eye– quilling. (Although, in typical fashion I looked up a couple of tutorials on You Tube, promptly forgot what I learned, and did things my own way.)

Supplies

• A 5×7 Frame without glass, painted black to match the paper
• A print of a favorite letter, sized to fit inside the frame (I printed my letter backwards using a setting on my printer called “emulsion side up”. It works just fine to print it the right way round, you just might have to erase your tracing paper lines.)
• Black paper (I used 100# Cardstock)
• Tracing paper
• A piece of cork to pin to (A cork trivet like this works, or a bulletin board or pinning board. Styrofoam also works in a pinch.)
• Straight pins
• A few toothpicks
• Tacky glue
• A craft knife and ruler

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First I measured the depth of the frame, and cut a bunch of strips of paper that width using a craft knife and scissors.

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I cut the paper against the grain so that it would curl as evenly as possible. (Grain is very important, especially when working with thicker papers. For a little more about grain, and to find the grain on the paper you are using, check out yesterday’s post.) You will use less of the paper than you think, but it’s better to have too many strips of paper than too few! (I used about 15 pieces of 8″ lengths for mine.)


I used tracing paper to trace my letter onto a larger piece of black card stock,

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then carefully cut it out with a craft knife.

IMG_6819Next step was to outline my letter with a strip of paper. I dipped a toothpick in a pond of glue and drew a light line of glue down the center of a strip of paper.

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Then I slowly wrapped the paper around the letter, holding the piece down to give it time to attach. At sharp angles I either folded the paper (if I could) or tore the strip and started a new one there. This task is finicky, but forgiving. I found that as long as I went slow and worked with the paper, it turned out fine.

IMG_6830I made sure to outline the whole letter, then I gave it a few minutes to rest and dry.


Once it was mostly dry, I moved to my cork backing. I used straight pins to firmly place my black frame so that it would not shift around on the cork, and decided where I wanted my letter to fit in.

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I applied glue with a toothpick all the places my letter touched the frame, then used pins to secure it as well. I set pins up against the letter wherever it felt like it might flex or slide.

Finnicky steps done, now to the decoration!


To make the various curls I used inside the frame, first I ran the strip against my nail to loosen it up a little. (Kind of like curling that terrible plastic curling ribbon) Then I wrapped it around a clean toothpick to get the size curl I wanted. I also played with folding then curling, curling multiple pieces, and curling different ways. I basically went curl crazy.

IMG_6867When I had a nice pile of curls to choose from, I was ready to place and glue them.

Gently I squeezed each curl in place, and used my glue-toothpick to apply glue to any place a curl touched another part of the piece. I left the space around the letter pretty open so that the R would stand out. When I had everything glued in, I let the whole thing sit for an hour to let the glue dry.

IMG_6985bI really love the way these turned out. They’re crafty, but classy, and they are now hanging in our guest room for our two most frequent guests.

I bet you can do even better! You still have a few days to enter our DIY Craft Challenge by March 30th.

DIY: 17 Easter Egg Ideas

Happy first day of Spring! Easter is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start experimenting with egg dying and decorating techniques! There are a million ways to decorate an Easter egg and today we are sharing a round up of ideas and techniques we are dying to try. So take inventory of supplies you might already have on hand, pick up a few special new tools to try, and spend a day decorating eggs that will make any bunny jealous!

DIY: 17 Easter Egg Ideas
1. Watercolor Easter Eggs by A Pumpkin & A Princess
2. Journal Easter Eggs by Alisa Burke
3. Humpty Dumpty Eggs by Confetti Sunshine
4. Pretty No-Dye Eggs by Better Homes & Gardens
5. Calligraphy Eggs by Bon Appetit
6. Naturally Dyed Eggs by The Kitchn
7. Spring Painted Eggs by A Creative Mint
8. Whipped Cream Dyed Eggs by My Baking Addiction
9. Nail Polish Marbled Eggs by Hello Natural
10. Message Stamped Eggs by Brit+Co
11. Galaxy Eggs by Jacks & Kate
12. Hand-Drawn Eggs by The Girl Creative
13. Paint Pen Eggs by Kaley Ann
14. Tie-Dye Eggs by HelloBee
15. Sprinkle Eggs by Studio DIY
16. Temporary Tatto Eggs by Krafts & Kiddos
17. Golden Marbled Eggs by She Knows