Wednesday, 25 March 2015

DIY rope pot


Still n the subject of plants and planters...I'm obsessed I know!
But today I wanted to share a little DIY planter with a difference:
It's made from rope!!

Rope and Hessian is one of the biggest micro trends (Can I even say that??) for interiors at the moment , and this is a neat little project to get in on the trend!
And it's pretty useful: You don't have to use this as a planter of course, how about making this for your desk to keep pens in, or to keep hair bands or make-up brushes in the bathroom??

And it's actually really easy and relaxing to do...
...I will show you how:


So all you need is some rope and a needle and thread.
Choose some thick white cotton rope (like this) and preferably some waxed cotton cord, like this in a funky colour of your choice. Using waxed thread makes the process easier, but normal embroidery thread will do as well! You will also need some scissors!
How much rope you will need depends on the size you want your pot to be, I used approximately 3 meter for mine!
Work at a table so that you can keep flattening the base (And also have a cup of coffee handy!)


Start off by folding the end of the rope and wrap the thread tightly around to secure the end.
Start creating the "line-pattern" (You'll see in a minute) by wrapping the thread around the rope at 1 cm intervals about 5-6 times...


Thread the needle onto the cord, then tightly coil the beginning of the base of your pot.
Start sewing the rope together, by wrapping the thread around, then just "catching" a tiny bit of the rope with the needle. Pull the thread tightly, but not TOO tight...


When you get to the second row, start catching the thread from the previous row instead of the rope, this way you will create that lovely "line pattern" on your pot.


It is easier to use a shorter length of thread. When you run out, simply finish that length under a line from the previous row, then rethread the needle and stitch the beginning of your new thread back through the same line (in the opposite direction), then tie the two ends together.
Let one end sit "inside" the pot, and one end sit on the "outside".
You can trim these ends away later, making sure that the knot sits hidden in between two rows of rope.

Keep sewing...


As the diameter of your pot-base grows, you may need to add in a few extra lines here and there.
If the space between the stitching is too far apart, the shape will not be as strong..
When you feel you need to, just add an extra line by catching the rope instead of the cord on the previous row (just like you did at the start).


TIP: I actually found it easier to stitch downwards off the edge of the table when creating the base for my pot!


Keep stitching the rope together until you have the diameter you need...



In my case, I simply eye-balled it to fit around my plant's pot!

Now it's time to move upwards:


I actually found this easier to do than making the base:
Start coiling the rows of rope upwards, on top of each other, and stitch as before...


When you reach your desired hight, cut the rope, and keep stitching till the end...


Then simply finish off by tightly winding the cord around the end of the rope:


This took me a couple of hours to make, but I had a few , what I like to call: "Social media distractions" under way...so if you stay away from your phone, put on some music and just get on with it without any procrastinations, like me, you could made your own rope pot in 1 and 1/2 hours, I'm sure!!


And for less than £5 you've got yourself a handy and unique pot, that you can proudly say you made yourself!!



If you do decide to use your rope-pot as a planter, like me, make sure the chosen plant doesn't need much or ANY watering! A cactus is ideal! Alternatively, make it with room for a little dish in the bottom to catch any water spillages!


I love mine, and I love how the softness of the rope contrasts with the prickliness of my cactus (appropriately nicknamed "Spikey" by Little Miss Moo LOL)

I hope you'r not fed up with my plant and pot obsession yet, as next week I'll have another 2 DIY planters for you, But before that , I will be reporting from the Ideal home show in London , as Hammonds furniture has kindly sent me some VIP (BIG smile ) tickets , and I am getting a chance to chat with off-the-telly famous Interior stylist Julia Kendall....so please pop back for that!

Monday, 23 March 2015

13 creative plant containers...

From around the www.

 buzzfed
Image via buzzfed

With so many new green family members around the house, I'm all out of plant pots!
Of course there are a plethora of beautiful ones available to buy, and I probably will invest in a few more as time goes by....But I've come to realize that I have very expensive taste, also when it comes to something simple as plant pots...so for now I am trying to get creative and use what I've got, and I have been trawling the internet for beautiful DIY ideas. Today I am sharing 13 of my favorite creative plant containers from the www.:

OK, so the top picture is not really a DIY as such, but it shows how you can get creative with using unusual things to display plants and flowers! I love the test-tube bud vases and the use of the chemical containers, but it could also be things from the kitchen, like an upside-down old-fashioned cheese grater or an old ladle...think re-use and re-purpose!!


Ben Uyeda from homemade modern has done exactly that when he created these fantastic desktop planters from old bottles...Head on over to his blog, Home made modern for the how-to!


Would you believe it?? This supercute cat planter from bru diy is actually made from a plastic bottle!! See??


And these super stylish brass planters by A beautiful mess are actually made of PVC sewage drain caps!!?? 

Next up, lets talk power of paint!!
Simply changing some plain plant pots with paint is very resourceful and effective....And what's more : You can make them exactly how you want them, like I did with my tribal patterned terracotta pot.


 How about these lovely monochrome ones from i spy diy?


Or these fun ones with gold leaf found on Fenton??


Or maybe a simple dip-dye is to your tastes, like these ones, also from i spy diy?

Then we can talk about how to display your plant pots!
Don't just limit you plant display's to your window sills and shelves: 


Hang them from the ceiling... perhaps by making some macrame hanging planters like these from for the makers


Or elevate them off the floor by making a plant stand, like the on above from ehow...


...Or these super cute ones from Sugar and cloth


Maybe even make a herb box like this one from DIY network and suspend it in your kitchen window!


Or make some mini , colourful polymer clay cones to house some cute little succulents and brighten up the place! See how-to over at Frankie's!


I also adore these little polymer clay house pots from 
Say Yes blog...cute and quirky!

Polymer clay is perfect for little projects like this. I made my Geometric planters for airplants from it!


Of course I had to include a little Concrete planter as well.... it is kinda my thing, after all.
 I love the simplicity of this one I found on duitang
Simply use two different size plastic containers, fill the large one with concrete, then press the smaller one into the mix to create the cavity in which you will place your plants! 
See my DIY succulent planter tutorial or my tutorial on how to create Concrete and cement planters for a more visual understanding of the process!

I will be back later this week with another DIY plant pot....but it's something completely different to all of the above...I am using Rope!! So please pop back to see how!!

Friday, 20 March 2015

DIY tribal patterned terracotta plant pot



It feels like ages since my last DIY, but I really have been busy coming up with new creative ideas and making things....trust me, it's all to come!!

But today I am sharing this super simple and very easy DIY update I did on one of my old terracotta plant pots! It may not be my most spectacular DIY to date, but I love it for it's simplicity....and the difference it makes!!


I just grabbed (read: saved) one of my old, slightly weathered terracotta plant pots from the garden.
Gave it a little clean, then grabbed a white chalk pen  and a white nail art pen that I had laying around:


Then I simply drew on a pattern by free hand:


I was not too fuzzed about some of the lines being a bit wobbly, and simply made up the pattern as I went! I used the nail art pen for the thinner lines.

So easy....So simple!
But the old terracotta pot has really transformed from plain and boring to tribal and interesting:


And looks great on my sideboard, housing a fabulously prickly cactus, grouped with some ceramics and other curiosities , in front of my DIY tribal wall rug!


And the tone of the terracotta is perfectly matched by the metallic copper lamp from Claes Ohlson!


It's almost too easy, right??

That's what I thought!
So next week I am looking into more creative ways to display plants from around the www., then I've got another DIY plant pot to show you....a bit more tricky , and a bit different from this one. In fact I've got a few DIY plant pot post to show you over the next few weeks....I keep making them to keep up with my new plant addiction LOL!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Black thumb's guide to houseplants


Plants! I love them!!
It is a new-found love, I'll admit, as I have been famously known to possess the notorious "black thumb"!
But plants are fantastic and have so many positive benefits on the environment in your home + they really liven up any interior, and help making your home feel more authentic!



So why should't I, in spite of my reputation as "doctor death" also have a green home??

So about a month or so ago, I challenged myself to add some more plants to my home....


There have been attempts before, some more successful than others, and some of my blessed green friends have, in spite thorough neglect, managed to survive so far: Like the - against all odds- coconut tree "Arthur", above (Apparently coconut tree's are really difficult to grow, but somehow mine's doing just fine)


And my philodendron and the spider plants in my kitchen windows are also doing fine...


But this time I am planning on going seriously jungle green around here!

It is still a work in process as I am finding that this green thing is highly addictive, and I keep adding more and more greenery to our home! Risque?? I know, But I am pleased to say that so far so good....maybe I've finally cracked it??



I started cautiously with the easiest options:
Cactus and succulents!
These plants are very hard to kill as they require little to no attention. In fact: Neglecting these are probably the best thing you can do for them!
And I love that they are so exotic and come in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes!
So it's a no brainer really!!


I've had some of my succulents for over a year now(?!!!!) dotted around the place and forgotten about ...and they are still looking good!

I do love the unusual shapes and colours the numerous varieties of succulents has to offer, and they really are so hardy....almost impossible to kill (take my word for it!)


The String of nickels succulent plant, below, I actually got for my re-decorated  kitchen a year or so ago, and it is still looking lush and has become one of my favorites, especially grouped together with a cactus and some fresh flowers:


If you like the printed terracotta pot on the cactus, I will show you how in my next post! I really is sooooo easy!!
This is another thing I love about keeping plants: What a great reason to add some gorgeous pottery to your home!! 
I am mostly using what I've got and DIY'ing most of mine, because as always money is tight, but I did treat myself to this gorgeous number, below, from Habitat:


This is my latest addition to my growing succulent collection, an easy-to-keep money tree, and I love that this has the ability (should I not manage to kill it) to grow quite big!!

So if you, like me are nervous about keeping plants as you fear you'll kill them, succulents and cactus is a great start towards a greener home!

Another easy way to add some greenery to your home is fresh flowers!
 placing some twigs and green flowers around the place in vases is pretty guilt free if you really are concerned about becoming a plant serial killer, as they only have a short lifespan anyway.


It is a temporary solution, but none the less effective! I like simple arrangements of inexpensive flowers like tulips and carnations. And I know most florists hate them , but I love a few sprigs of baby's breath...just on their own, in a vase. I try to always have some fresh cut flowers in the house, as it makes me happy!!
 But my favorite flowers are Ranunculus, which are just coming into season now! (Happy face) 


And in the kitchen I have started keeping living herbs around: Not only do they add a lovely splash of green to the interior, but are also useful for cooking....and because they are intended for use, I don't have to worry about killing them! See my logic there?


As my home has started looking more and more green over the last few months, I can feel my confidence rising, and last month I decided to try my hand at something a little more exotic: Air plants:


I'd heard that air-plants were easy as they got all the moisture they needed from the air, so needed little to no attention....turns out this is not strictly true, as they would benefit from a monthly bath in the sink, and regular misting: But so far so good: Mine seem to be thriving in the DIY geometric shaped planters I made for them with he occasional misting! ( I am lucky that Little Miss Moo loves misting them...LOL) I guess they quite enjoy the damp English weather so far!!


And with Easter now approaching, I've even added a few daffodil bulbs around the place, hopeful that they will bloom in time for the holidays...


I am quietly confident that they will as I am feeling quite optimistic about my new jungle-ish look home: Even my dying olive tree (in the background , below) is coming back to life:


I have come to suspect that my "black thumbs" was just a symptom of my lack of confidence with plants....I may be wrong, only time will tell! But for now I am thoroughly enjoying my lush green looking home!
 And maybe it's the air purifying effect of  keeping plants combined with the lighter days, but I am feeling a lot more optimistic and healthy! I am hoping to report more on the health benefits of keeping plants in a later post!

In summary, I would conclude that if you have "black thumbs" or simply lack the time to care for plants...or maybe you are scared of the commitment keeping houseplants will be: Choosing super hardy, low maintenance plants like cactus, succulents, philodendrons, spider plants and English Ivy, that can go for long periods of time without water and/or survive poor lighting conditions would be an ideal investment in creating a happier, healthier and greener looking home!
And maybe, you, like me, will start feeling more confident as time goes by, and start introducing some more greenery to your family!!

If you'd like a little more inspiration, or some more useful guides to hardy house plants, see my Pinterest board Greenery, where I am pinning like a lunatic at the moment!!