DIY Cactus Planter Decor

Game of thorns cactus pun planter GOT Game of thrones

Since it’s too cold outside to start planting, I’m focusing this week on indoor plants – my latest fascination: cacti. They are super easy to maintain, even for a non-green thumb person like myself.
There are so many varieties of succulents in stores right now and each seem to have their own personality. So why not put a twist on it?

All you will need are white planters and sharpies!
Simply draw a face or write a cactus pun on the planter. And if you make a mistake… no worries, just wipe it clean with a baby wipe or rubbing alcohol and start over.



cactus face planter

Keep it simple or get even more creative by adding accessories or tassel hair.

To take it a step further, instead of writing on the pots, you can print sayings or puns on an overhead projector transparency film, then glue it on to the planter. I came up with this pun after the popular series Game of Thrones.

game of thorns cactus pun
GOT planter with overhead

Feel free to print out the writing and use it on your own planter. First, right click on the image to save it, then print it and cut it to size to fit your planter.

game of thorns cactus pun 2
game of thorns cactus pun 1
game of thorns cactus pun 3

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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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DIY Canada Day Lighthouse

DIY Canada Day Lighthouse

 

 

Canada Day is almost here!

With that in mind, why not make a simple craft to celebrate this wonderful occasion?

 

 

I’ve always admired lighthouses and there are so many beautiful lighthouses in the Maritimes. My inspiration for this DIY project was the Cape George Lighthouse.

Cape_George_lighthouse

Cape George Lighthouse, Antigonish, NS (image by Bardencj)

 

This lighthouse project is super easy to make, inexpensive and it’s functional. All the materials can be purchased from the dollar store.

The materials

  • v-shaped tin vase
  • small size red lantern that can fit inside the base of the vase
  • white nautical style rope
  • red ribbon or strip of red felt (or even red tape)
  • Canadian flag sticker
  • white spray paint
  • construction glue

materials

Instructions

Place the vase upside down.

Spray paint it white and let dry.

spray paint

Glue the red lantern to the top of the inverted vase.

glue at the top

adding the lantern

Glue the ribbon or felt at to the base of the light house and at the top rim too (below the base of the lantern). If you don’t have ribbon or felt or tape, but have red paint, you can paint a red strip along the base.

glue on felt

felt at base

Glue the nautical rope at around the bottom of the red circumference of the lighthouse.

glue around the base

rope at base

Add a second strip of red felt at the top of the vase, between the lantern and the top of the inverted vase.

top strip

Finally, add the Canadian flag sticker in the center of the lighthouse.

finished lighthouse

Place the lighthouse in your garden, on your porch, or keep it indoors and use it as a nightlight.

lighthouse in garden

I did look for a small solar lantern, but couldn’t find one that fit the bottom of my vase. However that would be a smarter choice and more economical.

lighthouse on porchHappy Canada Day!

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Looking for more fun crafts? Check out these ideas…

DIY Mason Bee Hotels

 

Does Your Family Use Vision Boards?

Deer Shed Makeover

 

Deer Shed Makeover

deer shed

 

Every now and then it’s possible to find deer sheds while walking in the woods. Such a lucky find can be transformed into a beautiful rustic centerpiece.

 

 

 

A couple of coats of spray paint can go a long way for a simple upcycling project like this.

 

deer shed

deer shed

 

I decided to go with white Krylon® spray paint. Applied one coat, let it dry for 20 minutes in a well ventilated area, then applied the second coat.

And voila…

 

deer shed

deer shed

 

A new purpose for an old antler shed.

deer shed

 

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Rustic Holiday Decorations

garland-feature

 

I love mixing the old with the new when it comes to Christmas decorations.  This simple potpourri holiday craft is easy to make and will make your home smell wonderful too!

 

 

 

Materials

 

♦ bag of holiday potpourri

♦ stitching needle

♦ thick thread (e.g. twine)

 

potpourri

Instructions

 

♦ Cut the thread to a desired length and make a knot at the end of it.

♦ With the needle and thread pass through each piece of potpourri.

♦ Make a loop knot at the end of the thread.

♦ Hang on door, door handle or display on mantle.

 

garland

This is a great craft for kids and can easily be turned into a garland for the Christmas tree.

 

tree garland

Happy decorating!

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potpourri-pin

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Holiday Feather Ornaments

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.

feather 7

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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DIY Mason Bee Hotels

mason bee

The majority of our food crops benefit from pollinator bees, however the decline of these insects continues to be a huge concern.

There are many types of pollinator bees. Most common ones are honey bees, bumble bees and orchard mason bees.

Mason bees, named after their masonry skills for nesting in wood cracks and crevices, are active from early spring to late summer in our region. Although these solitary, non-stinging bees do not produce honey or beeswax, they are excellent pollinators.

You can encourage their pollinating habits by hanging mason bee boxes in your garden this spring. Mason bee homes or kits can be purchased from any garden store. However, you can turn this into a fun kids project and make your own mason bee hotel. All you need are some nesting tubes and a container.

Here are three easy DIY mason bee nest projects to get children involved with their environment and interested in helping the bees.

Birch bee hotel

Birch trees shed their outer bark at the end of winter. This is the perfect time to collect the excess bark and use it as nesting material.

birch treeGently cut the excess bark off the tree without damaging it.

barkTo make the nesting tubes, cut the bark into 7″ wide pieces…
7 inch bark…then cut off the curled ends to get a straight edge on either side.

cut peelIn most cases the bark consists of two plies and can be separate into two pieces to double the amount originally collected.
two pliesNext, with a pencil (or thin dowel) roll the bark peel into a thin tube. A pencil is the perfect size for this step, as it provides the right size diameter for the nesting tunnel.
curling into tubeSecure the tube with clothes pins and set aside for 24 hours. This will allow for the birch peel to keep its tunnel shape.
secured tubepined peelRemove clothes pins the next day.
rolled tubesTime to assemble the bee hotel. The nest frame can be of any shape. You can use empty tin cans or purchase 5″ to 8″ deep wooden boxes from the dollar store.
Side note: Make sure the back side of the chosen box is closed. If not, you can always add a piece of wood to close it yourself.
boxesAdd the nesting tubes into the wooden box. Push them all the way to the back while tightly stacking them on top of each other.
birch nest
Decorate the nest box with colourful trinkets. We decided to decorate our mason bee hotel with fresh moss, stick-on flowers and rhinestones. Simple designs and, to a certain extent, colours help the bees locate their own nesting tunnels.
birch nest decor

birch bee nest

Bamboo bee hotel

A quicker way for making a mason bee nest, is to use 6′ long bamboo poles. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at the dollar store.bamboo polesbamboo sticksCut the bamboo poles with a saw (or electric saw) every 5″.
Side note: You can cut between the nodes to get hollow 5″ tubes or you can keep the node on one side and cut the pole right after it, in order to get a single hollow opening on the opposite side.

cut bambooPlace the tubes in a a wooden box, stacking them up tightly.

Decorate the nest to assist the bees in locating their individual tunnels.

bamboo nest

bamboo bee nest on post bamboo bee nest on post 2

Drilled mason bee hotel

This is the easiest way for making a mason bees’ nest, but it requires power tools.

Drill 5/16″ diameter holes into a 6″ deep untreated piece of lumber or log. The holes should be about 1″ apart and drilled about 5″ deep into the wood.

wood piledHang the nests individually or stacked up as shown below.

drilled bee nest stack

Bee creative

For a more unique look, construct a bee hotel by mixing and matching materials, i.e. include drilled logs, bamboo tubes and birch peel tubes to form one mega-nest.

bee nest with mixed materialsAdd natural elements for decorations, like moss, lichen, pine needles, spruce branches, alder catkins, pine cones, leaves, rocks, sea shells, etc.natural decor 1

natural decor 2

mixed bee nest

Setting the nest

Early spring is the ideal time to hang mason bee houses, as the bees emerge from hibernation eager to find a nesting place.

In order to see the bees come and go, hang the nests at eye level on a south facing wall with morning sunlight. In addition, make sure to place the nests in an area protected from the rain (on a deck, under eaves, etc.).

To increase your chances of attracting mason bees, consider planting pollinator flowers such as wildflowers, asters, lilies, poppies, marigold, lavender, sage, basil, lupines, and flowering fruit trees or shrubs.
flower-meadow

mason-bee
So, encourage your kids to learn more about pollinators this season by making and hanging mason bee hotels in the back yard.

“Bee-ild it and they will come”

Happy pollinating season!

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