Easy DIY Holiday Planters

holiday planter 11

 

A quick way to spruce up your front porch during the holidays is to display a couple of festive planters. However, they can be quite pricey. So why not try to create your own this season for a fraction of the price?
You may already have most of the materials for this simple DIY… if not, all of the supplies can be found at any craft store or dollar store and some even in your back yard.

 

Materials

♦ 2 deep planters

♦ gravel (or large rocks)

♦ 6 wet floral foam blocks

♦ 8 evergreen tree branches of similar size. I like incorporating different types of tree branches, like spruce, pine, cedar, etc.

♦ festive decorations, such as large bows, red winterberries or holly, pine cones and ornaments.

 

holiday planter 4

Instructions

1. Place gravel at the bottom of the planter to give it some weight. This is especially useful if the planter will be placed outdoors and may risk being blown away by strong winter winds.

2. Add pre-soaked floral foam on top of gravel

3. Firmly place the base of the branches into the foam

4. Accessorize by adding festive decorations

 

holiday planter 2

 

A few helpful tips…

♦ Select a holiday decor style and colour scheme first. Whether it’s traditional, rustic, modern or eclectic, decide which style you like best, then gather the decorations that suit that style.
♦ Place the larger branches in the back of the planter first, then fill in the front.
Symmetry is key.

♦ Make sure that the planter is visually balanced with holiday decorations.

♦ Fill in the bald spots. Use smaller pieces of pine branches to fill in any empty areas, so that the planter looks full.

 

holiday planter 10

 

Happy holiday decorating!

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Holiday Feather Ornaments

feather feature

 

Gold and silver feather ornaments are increasing in popularity this Holiday season. So why not make your own thrifty version?

Try this simple DIY short-cut to give simple inexpensive craft feathers an elegant festive look.

 

 

Materials:

• Craft feathers, any color

• Gold and silver spray paint

• Thin craft wire

feather 8

 

Instructions:

1. Wrap a bit of craft wire around the quill of each feather and form a hook at the tip

2. Brush feather barbs with fingers against their natural direction to give them a ruffled look.

3. Spray paint both sides, including the quill

4. Hang the feathers by the hook on a dowel

5. Allow to dry for 10 minutes

 

feather 16

feather 15

feather 12

feather 9

 

Get creative…

Add some pizzazz to your feathers.

Spray paint them different colours. Make them two-toned, with both gold and silver or add some glitter on the tips before they dry.

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feather extra

feather 20 png

feather 19 png copyfeather on tree pin

Voila! The perfect addition to any Christmas tree.

I hope this post inspired you to make your own Holiday ornaments 😀

And while you’re here, be sure to check out 19 more Holiday craft ideas that can be found in this Canadian Bloggers Christmas Crafts Hop! Simply click on the links below to browse through all the wonderful creations.

Happy Decorating!

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Canadian-Bloggers-Christmas-Hop-2017-collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

AKA Design | Vinyet Etc. | The DIY Mommy | A Pretty Life

Sustain My Craft Habit | A Pretty Fix | Making it in the Mountains | The Learner Observer

BrooklynBerryDesigns | Country Parent | Craftberry Bush | Amidst the Chaos

northstory | Life is a Party | Pink Little Notebook | hodge:podge

This Mamas Dance | Rambling Renovators | Suburble | PMQ for two (not shown)

 

Venus Flytrap Halloween Terrarium

 

We were lucky enough this year to purchase a few Venus flytrap plants from our local grocery store.

The plants are small, only about 3 inches high. Nonetheless, they have a mesmerizing prehistoric look to them and are fascinating to watch while they trap their prey.

 

 

The kids enjoy feeding them all sorts of insects and to be honest I think these are the coolest plants ever!

 

Seeing that we love our new house pets, instead of just keeping them by the window sill, we decided to provide them with a special oasis worthy of their wickedness. We built them their own spooky terrarium.

Here’s how you can incorporate these fascinating carnivorous plants in your own Halloween decor too.

 

Materials

♦ Large glass bowl or vase (any shape)

♦ Plastic eyeballs
We found a headband with eyeballs that fit perfectly in our bowl.

♦ Plastic creepy crawlies and other Halloween decorations

♦ Potting soil
Make sure you choose a multi-use potting mix for tropical plants, a blend of peat moss, sand and perlite. Since Venus flytrap plants are carnivores, they get most of their nutrients from the insects they digest, so they do not need the extra nutrients found in regular potting soil. In fact to much nutrients will kill them!

♦ Moss
If you can’t find any in your back yard, you can purchase a small bag of green moss from the Dollar store.

venus flytrap halloween terrarium materials

Instructions

♦ Start by placing the eyeballs at the bottom of the bowl.

♦ Then add potting soil on top.

♦ Plant the Venus flytrap plants in the soil.

venus flytrap halloween terrarium eyeballs in bowl

venus flytrap halloween terrarium eyeballs and soil

♦ At this point, surround the plants with the moss for a bog-like environment, to mimic their natural habitat.

 

venus flytrap halloween terrarium eyeballs soil and peat moss

♦ Add small Halloween decorations on top, like large insects, plastic pumpkins, skulls, skeletons, bats, etc.

venus flytrap halloween terrarium

Place the terrarium in an area with plenty of sunlight.

Water the plants with rain water or filtered water, as regular tap water contains more minerals then the plant can handle.

venus flytrap halloween terrarium

venus flytrap halloween terrarium display

Click here to view a short DIY video of this craft!

 

Featured on Hometalk.com

 

Venus flytrap Halloween terrarium

 

venus flytrap eating child joke

 

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Going Teal For Halloween?

Peoples’ Place Makerspace

Makerspace


“Makerspace is a place where people come together to make projects in a communal space. It is a metaphor for a unique atmosphere that encourages tinkering, play, and open-ended exploration for all. A collaborative learning environment where people share materials, ideas, and new skill with one another. Our Makerspace enables community partnership, collaboration and creation.”

-People’s Place Antigonish Town & County Library

I visited the new Makespace with my son and was pleasantly surprised to see all the free equipment and software readily available to anyone who wants to use it. From STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning to artistic development, this wonderful space has everything to cultivate the imagination and innovation in every child, and adult.

Here are some of the cool things we discovered during our guided tour with Sarah Armstrong.

Lego® Robotics

This takes Legos to the next level! Great opportunity for children to create and command their own robotic creations to move using the Mindstorms® Lego® series.

lego robotics 1

lego robotics 2

lego robotics 3mindstorms

LittleBits™

Great introduction to programing, coding and circuit building to create prototypes and awesome inventions.

littelbits 1

littelbits 2

littelbits 3

littelbits 4

Makey Makey®

This kit allows you to connect objects that can conduct electricity with a computer program, in order to turn the objects into touchpads. For example, you can make a banana piano where you use the bananas instead of the keyboard to make music.

banana piano

(from http://www.makeymakey.com/)

The Silhouette Cameo

The Silhouette cutting machine is amazing for DIY projects. From simple cut-outs to stick-on vinyl creations… it does it all.
(Note: limited supplies can be purchased at the library at a low cost.)

silhouette maker 1

silhouette maker 2

silhouette maker 3

labels

The Singer® Sewing Machine

This top of the line sewing machine can be used for any sewing project.

sewing machine

The Cuttlebug®

This adorable machine is a scrapbooker’s heaven! It allows you to emboss and die cut cards, labels, tags, and much more.

cuttle bug 1

cuttle bug 2

cuttle bug 3

cuttle bug 4

tags

3D Viewer

Remember this?

vintage view master

(image from www.editingluke.net)

If you do, then you definitely grew up in the 80’s…

Well, Makerspace has the latest 3D viewer. You can download your own Apps and use them for this 3D virtual reality viewer. How cool is that?

3D viewer

3D viewer 2

A variety of software

AutoCAD for 3D design, Adobe Creative Suite CS6, Adobe Dreamweaver for web design, Adobe Flash for animation, Adobe Illustrator for creating designs and logos, Photoshop for modifying images and graphics are readily available for free.

Adobe illustrator

(from www.creativepro.com)

The 3D Printer

This machine is AWESOME! You can create 3D models of anything, including the latest toy fad… fidget spinners! You can go to Tinkercad.com, download a design and email it to the library for printing.

(Note: there is a cost for the printer materials)

3D printerCombine the power of the 3D printer with the MakerBot® digitizer for even more possibilities. I remember seeing this on TV, but to actually have a digitizer available in town is very exciting!

The MakerBot® scans an item and turns it into a digital design which can then be printed in 3D! Watch the video below.

makerbot digitizer

The Converter

Great opportunity to convert old VHS tapes, collecting dust, into DVDs. Vinyl records and cassettes can be converted into CDs and MP3s as well.

converter

Final thoughts…

The Makerspace is a wonderful place to create and stretch one’s imagination. I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of the technology, and the creative equipment available to the public for free.

Your children will love it!

Go check it out 🙂

shelves

Note: Make sure to call or email the library in advance to ask about availability.

Happy tinkering!

(The Makerspace is sponsored by the Friends of the Antigonish Library (FoAL))

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Going Teal For Halloween?

teal Halloween pumpkin

You will likely notice more teal pumpkins at the front doorstep of houses this year.

The Teal Pumpkin Project® has become a worldwide movement! The program was launched as a campaign in 2014 and has been steadily growing since.

The goal is to create a safer and all-inclusive Halloween for children who have food allergies.

Whenever you see a teal pumpkin in front of a house, this means that the owner is offering an alternative option to edible treats (e.g. small Halloween toys, stickers, pencils, glow sticks, etc.).

To take part in this movement, simply place a teal pumpkin outside your doorstep.

You can purchase a teal pumpkin or just paint one yourself.

Roll up your sleeves… let’s get creative!

We made a melted crayon pumpkin design. You can make one too.

 

Materials

♦ Teal color paint & paint brush, or teal color spray paint

♦ Wax crayon pieces

♦ Glue

♦ Hair dryer

 

Instructions:

♦ Paint the pumpkin and let dry for 10 min. You can accelerate this process by drying the pumpkin with the hair dryer, on low heat.

♦ Glue the wax crayons on top of the pumpkin, around the stem.

♦ Let dry for 10 minutes.

♦ Position the hair dryer about 1 inch above the pumpkin and melt the crayons using high heat. The wax will start to drip down the side of the pumpkin.

 

pumpkin-collage-of-4-final

 

If you don’t have time to make a teal pumpkin, you can place a promotional sign on your door. Free printouts are available through the Teal Pumpkin Project® website. Here’s an example:

teal-poster-2

And, if you do chose to participate you can even place your home address or home town on their website’s interactive map.

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map-4-good-onemap-2

teal Halloween pumpkin

 

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Venus Flytrap Halloween Terrarium