This sweet little project looks like the perfect treat for your feathered friends this chilly winter.

By Stephanie Lynn has shared an easy recipe for her Homemade Birdseed Wreath that only requires a few items that you may already have in your home!

 

Crafty yes, and bird-watchers, too; we were excited to put together a special snack for our songful neighbors!

 

Please click here to visit By Stephanie Lynn and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: This was one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen. Use an old cake pan to make a birdseed wreath – Awesome!

 

Details:

  • My Mom gave me this fish cake pan years ago and never knew what to do with it until now.
  • I also wanted to make a round wreath and found a pan at the Goodwill for $1.50.
  • I grabbed some Kaytee Wild Bird Food from the grocery store.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure that you generously spray your pans with non-stick spray. I did not spray my round pan enough and it ended up sticking and cracking.

I also used 4 packages of gelatin for each mold and added a few extra cups of seed more that was noted. The mixture looked goopy after you poured in into the pans. It looked strange and I thought I did something wrong – this is normal and will work out.

Chill for at least 2 hours before removing from the mold, as Stephanie Lynn suggested. I left mine in the fridge overnight.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Open, pour, stir and set – EASY!

Cons:

None – unless it gets stuck in the pan/tin

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I love feeding the birds and was very impressed with how this turned out. Can I tell you again how cool I think this project is?!

Although one of my wreaths cracked, you cannot tell. I have been waiting patiently by the window every day and finally saw a few feathered  enjoying a snack.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Since moving into our new home, I’ve learned that birds are fun to watch!  I’d love to keep them happy during the winter months with a special treat, so that they stick around to chirp and eat bugs in the summer!

Details:

This project seemed almost too good to be true!  I only needed a few things:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathI had a little trouble getting the wreath out of the smaller of my two pans.  It was then that I realized that I forgot to spray it with cooking spray.  Dang it!  I did manage to get the wreath out with the ol’ Run-the-Upside-Down-Tray-Under-Water trick and some light tapping against the counter.

The face of each of my wreaths are very gelatin-y.  I think that I could have added a little more seed.  If you find that after scooping the seed into each pan, that there is liquid left over in the pot, this could be an indication that you can add more birdseed.  Mix a little extra in before pouring the remaining liquid in each pan.

The wreaths were a little slimy for my liking at the 2 hour mark, so I left my wreaths outside to get super cold frozen for my own sake.  Hopefully the birds will figure it out!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Couldn’t be an easier project!

Very cute – would make a sweet gift for a neighbor or bird-loving friend.

Cons:

Gelatin weirds me out.  If I make this again, I think that I’ll try it with fruit pectin instead.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how easy this project was.  I’m not even sure that it took more than 10 minutes from start to pouring into the bundt pans!
The true test though, will be to see how my birdies like it.  If not, I know that the deer will!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To give our feathered friends a fly-by eatery this winter.

 

Details:

I live at Target – seriously, this is no joke. I go there with my kids probably two times a week, as it is one of the easiest places to go with three young children. Plus I always forget a thing or two each time I head there, so I have to go back!

  • I purchased one box of Knox Gelatin, which contained four envelopes of the dry gelatin mix.
  • I used my grandmother’s beautiful gold bundt pan.
  • I picked a basic Kaytee wild birdseed mix.
  • I adorned it with some  scrap fabric I had on-hand in a winter blue!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathBased on the directions and the size of my mold, I mixed all four envelopes of the gelatin with two cups of water. It sounded like it would be enough and this was an easy step in the process. Once that had all dissolved, I added in four cups of the wild birdseed mix and stirred that until it was combined well. I then sprayed my bundt pan with olive oil cooking spray before scooping in the wild birdseed mix and pressing it in gently.

After the mix had set in the fridge for four hours, I worked hard to get it to release from the pan. I used both my brut strength and a butter knife to convince it to finally release itself from the pan! Once I saw it in its finished form, I decided I should have used more gelatin for my mix as it was only sitting towards the lower half of the mold, but it was all still intact, so all-in-all, it worked just fine.

I hung my darling wreath out on the front porch for our feathered friends. I was even able to snap a picture of some of the birds that came to eat!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think I used enough olive oil spray on mine.  Be sure to give your pan a good spray!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

A reasonably priced way to feed our feathered friends!

I spent $1.34 on one box of the gelatin (contained four packets) and $9.99 on the birdseed.

After seeing how adorable this turned out, I purchased four more boxes of the gelatin to make them as gifts. So, each wreath cost about $4.00 – that’s a great price!

Plus, you can personalize these for your recipient based on the ribbon used or even the kind of birdseed if you know what type of birds like to visit their home.

Cons:

The process is a little messy.

Also, if you do not happen to live in an area that attracts many feathered friends, this may not be the project for you.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how this turned out that I plan to make more of these! Super easy and just plain adorable!

 

 We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath


The lovely
Homemade Birdseed Wreath and it’s photo by By Stephanie Lynn

 


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If you have been searching for a gourd-free way to give your porch a festive punch, Bullfrogs & Bulldogs has your ticket!

 

The DIY Jack O’ Lantern Planter looks like just the way to get your Fall flowers into a holiday frock!

 

We couldn’t wait to give this surprisingly simple project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Bullfrogs & Bulldogs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a Halloween themed flower pot is right up my alley.

 

Details:

I used the same items that were used over at Bullfrogs & Bulldogs, except for the orange or rust-colored spray paint.  I skipped that step.

  • I had Terra Cotta Pots in my garage – although you could use a plastic pot
  • I picked out some Mums to plant in my pot.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I free-handed a pumpkin image and then drew this on my pot in pencil.

Next, I painted right over the image with the black paint.  It dried very quickly and I felt that 1 coat of paint was perfect. You could certainly download an image from the web or I have also found stickers at Michael’s or Joann that could be applied directly to the pot in place of paint.

 

Pros:

This was so easy and cheap. I had most of the items on hand and clay pots coming out of my ears

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I just love it. Pumpkins, spiders, bats, witches – you name it, I am in heaven.  The more rustic decorations are what I gravitate towards and this project had that rustic feel. I think it turned out great. My painting skills are not the best but it totally adds to the charm.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Add some festive charm to my front stoop that won’t be begging to get tossed in the street!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It might work better to use a non-gloss finish.  I noticed that the glossy paint got a funky texture on the pots that didn’t entirely resolve after drying completely.  Next time, I would either go for a less vibrant color that could just be dusted on, or use a paint that could be brushed on and then sealed (also with a brush). Patience really is a virtue.  My pots have a few fingerprints on them because I just couldn’t wait to touch them.  This seems to be a recurring trend for me.

I was a little worried that the fresh paint might transfer from the bottoms of the pots to my steps, so I put a cork trivet from IKEA under each one.  Problem solved!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

I love them!

I like the way that they brighten up our front steps while being perfectly suited for a family sans kiddos.

Cons:

It took a lot of paint to cover those pots!  I went through one whole can on two pots and two dishes.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

I really like these little pots even more than I thought I would!  They look so cute on our steps.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  When I first saw this pin I thought it was a really cute way to spook up the front porch. I was hoping I could get out of carving a pumpkin this year.

 

Details:

Although I found this to be a really cute idea, I didn’t think the instructions were very well laid out. Just paint it?

First I wanted to know what kind of paint. My kids have painted terracotta pots before and when left outside they didn’t last. For a person that is not the craftiest, you need to do some research and find the right products. I went forth and found my own instructions, which of course I’ll share with you.

  • The first thing I did was sand the pot down a little bit. Scuff it up. I then wiped it down with a damp rag and let it dry.
  • Next, for those of you who plan on planting something in the pot, I applied a clear coat of spray paint. This will help prevent the pot from absorbing moisture from the soil.
  • Then the fun part, paint as you see fit. I used an Americana Gloss Enamel Paint in Black which is good on ceramics. A Valspar or Rustoleum spray paint will also work. I thought of painting the pot green and making a Frankenstein but I stuck with the traditional Jack-o-lantern.
  • Lastly, a clear coat. I sprayed the entire pot with a clear coat. After drying, I added a nice fall mum.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand and clear coat your pot.

Use a paint that adheres well to ceramics.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

This is super cute and I’m hoping is lasts for next fall season as well.

Cons:

No instructions.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Overall I really love how this project turned out. It really added a little more character to the front porch. We’re ready for some trick or treating!

 

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

 

The darling Jack O’ Lantern Planter and photo by Bullfrogs & Bulldogs


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Looking for some special trimmings for your terrace?  Wit & Whistle‘s darling DIY Garden Markers are the perfect way to add some spice to your sunny space!

 

Always looking to add those special touches to our homes, as well as find ideas for great gifts, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Wit & Whistle and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission:  I didn’t really need markers for my herbs but thought these little ditties were so cute.

 

Details:

  • I found oven bake polymer clay at Wally-World.
  • I already had rubber alphabet stamps at home.

Working with this clay is incredibly easy and soft. It felt like play-dough. Easy to shape, roll and stamp.

The directions said to bake your clay at 275 degrees at 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness and do not OVERBAKE.  I totally freaked out over this stage and took mine out too soon, as I have zero patience!  I should have baked them a little longer, as my makers were not as stiff as would have liked. Oh well-lesson learned.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to follow the baking instructions. I took mine out too soon.

Also, measure each maker so they are the same in length and width.

Alicia - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

I can now tell my herbs apart with these beautiful markers-although it is not hard to tell the difference between each – LOL

Cons:

None. Letter stamps can be expensive. Good thing I already had some!

Alicia - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

What an inexpensive and quick project. I loved how they turned out and it took my less than an hour to create-including baking times.

The shapes of my markers were not exactly uniform and my stamps were a little hard to read (OCD much), I am okay with that. Cilantro and Basil, here we come…….

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission:  Make herb markers as a gift.

 

 

Details:

I loved this craft as soon as I saw it on Pinterest!

I couldn’t make this for myself as I am not growing any herbs, but decided to make it as a gift for my fiance’s mom.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The clay is very forgiving. If you mess up, just roll it back into a ball and start again!

The stamps I bought were circular, making it difficult to get my letters straight. Before you press the stamp, press it very lightly on the clay to make a slight indent to get your letter straight and spaced how you want it.

Make the clay balls in any size you want, depending on how skinny or fat you want the marker to be.

The clay package didn’t give me much insight on how long to bake these for. I don’t think I baked them long enough as they were still a little flexible after they cooled. I’d suggest baking for a little bit longer than you think to make sure they are done.

Janet - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

Easy and cheap! You couldn’t buy something unique like this in the store for less than $10.

Cons:

The clay package just didn’t give enough direction on how long to bake.

Janet - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

I really liked this project, but think I am going to have to make it again to get it right.  I bought a different brand of clay to try for next time.  My markers turned out a little fatter than what was shown on the blog and I want to make them skinnier next time.

Also, since I don’t have herb plants so I might put other words on the markers and use as decoration in my potted plants. Overall, the project was easy, quick and cheap!

A great DIY project for all skill levels!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I cannot get herbs planted soon enough!  We just got the final grade in at our new house, so I am chomping at the bit to get gardening!  This project was the perfect way to distract me long enough to get through the sod-laying process!

I am still learning about plants and gardening so having markers will probably be great for me.  I can’t even remember how old I am most of the time!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

IMG_3557Knead that dough like crazy!  My clay was hard as a rock when I got it, so I needed to knead the living daylights out of it before I could even attempt to roll into little balls.  Once I did though, it was like buttah!  Super easy to work with and really smooth.

My OCD couldn’t handle the rounded edge of each marker, so I used my butcher knife to whack off the edges into a clean line.  Worked like a charm.

I also used my rolling-pin to gently taper the edges of the markers so that they come to more of a point.

I am not sure that I really baked them long enough…  and I did bake them quite a bit longer than the package recommended.  Mine are definitely set, they aren’t going anywhere, but you can sort of bend them a little.  Normal?  No clue.

Maren - Garden Markers 1

Maren - Garden Markers 1.5

Pros:

Amanda from Wit & Whistle was right!  These markers are really cute, and super easy to make.

I loved the end result so much that I quickly cranked out 2 more sets to give as gifts!  Tah Dah!

Cons:

As much as I really enjoyed this project, I think that to do it again, I would need to use a different kind of clay.

While really easy to work with and lovely in the end, the polymer clay left my oven smelling like some kind of chemical drug baking operation that I have been smelling ever since I baked these things.  It makes me fear that if we eat any more frozen pizza this summer, that I could wake up one day with an extra eyeball on my head.

Maren - Garden Markers 3

Conclusion:

This project was so easy, I loved it.  I don’t know what it is about working with clay, but it really is fun!  I love the idea of pairing a set of these with a cute potted herb plant for a housewarming gift to give a friend a start on their own garden.

I can think of quite a few ways to personalize these too, whether it be with color, font, embellishments or even using sassy words or phrases – like “No Gnomes Allowed!”  Haaha!

This is a fun one, and I will certainly give it another shot.  Maybe in Alicia’s oven…  Haaha! Kidding!

 

 Garden Marker Conclusion


The darling
DIY Garden Markers and photo by Wit & Whistle


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If you have been searching for the perfect place for your beloved mason jars, look no further than Not Just A Housewife and her darling Mason Jar Wall Planter.  Not just for your indoor herb garden, this pretty piece can be used for storing all kinds of stuff!

 

Round up the jars and a drill; we could hardly wait to dive into this project!

 

Please click here to visit Not Just A Housewife and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: This just looks awesome, and I have wanted to try it for a while. What a fabulous and unique way to brighten up my kitchen.

 

Details:

As far as directions go, I didn’t find them to be very clear. The final pictures were great, but I would have loved to have seen more of a step by step. Lucky for me, my husband was there to help.

  • My first step was taking care of the drainage. I added rocks to the bottom of the jar, but after reading comments and suggestions on the blog post, I put a straw in for some extra air. I then planted my plants into the mason jars. To be honest, what a pain in the behind. I managed to squeeze them in there, but getting the soil snug around the roots was difficult and I missed a few spots. I’m hoping they survive.
  • I found a great board and cut it to size.
  • Now getting the pipe clamps screwed to the board…I had to call in the big guns, Mr. Hubs…and we broke one or two drill bits trying to do so.  His extra set of hands were also helpful in tightening the mason jars into the clamps and screwing the board to the wall.

This project is definitely a two person job. We had a much needed beer together afterwards.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Duct tape a straw for extra drainage. Just make sure you put it in the back when you clamp the jar. Make sure you have good quality drill bit to put a hole through the metal clamp. Screw the hole first and then screw the clamp to the board

Sheri - Planter 1

Pros:

It looks remarkable.

Cons:

Getting those plants into the small mouth of the jar is difficult. Oh, and the broken drill bits. I’ll be replacing those for my husband.

Sheri - Planter 2

Conclusion:

We absolutely LOVE the final outcome. It came out great. I find myself just staring at it while waiting for my coffee to brew. I hope the plants survive. I would love to do one with herbs.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I love the idea of growing fresh herbs and making a lovely piece of wall décor!

 

Details:

Maren and I got together for this project as I felt it was a bit intimidating and a great excuse to get together!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

5Stain or Paint your board if you want to. Maren and I decided to go bare finish as you can always change it later.

Be sure to measure where your planters will need to be hung, then predrill your holes on the board.  Be sure to also drill holes for hanging!

Ok, here was the tough part, drilling through the metal holders. Just picture Maren with the drill and me fearful of this gal drilling into my fingers as I had to hold metal holders in place.  (Fear left with each cocktail we had…be careful!  Ha!!) Maren was having issues getting the drill through the metal so plan B, she grabbed her pink hammer to nail through it.  Bad idea did not work, just bent the nail.  We went back to the drill and replaced with a new battery then bam…worked perfectly. Well…a couple of broken drill bits later!

Once the holes are drilled, fasten the metal hangers onto boards then you are ready to fasten your awesome jars!

Best tip, when working with the metal hangers loop the tail end to the screw end then just start turning to the right to tighten. It is a simple as that, but we had to learn this.

Maren had a bright idea, to place rocks at the bottom of the mason jars…not only is it cute but I would assume it is also supposed to help with the plant’s survival.

M + K Planter 1

Pros:

Super cute wall décor and a great way to cook healthy with fresh herbs on hand!  There are such a wide variety of fresh herbs so the options are endless!  As for the board, you could be so creative with jars or painted boards!

Cons:

Holy cow, the metal hangers…you need some muscle action and a full battery to break through those, but well worth it!

Kristy - Planter

Conclusion:

Love, love, love! Get your favorite herbs and get busy!  I hope to make these for a few of my real estate clients that love gardening!  I know they will love this gift as much as I do!  My plants are thriving indoors…now Maren has a different story!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission:  I was so excited to try this project out, I love to have fresh herbs.  This is the perfect way to get a start on some gardening as well, since we don’t have a yard quite yet at our new home.  Kristy and I did this project while our husbands cooked burgers on the grill!

Details:

I didn’t have time to hit the store for all of my supplies so I hit up Amazon instead.

Then, I had no idea how big they were or what size of clamp to order, until I found the All American Canner site after a quick Google and got the dimensions of my jars!

Kristy‘s honey grabbed a few of our items at the Home Depot:

  • The dimensions of my oak board were 5″ x 22″ x 3/4″
  • Our screws were 3/4″ long with a flat, Phillips head.
  • For my plants, I chose Moroccan Mint, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley and Cilantro.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t drink and drill.  You heard me.  This was probably my biggest take-away of the night.  Kristy and I took a dinner break and when I came back to finish the project, I wasn’t um, quite as qualified for the job.  I almost amputated my finger trying to push a screw in, when after [what felt like] 15 minutes we realized that the drill was set on “reverse”.  Nice.

Use the Phillips-type drill bit to make the holes in your clamp.  We tried drilling and nailing and both were total failures.  The only thing that worked was pushing the Phillips bit into the clamp while running the drill.  I needed Kristy‘s fingers to keep the clamp open while I pushed and drilled.

Don’t cry if you break a drill bit.  I broke two.  I think that it didn’t help that I had my board sitting on a towel instead of a solid, flat surface.  That of course, and the booze.

The clamp closes by a screw mechanism running along a little track.  Having said that, tightening the clamp by hand could take a while.  Save yourself some time and use your drill – just be sure to go slowly so you don’t take off and break your jar.

Be sure to add little rocks on the bottom for drainage!

Put your plants in before you tighten the clamps around the jars.  Duh.

Do not over-water your cilantro or leave it outside in cooler temps unless you want it to die in 3 days.

Be sure to also have a trusty Quality Assurance Supervisor nearby.  See if you can find ours in the photo below!

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

This project was easy to do and cute as heck.

Cons:

“Don’t drink and drill.”

Maren - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Since my initial review, I have painted my board aqua and now love my planter even more!  I did give my Cilantro the ax after a few days, but have high hopes for the plant that takes it’s place!

I have also already started on a second planter to use to store my paint brushes – the long ones that don’t really fit anywhere else.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: Any project that uses Mason jars is a project I’m instantly going to try! I love them to pieces!!

 

Details:

I love the idea of this project so much, but honestly am not a good houseplant owner, as they always seem to die on me at some point. So I instead opted to create this project to store my jewelry tools for my Sarah Vonne creations.

  • Mason jars can always be found in my house, so I searched through my supply and found two of the three, wide mouth, quart size Mason jars. The lovely Maren loaned me the third and also had extra clamps for me to use!
  • We still have lots of extra barn wood from my grandfather’s barn that was torn down late last year – this is the same wood I used in the Knob Organizer review. I just love it as it is a constant reminder of my grandfather and anywhere I can sprinkle it into a project, I just have to! My husband helped me pick out the right board for this project and did all the hard carpentry work for me.
  • The barn wood needed to be cut down to size for use on this project, so my husband took care of that with the table saw. We opted to leave the height of the board as it was and just cut it down to 22” in length. I wanted to maintain as much of the character of the board as we could.
  • Once the board was cut, we drilled holes into the metal brackets and then screwed them into place on the board. After this, I slid each of the Mason jars into place and tightened the brackets with a screwdriver until the jars were secure.

I have yet to secure it to the wall above my crafting table, but I have placed all of my jewelry tools within the jars so I’m ready to set up shop.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find your handsome hubby and put him to work! Just kidding, this isn’t a mandatory, but I always love  when mine is willing to help.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Purposeful – which is a factor I absolutely love! And, this project has an array of uses for each individual out there; a planter, a tool holder, a utensil holder, etc.

Cons:

In my case, I needed a handy man, so it would have been a bit difficult for me to finish this one on my own.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Love it and can’t wait to get it secured onto the wall.

 

Planter Conclusion


The darling
Mason Jar Wall Planter and it’s photo by Not Just A Housewife


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The Self Life took on a Do-It-Yourself Pinterest challenge and landed on DIY Concrete Planters; we couldn’t be more thrilled that they did!  The result was easy-enough instructions and some great tips for the rest of us!

 

We couldn’t get to the hardware store fast enough to mix up some cement of our own and get started.

 

Please click here to visit The Self Life and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Attempt a DIY medium I have never even thought of working with – cement – to create an adorable home for some sweet little succulents.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Amanda - Planter 1bFirst mistake was not mixing my cement in a separate container. I of course didn’t realize just how much of a mistake until 24 hours later when I pulled the hardened cement out of the containers.

Also, I wished I would have let it harden for another few hours. It seemed like it was not completely dry on the bottom. Once I got them out I realized the largest container was a great size but I did not fill it high enough and didn’t push the cup low enough. Sadly that one may need to be a candle holder or a giant paper weight!

Oh, and use a sturdy spoon. My plastic number didn’t hold up well!

Amanda - Planter 1a

Pros:

The cement is a really cool look. The texture is very industrial and the color is fantastic.

Cons:

Practice. Practice. Practice. Not so much a con as it is a “to-do” for next time. Definitely make sure you fill your container high enough so you have enough space for your plant.

Tip: use a clear solo cup instead of colored so you can see how deep your hole will be.

Amanda - Planter 2

Conclusion:

I will definitely be making these again. I feel like I have nailed down the “what-went-wrong” and would love to make a larger pot and maybe paint it partially or something. Plus I have about half the container left over so I HAVE to do some kind of cement project.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at using cement in a DIY project!

 

Details:

Maren, Kristy and I were able to do this project as a group – it is always more fun crafting with your friends.

We set up shop in Maren’s kitchen – placing old towels all over her counter top before beginning.

Getting the Quik Set Cement container open was a process in itself! Maren brought out her big guns to get the job done and we had a lot of laughs in the process!

Maren is always prepared and she had tons of plastic containers for use as well as a watering can for water.

  • I had brought a gallon ice cream container to use for my pot and borrowed one of Maren’s smaller ones for the inside inset.

I began by filling my container about half-full with cement and then added the necessary amount of water and started stirring. This is when the stress set in. Knowing we had a limited amount of time to mix this before it began to set drained me. It was hard work!

After I had it mixed I placed the plastic container for the inset in and pushed it down about 3” into the cement. I then used the spoon to smooth out the top and let it sit until the next day.

Once it was dry, I pulled the inset container out and popped the cement planter out of the gallon container. I decided to not use sandpaper to smooth out the top as I really like the rough, natural look of it. I then transplanted my orchid into the pot and I really hope it continues to thrive in there!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have your water handy in a watering can – this way it is at the ready if you need to thin out your cement mix.

Use mixing utensils that you don’t mind end up in the garbage as they get pretty gunked up during the process.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Very minimal items needed to create these and they turn out darling!

Cons:

A little intense during the process of mixing – we used quick set cement and it got us a bit fired up to be speedy so we would get them prepped before they started to set!

After I had mine mixed, I wished I would have put more cement mix in to make it a larger pot. I only ended up filling the gallon container about half full and though I like it, I think had I filled it the entire way, it would have been more of a statement piece.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

These are very darling, but I am curious to see how my orchid plant does in the long run.

I am not sure I would ever attempt to do these again – it honestly stressed me out too much during the process! But, the idea of a large one outside my front door is pretty intriguing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I could not wait to try this project.  I have been dying to get my hands on a concrete planter ever since I first laid eyes on one.  Although I have seen several listed on Etsy, as Elisa mentioned, they were a little pricey and I couldn’t help but think that I could probably make one myself.  Yipeee!  Thank you The Self Life!

Details:

  • I saved up every dang container that we had from the past couple of weeks to make sure that we had a good selection.  I also raided the house for party cups and other small containers.  The best choices for me ended up being a 32 oz cottage cheese container, one of Kristy’s $1 store bowls and those little 9 ounce party tumblers (for the inside cavity).  I used a Keg Cup for one, and that worked great as well.
  • I couldn’t find the Sakrete that Elisa used in her post, but did find Quikrete Quik Set Cement which is basically the same thing – per my husband.
  • In my head I swore that I was supposed to sand down the top of the planter when I was done.  Apparently not, although I did with my handy little Black & Decker Multi Sander.  I love that thing!
  • My succulents are babies from my Succulent Tea Cup and my Terrarium!  I snipped them off, put them in these cool little things called Rootcups and Wallah!  I feel so proud!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Holy shit.  Add extra water and be ready to stir!  After nearly giving myself a hernia from trying to open the container of concrete, I was not totally prepared for the rampant stirring activity that was before me.  I lived though, and it was much easier going forward.

We (myself, Sarah and Kristy) thought about mixing the concrete in one big container and then adding it to our individual containers.  Then we read on the package that we only had 5 minutes and realized how unrealistic that was.  This was a wise choice since we had a hard enough time as it was getting a frickin’ cottage cheese container mixed in time.

I did have one planter that didn’t get totally mixed and was a bust.  One side was so shiny that it looked like marble, the other was gravely and falling apart.  Lesson learned.

Here’s a good tip: Holding the cup that you plan to use for the inside of the planter next to the container filled with cement and mark a line on the inner cup so that you know how deep to push it into the cement without going all the way to the bottom.

Other tip: Be patient.  The cement sets really quickly, but isn’t ready to be removed from the container for at least a day or so.

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

Super easy and très chic!

Cons:

Opening the concrete container almost killed me.

Maren - Planter 2b

Conclusion:

I love my planter just as much as I thought that I would.  I have already received several compliments on it, and am excited to make them for friends as gifts!  They are that easy!  Once you have the process down, I bet you could crack one out in less than 10 minutes!
Next up though, I want to make a big one!  A great reason to finally get a Paint/Mud Mixer attachment for the drill.  Also a great reason for picking up a gallon of ice cream.  Tee Hee!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Rustic piece of art for your plants!  I love cacti; they have such character and don’t die!

 

Details:

Group project!  Maren supplied the Quik Set Cement and we supplied our own molds.

  • I went to the Dollar Tree and bought take away dishes in more of a square shape.
  • Maren had cups for the center that worked perfect
  • Picked up some fabulous cacti from Home Depot

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to have water on hand!  Maren was prepared with a cute watering can that worked perfectly!

Stir, stir, stir quickly…the concrete had to be mixed and set within 5 minutes!  Doesn’t sound like long but it goes by fast!!

Don’t forget to tap the bottom to let out most of the air bubbles within the concrete.

Be sure to measure the depth on the cup, you need to know how far to push down when you center inside your mold! VERY IMPORTANT! Mine were pretty shallow!

Kristy - Planter 1

Pros:

Very rustic and easy to make!  Fun group project!!

Cons:

Just be sure to work quickly and be prepared to know the depth of the interior cup!

My plants roots were exposed as my bowls were too shallow in the center.  Cacti are difficult to kill, so I hope they survive!

Kristy - Planter 2

Conclusion:

This would be a great gift!  I love mine; perfect for a window ledge!

It has chips and a few holes on the sides from likely air bubbles but it gives such character!!  The plants come in so many different colors, that it gives such a fun pop of color!!

Next time I might make them a little taller to give plants more room for their roots in the center of planter!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Katie

Mission: Make your cement planters for those oh so adorable succulent plants you’ve probably seen everywhere.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be patient, and check the label!  I purchased and used cement vs. cement patch and that may have negatively affected my finished product or my lack of patience could have contributed to the less than perfect results as well….

Katie - Planter 1

Pros:

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a few succulents and I think the planters will look cute on the windowsill in my office…imperfections and all!

Cons:

Messy!!

Katie - Planter 2

Conclusion:

While this wasn’t an especially expensive project, I tend to prefer the instant gratification of purchasing small planters and not having to deal with smoothing out cement, worrying about air pockets and making a mess from start to finish!

All in all, I’m happy with the results and am excited to display them in my home.

 

Concrete Conclusion


The lovely
DIY Concrete Planters and photo by The Self Life


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Teal & Lime has created a darling DIY Modern Bird Feeder that is sure to give your yard or garden a chic look!

Eager to get our hands on some power tools, the gals of The Crafty Collaborative dove right in!

 

Please click here to visit Teal & Lime and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To use my husband’s power drill and get crafty at the same time while making a darling feeder for our neighborhood birdies.

 

Details:

  • I searched the aisles of Target for the melamine plates I ended up going with – it took me awhile to decide which ones I wanted…I am a picky lady!
  • I opted for plates that had a mix of turquoise, red and orange in the design. A little pop of color outside is always a fun thing. My only complaint was that I couldn’t find any plates where the bottom was also a solid color – only white.
  • After taping and marking the center of each plate, I found a scrap piece of wood in our garage and set to work drilling the holes. This was easier than I had anticipated. Because the hook I bought was 3/8” in width that is the bit I used. It took a bit longer than I thought it would to drill through the plate and it did chip a bit.
  • Once the plates were drilled, the next few steps went quickly because I wasn’t using the caulk/glue to adhere the top plate to the hook.
  • Once it was all complete, I hung it from one of our birch trees along our driveway. We have many birdhouses along our driveway, and a plethora of birds around, so they dug in right away! I did just use a paperclip to hang it, but need to determine a more permanent option in the near future.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

My husband was so kind to show me how to change out a bit on the power drill and was there if I needed his help. Using the painter’s tape and marking the center spot-on were keys in getting this to work right.

In addition, being pregnant, I wanted to avoid using anything with stinky fumes, so I received a tip about using a piece called a Shaft Collar underneath the top plate (the larger of the two) to secure it in place. This not only saved me from having to smell toxic fumes, but also saved me time, as I was able to complete this project all is one day!

Pros:

Super fun to put together – really easy actually.

And, I love how it turned out. Our birdies LOVE the feeder!!

Cons:

Can’t think of any!

Conclusion:

Loved this project and want to make more – would be fantastic gifts and you can easily personalize them based on the plate choices, bird feed choice, etc.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I thought it would be interesting to do this, especially using a power tool while drilling into plates!  I gave it a shot even though I really don’t have a place for a bird feeder…so my plan was give as a gift!

Details:

  • I found two summer plates on sale so I bought them. Thinking if this turns out, I can also paint these since I am super handy with spray paint these days!
  • I purchased the E-6000 glue
  • Went to Home Depot for a washer, large eye hook, and 2 bolts
  • You will need your handy dandy power drill with bit. I did get some assistance from Mike on this project.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Well, I can say is that mine did not go as planned. I was a tad bit scared of the project from the beginning so I likely wasn’t going into this with the most positive attitude. I think you should drill with protective eye wear as I had pieces of plate flying across the room.

Also, be careful with the drill BE SURE to drill over a wooden block.  Since in the moment I thought I had master drilling skills, I proceeded to drill over my sofa cushion.  Big mistake, I now have a hole in my cushion! OOPS!

Pros:

Very inexpensive! Costs me about $10.00 and the majority was the E6000 glue which costs me about $6.00 from Joann’s.

Cons:

My plate broke; as a result, my project didn’t turn out. The plate was a bit more fragile than I had anticipated.

Conclusion:

I guess I just became a little frustrated when my plate broke and ruined my sofa cushion.  I know, not a smart move on my part but it did affect my mood on this project and whether I wanted to try it again.  In the photo, you will notice I am holding my home made bird feeder; this is because the hole was so large that the top plate wouldn’t hold!

Learn from my mistakes and I bet you will make a beautiful bird feeder! Happy drilling!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Make a darling serving piece to hold a smorgasbord for the local birdies.

My mom seems to think that this is more of a “squirrel feeder,” but I disagree.  I also don’t know if I am too concerned – I like squirrels too, they’re funny.

Details:

  • After my monthly chat with the wonderful people of my local Ace Hardware store to tell them all about our projects, we came up with an absolutely brilliant idea.  Use this handy little thing called a Shaft Collar instead of glue to hold the top plate in place.  It’s a little bolt with an allen-wrench thing inside that makes it so it can hug the eye hook where there was no threading for a nut!  Genius!  Simply purchase one in the size of the inner diameter of your eye hook.
  • I could not keep my big mouth shut about this amazing idea and had to tell Sarah

Tips & Tricks Learned:

MELAMINE PLATES ARE FRAGILE!!!

I think that one contributing factor here is that the only eye hook that I could find that was 8″ was also 3/8″ in diameter.  That is a big drill bit!  I think that if you could find a slimmer eye hook, and use a smaller drill bit, you may have more success here.

After blasting through 3 large plates, I stopped to have a tantrum, and then finally got a hole through a smaller plate (tiny melamine chips were flying at my eyeballs).  As nerdy as it sounds, I think that wearing protective eyewear is a must here.

My tiniest [lower] plate was more like rubber, and that was a piece of cake.  I would stick with more of a rubbery plastic if you can find it!

Once I had holes in my plates, assembly was a snap!  Totally easy!

Pros:

Easy to do, and totally adorable.  The birdies at our new house will be so happy!

Cons:

Breaking plates – although I think that if you can find the right type, you can totally avoid this!

Conclusion:

This project was easy and fun.  With the plethora of plastic plates and bowls out there, you could certainly find the right combo that works for your yard, or a friends for a gift.

After thinking a little about my mom’s “squirrel feeder” comment, I ended up purchasing a Rubber Serving Tray (which I painted to look like zinc and then weather-proofed), a rubber bowl, some Silicone Sealant, two washers and made a hanging bird bath!!

…Or I suppose, it could be a squirrel troff!  LOL

 
 

 

The darling DIY Modern Bird Feeder and it’s photo by Teal & Lime


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Natural Weed Killer

Full of Great Ideas has shared her Natural Weed Killer concoction with us, assuring that we won’t grow a 3rd eyeball using it!

Always on the hunt for safe products to use around our kids and pets, we were eager to test this recipe out on our toughest lawn offenders!

 

Please click here to visit Full of Great Ideas and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission:  To put some weeds down with a safe solution.

 

 

Details:

  • So I used a slightly different source post when I made this weed killer but found my variation to also be effective. Instead of using pickling vinegar I ended up using cider vinegar.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I got a little frustrated at the speed of which the solution was dispensing out of my tiny spray bottle and decided to use the dumping method instead. It was very effective!

I also made only a quarter of a batch instead of a whole batch (1qt cider vinegar, 1/8 cup of salt and a couple squirts of Dawn dish soap).

I let the weed killer work its magic overnight before taking the “after” pics (which aren’t great considering my weeds really intermingle with a lot of other crap).

Pros:

Cheap, quick and it worked!

Cons:

STINKY!!!

Conclusion:

I think it might take a couple of douses before you could really get rid of the weeds but it definitely killed what I wanted and oddly didn’t kill the random grass growing in with the weeds in the rock bed. I will be trying this again for sure!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  To once and for all win the never-ending battle of weeds that invade my walkway, my gardens, and my yard like ants to a dropped Popsicle. I would have to spend a fortune on toxic weed killer to keep up with the crabgrass infestation that occurs every year. I was thrilled to see this recipe for weed killer using basic and inexpensive ingredients via Full of Great Ideas’ blog.

Details:

  • Only three ingredients: 1 gallon of vinegar, ½ a cup of salt, and a squeeze of dish soap.
  • Just combine and get spraying. Take that!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t just follow the instructions that are on the Pinterest Pin. Go to the site for the recipe. The site suggests using pickling vinegar because it is more acidic. Yeah, I screwed that up and used cider vinegar. I’m thinking my results might have been better had I read the instruction directly from the site. Grr.

Pros:

Inexpensive and easy to do.

Cons:

It didn’t work too well and it stinks to high heaven. I could smell it from my second floor window. I had to shut the window and light a candle.

Conclusion:

I was super disappointed in this one and now I want to try it again using pickling vinegar. I can see that it started to wilt the dreaded crabgrass, but it didn’t kill it. The major drawback for me was the stench, but at least it’s outside, rather than inside. I guess I’ll go back to blistered fingers. I’m admitting defeat.

 

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Mandy

Mission:  Kill those nasty devils hanging out all over my yard!

 

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for using pickling vinegar. The regular vinegar worked so well in the Soap Scum Killa recipe that I thought I’d give it a shot. (Plus, a girl gets lazy after work sometimes and just doesn’t want to run another errand.)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Ok, so follow the recipe and use pickling vinegar. It so didn’t work!! Retry.

Pros:

If this really works – so easy, cheap and quick!

Cons:

I really can’t handle the smell of vinegar. Pew!! After I put it on the weeds, I could practically smell it from down the road.

Conclusion:

Do it right and you’ll hopefully give those weeds a fight!

 

 

 

The lovely Natural Weed Killer ingredients photo taken by Full of Great Ideas


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More Design Please showed us an easy way to spruce up our spaces with her adorable Succulent Tea Cups!

We loved the simple and charming look of these living crafts, so the gals of The Crafty Collaborative just had to try this project out for ourselves!

 

Please click here to visit More Design Please and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Create planters out of tea cups to brighten my office space.

 

 

Details:

  • Materials
  • Surface

I opted for rocks found in my landscaping instead of purchasing pebbles.

I also used some tea cups I had purchased (cheaply) at a second hand store for a tea party I threw for my daughter. I actually spray painted them because they were definitely old but not in a good way!

I ordered my succulents from this lovely Etsy shop at a steal ($10 for 10!) Bkyard Paradise

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Trying to get all of my little succulents into the tea cups was hard with just two hands. It would have been helpful to have another set handy. Maybe next time I will let my kids help!?

Pros:

This is a great way to re-use and an even better way to brighten up a space.

Cons:

I am not totally sure that the succulents will handle the cup size well and actually survive but that is more my mistake than anything written in the original posting for this DIY.

Conclusion:

I have to admit I am in love with my new little buddies. They actually bring a smile to my face and would make a great get well gift or really for any occasion.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: To make a sweet little gift for myself!

 

Details:

  • Succulent from the grocery store (I grabbed the smallest one they had and it still seemed huge!)
  • The biggest mug that I could find, for $3 at Marshalls
  • Tiny river pebbles from the JoAnn

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Do this outside.  If you do it inside, like I did… and near the sink… like I did… you may end up with little rocks in your garbage disposal.  Shit.

There was a ton of dirt in the little pot that my plant came in – so I didn’t get any extra.

Don’t water these suckers until they’re bone dry.  I am a [unintentional] plant murderer; but I have learned that I can handle a succulent.  They love neglect!  Seriously!  I once tried to be better about watering the one I had at my office… dead.  Now I just accept that they’re perfect for me, and do what I do best, forget about taking care of them.

Also – succulents seem to do better when their roots are a little crowded.  I think that this cup should be a good size for now, but my plant will have to get an upgrade as it gets bigger.

Pros:

Quick!  This project only took about 5 minutes to actually complete and I am in LOVE with the result!  What a little cutie!

I think that this is a nice way to get smaller succulents started.  You can enjoy them on a table or shelf while they’re little, and then replant them somewhere else when they get bigger.

Cons:

None, unless you’re me and you like to put rocks down your drain.

Conclusion:

This project is totally easy, and would make a great gift!  I think that they have a lot more character and charm when in a cute cup, than the plastic pot they come in from the store.

Succulents are my favorite, and they seem to be pretty popular these days, too!  I will definitely do this project again – so I’ll be on the lookout for those lonely cups at the thrift store!
 
 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: I was not born with a green thumb, everything I touch dies within 2 weeks.  Case in point, my formerly green and beautiful basil and chives plants… dead after two weeks. This is why I chose this project, as I figured succulents are hard to kill so maybe I could actually keep a plant alive.  Let’s hope!

Details:

  • Two beautiful succulents that I picked up at Home Depot.  I am hoping they remain this beautiful.
  • This was simple. There was enough potting soil from the plant to replant.  I simply flipped over the plant and the dirt stayed intact by the roots. Placed it in a tea cup (ok, coffee mug) and it looked perfect.
  • I really wanted to reuse my pots from my old dead plants so instead of keeping my succulent in the coffee mug I used an old pot.  When transferring to these new pots, I needed more soil so I used a portion of the soil from the old pot at the bottom then added the new plant with soil intact.
  • Once inside the pot, I placed more soil from the old pot around the edges to stabilize the plant.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use what you like and if the finished project isn’t exactly what you like then modify and make it your own.

Pros:

Easy, the small plant chosen was perfect for the small teacup or coffee cup. No additional soil needed. This would be a cute idea for an office plant! Cheap décor!

Cons:

Dirty nails and a little messy!

 
 

Conclusion:

Don’t be afraid to have real plants, just find one that can keep up with your lifestyle.  If you have a busy lifestyle then a succulent could be the best for you! Lol, it sounds like I am referring to a pet!

The beautiful Succulent Tea Cups photo by More Design Please


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With the help of Better Homes & GardensHouse & Hold shows us how to create a Simple Terrarium!

Terrariums are everywhere these days!  We thought we had better get on board!

 

Please click here to visit House & Hold and check out the post that we loved!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To plant darling succulents in a terrarium setting.

 

Details:

  • Succulent Plant(s)
  • Clear Glass Jar/Pot
  • Potting Soil
  • Rocks (for filler)
  • Embellishments

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not only are succulent plants adorable – they grow fast!

And, you can use little trinkets you have around the house to adorn your terrarium planting. I had seashells from a previous vacation, a mini deer found in my kids toys and some cute hand-stamped spoons I added to one.

Pros:

This is an easy and fun project to do – all you need is dirt, a darling glass jar/pot and plants. And, you can have fun adoring the finished planter as well! Definitely worth a try for anyone out there!

Cons:

Can’t think of any! What’s not to love about a succulent plant bringing life into your home?!?!?

 

Conclusion:

I LOVE gardening of all kinds and enjoy having greenery in my home. Creating a terrarium is easy, fun and a great addition to the home. I plan to do this many times over!

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Can I really make a delightful little terrarium like I have been seeing EVERYWHERE myself?!?!

 

Details:

  • Vase
  • Pebbles
  • Dirt
  • 2 little Succulents
  • 1 tiny rubber Deer

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be careful what you stick in there… initially I had these little mushrooms from the craft store and within a couple of days they were totally furry with mold.  Gross.

Pros:

One of the quickest, easiest and most impressive-looking projects ever!!

Cons:

None!  I love this thing!

Conclusion:

Thank you, “Do-it-Yourself-Terrarium” for making me feel like a professional gardener and look like I really have my shit together to all who come to my home!

 

Simple Terrarium photos by by BHG


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