tag: diy

fabric leaf bowls

one of my favorite diy projects to date have been these easy to make fabric leaf bowls.  i found the tutorial on martha stewart’s website and quickly got inspired (as usual) to get busy gathering my materials.

fabric leaf bowls

aren’t they pretty?  perfect for layering or holding goodies.  i often place dry snacks in them for guests like nuts, crackers and candies.  the bowls are made from tweed and wool felt so can be spot cleaned as needed.

fabric leaf bowls

materials:

– wool felt

– tweed*

– sewing machine with coordinating thread

– scissors

– fusible webbing (found at any sewing shop)

– tracing pen

*i went thrift shopping and picked up some fun tweed jackets to cut up and use!

fabric leaf bowls

here’s the how to:

1. first things first you need to download and print out the oak-leaf bowl template from martha stewart.  you can resize them to create bowls of various shapes.  using your scissors, cut each template out following the template lines.

2. cut 1 rectangle from each of your materials (1 tweed, 1 wool felt and 1 fusible webbing) for each of your leaves, large enough to accommodate each leaf template.

3. stack the 3 fabrics with the webbing in the middle and press using your iron until the webbing has fused.

4.  trace your template onto one side of your fused rectangle with a disappearing ink pen (found at any craft/sewing shop).

5. cut out the leaf.

6. using your sewing machine, sew up each of the 5 v shaped darts, using either a zigzag or satin stitch.  working from the inside out, simply pull the fabric together as you stitch (don’t overlap it).  i found using tweezers or straight pins helped push the fabric together towards the ends.

fabric leaf bowls

sewing up the darts creates a bowl shape and each leaf will be reversible (so make sure your bobbin thread looks good, too!)  feel free to go back with your iron to touch the tips of your leaf, giving them curl in your desired direction.

what do you think? don’t forget to visit martha’s site for the original article and even a tutorial video to refer to!

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diy hanging vases

June 23, 2010

diy hanging vases

when i saw these hanging vases at reading my tea leaves i was stunned.  what a simple and beautiful way to bring the outdoors in!  i’ve got so many old glass bottles that fit the bill for this project, i’m sure they’ll be happy to finally have a purpose.  all you need is a hook, some jute and a glass bottle with a decent rim at the top.  i’ll have summer sprigs hanging all over the place!

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remember my back porch makeover? today i’m going to share with you one of my thrifty diy projects that gave the space the right kind of feel- a thrifted frame tray!

frame tray before

i bought this lovely from goodwill for a buck.  beautiful, isn’t it?

frame tray after

i painted the frame with high gloss white spray paint and then covered the cardboard insert with this red print fabric (from ikea). i secured it with a little hot glue and voila! i had a matching tray centerpiece within about twenty minutes!

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in order for our back porch makeover to be affordable, i had to get a little crafty (not to mention thrifty)!  here’s how i made all those yellow vases (super easy peasy).

diy flower vases

i paid less than $2 for these three vases- all plastic and all thrifted!  with a little high gloss spray paint…

japanese washi tape

{peach japanese masking tape and red and white washi masking tape}

and a little japanese washi tape…

diy vases with paint and tape

you can have brand new, beautiful vases!  the three of these were finished within about 15 minutes.

i’m not sure which stars aligned that allowed me to find this yellow lace at a thrift store one day, but i bought a realm of about 200 yards for $2.  woot woot!

diy vases

i still need to find a little plant to go in this one, but she’s waiting patiently here until i do.

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happy friday lovelies!  i spent most of last weekend making over our last-on-the-to-do-list back porch, and i’m to share with you the before and after’s!  with some serious thriftiness and diy projects, i was able to do the entire makeover for under $300.  there are lots of little projects that i’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks, but here is the big picture of our back porch makeover:

backporch before

before

backporch after

after

backporch before

before

backporch after

after

diy flower pot

side table

this table, fan, tic tac toe game and vase were all thrifted, for under $20!

hanging lanterns and candles

thrifty centerpiece

fabric scraps picture frame

diy flower vase

back porch makeover after

so, this is pretty much where you’ll find me this weekend! do you have any plans for the weekend?

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make your own fabric tape

i was so thrilled when i found this brilliant paper tape project on creature comforts last week, i thought, why didn’t i think of that?!  the original project with detailed instructions comes from kathrin on annekata. with how obsessed i’ve been lately with happy tape, i can only imagine all the endless possibilities with this project.  i’ve got so many fabric scraps laying around, and now i know what to do with them!  soon cards, gifts, wrapping paper, & vases will all be adorned with my make-it-at-home fabric tape.

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Didn’t Caroline’s post just make you itch to get out in the garden or onto your balcony and plant something?  We put in our veg patch last week and every day (ok, about 5 times a day) I’m out there staring at the soil waiting for things to sprout!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t always use up all the seeds that come in a packet.  After all, who needs 200 heads of lettuce?  Some I’ll be keeping to sow later in the season, some I’d like to pass along to gardening friends.  Since I have a project up my sleeve that will use the seed packets to document the garden season I needed a way to save the extra seeds and it needed to be pretty!  So I came up with some seed envelopes.  Hope you like them!  Click here to download the pdf.

chelsea's

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footer for roost Chelsea Rogers has been cooking and crafting… and not cleaning up for as long as she can remember.  When she’s not making a mess, you can find her on Pretty Lulu and An Abundance of Apricots.

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Hello! I hope this finds you well and getting geared up for some gardening time this weekend.  Things here in the Ladybug world are in a bit of a kerfuffle (scientific term) – we had a neighbor dump debris on top of one of our new veggie garden beds and contaminate the soil with sawdust.  It was not malicious – he thought he was doing us a favor – and we had to explain that the chemicals from pressure treated wood are not something we want to amend the soil with. But to make lemonade out of lemons I’ve decided to give strawbale gardening a try…

strawbalegardening

Images from Erica Mulherin

I spent a good chunk of today sourcing some straw, and I’ll get going on building and conditioning the garden once the rain stops.  I’m looking forward to seeing how these work for me – I have some really poor soil in areas of my garden, but I want lots of fresh veggies!  I’ll keep you guys posted as to my progress!

Now it is time for me to let you know one of my deep dark secrets….I am the world’s worst seed starter.  Yes, yes, I know how much money I could save by starting seeds, and I can imagine how fulfilling the process must be, but not for me.  I prefer to direct sow seeds into the ground – morning glory, parsley, cosmos, sunflowers, nasturtiums…all of these I grow from seed.  And I put on a grand facade of being happy to buy my seedlings from local organic growers, and I am, of course, but for once I would like to successfully start my tomatoes from seed. This year, however, was not the year.  Spring hit us early and my business needed me more than my seeds did.  So I started late and have, so far, had zero germination.  I have friends with wonderful luck with seeds, and I follow their advice, but I think I need to simply come to terms with the fact that I have a seed black thumb!!

However, what would an organic gardening blog be without seed starting advice, even late in the season.  And what would I be without lots of resources to share with you!  First of all I suggest you ask around in your circle of friends.  See if you can group together to buy and start seeds – sometimes you end up with way more seedlings than one garden can deal with and it is nice to share the bounty.

Below is the basic idea of seed starting:

seed starting

Seed starting images from Fine Gardening, cow pots from CowPots

Here are some great places to visit for more in depth information on seed starting:

Fine Gardening Magazine – they have several articles and videos about seed starting

Vegetable Gardener -  a new find for me…I’m having fun checking out their tips and ideas

A Way to Garden – Margaret Roach is one of my favorite people and a wonderfully generous gardener.

Organic Gardening – Great resource, with a nice slide show showing the thinning out of seeds

Cornell University – Cornell is a constant resource in my gardening life…from apple tree advice to seed varieties and descriptions…do visit them & see for yourself

Do you have any seed starting tips or hints to share?  Did you overcome your fears of seed starting and now it is old news?  Share with me your secrets, dear readers! It is not too late for me to start some mid season veggies and I promise I will take any advice you can give!!

And now, for the requisite bit of Brit in our weekly chat.  This is becoming a habit I will have to break, before it truly becomes “a thing” I’ll  have to keep up with every week…if only Black Adder gardened…then I would never run out of Brit content to post….

Last week I promised you a project…and so in the spirit of seed starting, I would like to introduce you to Guerrilla Gardening and seed bombs.  I’m an active guerrilla gardener – and while I don’t make seed bombs often anymore, I have recently been re-inspired and have ordered the ingredients to make a whole bunch of them this weekend.

I use native seeds, and this year I will be focusing on native milkweeds to feed the monarch butterflies.

The primary thing to remember when making seed bombs is the ratio of five parts clay to one part seed and one part compost. Mix these together in a large bowl, slowly and carefully add water to combine them, then start to shape the mixture into balls. After about a day of drying they are ready to be thrown into abandoned lots or larger areas of land that has gone to the “weeds”!

seed bomb

Photos Gina Ferazzi/LA Times

I hope this will inspire you to think about areas in your neighborhood you can seed bomb.  It really is a fun way to interact with your environment, and as long as the plants you are bombing are natives, you won’t be doing any harm!

Have you ever guerrilla gardened?  Is there an area in your community that could use some attention?  Let’s meet in the comments and see if we can’t beautify the world, one seed bomb at a time!

Next week I have a fun project to share with you all!  Until then, happy gardening!!!

Caroline Finnegan owns Ladybug Landscaping, a full service organic landscaping company. based in CT. She is a NOFA accredited landcare professional and when not designing gardens can be found rearranging her furniture or out at a flea market finding new goodies. She almost always has dirt under her nails.


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