Planting Succulents Inside a Book

Remember when my sister-in-law made me a ‘book plant‘ for my birthday?  I’ve enjoyed mine so much that I thought they would make great teacher gifts {yes, those of us that live in the northwest are still in school!}! This weekend I made two of them, and I love how they turned out!

Keep reading to learn how to make one.

{1}

Gather supplies.

Visit the Good Will or Value Village to purchase some old hardback books.  Don’t worry much about what the paper cover looks like.  Just remove it!  It’s most likely that there is a pretty and simple looking book under that decorative cover!

Purchase succulents at your local gardening or grocery store.

{2}

Cut an opening in the book.

Open the front cover and measure the opening.  Then begin cutting.

You will be able to cut through a section of book pages at a time. But the process can seem a bit daunting, depending on how thick your book is.

{3}

Line the opening with parchment paper or wax paper.

For the first book, I pre-cut the wax paper and lined the opening in the book.   But planting the succulents proved to be a messy job.  So for the next book, I laid a big piece of wax paper down and cut it after I planted them. I liked this way much better.

{4}

Plant succulents in the book opening.

You can see that I was a bit messy.   This was the book with the pre-cut wax paper.

{5}

Place moss on top of the dirt. 

The moss will give the book plant a finished look and it will also cover any wax paper that is showing.

I put a bit of water on the moss to help it squish together and fit on top of the dirt.

{6}

Place book on your shelf or give as a gift.

How to care for your book plant:

Succulents like DRY dirt. So for you non-green thumbs out there, this might be right up your alley!  For a typical succulent in a pot, it is recommended that you water it once a month.  But you can’t really water this  since it’s in a book.  I recommend getting a water bottle and spraying the moss and dirt once a week or every two weeks.  That’s what I’ve been doing with my book plant and it’s seemed to do the job!

Enjoy!
jen

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Target Gift Bags

A few times a year, Target supplies their dollar section with great little bags.  They are made of an fabric that resembles oil cloth.  Once, they had the cutest Dr. Seuss bags….and today, I found these!

 I always stock up and keep them in my gift wrap bin.  They are darling for wrapping a gift….and they are re-usable! So it’s a double bonus!

So if you are in need of gift bag, pop on over to the Target dollar section and stock up!!

Jen

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Placemat Purse Tutorial

I love placemats.  In my opinion, they can be used for more than dressing up a table!  I’ve used them to make kids aprons.  I’ve thought about using them to make pillows.  And today I used one to make a purse!  This project is so easy (or SEW easy….sorry, couldn’t resist).

{1}

Select a place mat (for the purse) and ribbon (for the strap).

{placemat: crate and barrel} {ribbon: black grosgrain}

{2}

Fold the place mat in half and pin edges together.

{3}

Sew the edges…

and turn the placemat so the right side is facing out.

{4}

Cut the ribbon to the appropriate length.  (I wanted to sling my purse across my body, so I cut the ribbon 47″  long.)  Singe the edges of your ribbon with a lighter to keep it from fraying.

{5}

Sew ribbon into the desired place.  I sewed mine onto the side seams.

Wasn’t that simple?!  And it only took four runs of stitches!  You could also add a snap, button or velcro closure.  And maybe an inside pocket.

The placemat purse makes a great gift! It can serve as a mini diaper bag when checking your little one into childcare. Or maybe a bag to hold your bible on Sunday morning.  How about a birthday gift for a little girl that loves purses!?

I’d love to see your placemat purse creations!  Are you going to make one!?

Jen

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Cabinet Door Chalkboards

I realize I am not unique by making something into a chalkboards.  But when I was down at the Habitat for Humanity Restore a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but purchase a few inexpensive cabinet doors for a project.  How can you turn down a perfectly good door for only $5?!  After thinking of a few upcoming events, I decided to turn them into chalkboards and give them as gifts.

I turned these….

into these…
Here is a quick and easy tutorial for making one of your own…
1.
Use frog tape or blue painters tape to section off the area that you would like to paint.
2.
Using chalkboard paint, apply paint to the cabinet door.
3.
When the paint is dry, remove the painters tape.  Keep in mind that you may have to touch up a few places where paint crept through the tape.
4.
Rub chalk all over to ‘cure’ the chalkboard. Then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
5.
Attach D-rings to the back of the cabinet door.
5. 
Hang chalk from string to give as a gift or hang the chalkboard up in your house!
And your project is complete!
Jen
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The big 4-0!

It happened.  I turned 40 this past weekend.  I said farewell to my 30s and jumped head first into a new decade!

The weekend was wonderful, filled with little celebrations here and there.    I know that birthday’s are’t about receiving, but I wanted to highlight two of my favorite gifts.

Jack spent a long time smelling soaps at Bath and Body Works that he thought would be gift worthy. He finally settled on a few scents that were pleasant to his nose.  Emmie, bless her girly little soul. She bought me a giant diamond ring (fake, of course).  And Dan spent many  hours compiling pictures and letters to create a wonderful, thoughtful, 80 page photo book for me – a book of my past 40 years.    It made me laugh and it made me cry.  It was truly one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

My sister-in-law MADE this next gift for me.  It is a book with succulents planted IN it!

Here is the book that was used…

And here is a close up of the plants…

Don’t you love it?!  It’s so unique and so darn fun!!

I know I’m only a few days in, but so far, 40 is feeling just fine and dandy!!

Jen

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Heart Pillow Tutorial

Several weeks ago, I came across this darling pillow on Pinterest.

via pinterest

I was looking for a Valentine’s Day project and figured this one couldn’t be that hard to tackle! So off to the fabric store I went and picked up some burlap and red satin ribbon.  After a little work, I came up with my version.

To create your own, keep reading for a quick tutorial.

Cut two pieces of burlap into 12″ squares.  Sew up the edges on the sewing machine, making sure to leave an opening for pillow stuffing.

Turn the pillow right side out and run an iron over it to press the edges and corners flat.

Then cut a heart out of paper, to your desired size.  Thread your ribbon through a larger needle and start weaving the ribbon through the top layer of the burlap, around the heart.


 

To prevent the ribbon from unraveling, use a lighter to lightly singe the edges.  Tie a bow at the bottom of the heart, put a pre-made pillow insert into the cover or stuff it with bagged stuffing.  Stitch up the opening at the bottom and the pillow is complete!

 

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Valentine’s Garland

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is almost here!    I don’t have a ton of Valentine’s Day specific home decor.  So I’ve been working on a few projects to help decorate!

Months ago I came across a fun circle garland online and made a version in fall colors (orange, red and brown) for our house.  I recently picked up some pink, red and white felt (approximately 30 cents for an 8×10 piece) and decided to make a Valentine’s Day version! It’s so simple, really inexpensive and did not take long to make.

Continue reading for a quick tutorial on making one of these garlands for you or a friend.

First, cut out a bunch of circles.  The size and quantity is up to you. My garland is 112 inches long and has 58 circles that are approximate 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

I traced a cup and used that circle as my template (note: you can cut more than one piece of felt out at the same time to speed up the cutting process).  Once all of your circles are cut, measure a piece of thread to the length of your desired garland. I doubled my thread to make the garland a bit stronger. Start weaving the needle in and out of each circle (a few times on each color, so that the circle lays flat and doesn’t spin around).  Then move onto the next color and so on, making sure you slide the dots down to the end of your string.  You can also use a sewing machine, which would also be very simple, and quick as well.  But for those non-sewers in the bunch, doing it by hand is also quick and easy. No heavy machinery needed!

Once your sewing is complete, tie a knot in the end of the thread and hang the garland in the location of your choice (suggestions: mirror, doorway, mantle, top of bookshelf, window or door frame….)

You aren’t just limited to a circle garland either!  Here are some inspiration pictures from Pinterest.

You can use the garland as ribbon on a gift…

via pinterest

Or use paint chips to cut out Easter eggs….

via pinterest

Or instead of circles, try cutting out hearts….

via pinterest

Or using book pages or newspapers to cut out hearts…..

And last, but certainly not least, mulit colored felt dots in different sizes…..The possibilities are endless!

via pinterest

And one last look at my simple version.

Thanks for reading!
Jen

linking up to:

the thrifty home, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, beyond the picket fence, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, shabby nest, 2805, french country cottage, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating, it’s a hodgepodge life, happy hour projects, days of chalk and chocolate, my romantic home, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, eye heart, i should be mopping the floor, my 1929 charmer, the southern institute, homemaker on a dime, diy home sweet home, diy show off, craft o maniac, embellishing life, create with joy, sew can do, pinkapotamus, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, skip to my lou, northern cottage, knick of time, home stories a to z, coastal charm, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, the blackberry vine, romance on a dime, tip junkie, elizabeth and co, chatty chics, uncommon designs, michele raven designs, my girlish whims, savvy southern style, trendy treehouse, polkadots on parade, the shady porch, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, laugh love and craft, a turtles life for me, creations by kara, sew much ado, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, rad crafter, adventures of a diy mom, these peas taste funny, happy hour projects, 2805, french country cottage, romantic home, the shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, chic on a shoestring decorating, raising oranges, days of chalk and chocolate, creation corner it’s fun to craft, toys in the dryer, kitchen fun with my 3 sons, a glimpse inside, naptime crafters, here comes the sun, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, adventures in mommy land, dear lilly

 

Burp Cloth Tutorial

Last weekend I had a baby shower to attend.  I always love to bring a little something homemade as a gift, but with a shower right after Christmas and a little someone in this house having a 6th birthday, I wasn’t sure homemade was going to happen.  I dug around in my craft bin and came across some cloth diapers and ribbon.

And with just a little sewing, I turned this:

 Into this!!

And fortunately, it didn’t take very long to complete, since I had the supplies in my craft closet.

If you don’t have diapers, you can buy a pack of cloth diapers in the baby section of Target or Walmart.

And if you scrapbook or make hair bow’s, it’s quite possible you have some ribbon laying around! If not, Michael’s or Joann’s carry a large selection of ribbon (my preference is grosgrain).

Cut ribbon the length of the diaper, with approximately 1/4″ on each side to fold under before sewing.  If you are worried about the ribbon unraveling, you can use a lighter to singe the edges of it first.  Fold the ends under and pin the ribbon to the edge of the diaper.

You can also run two ribbons the other direction to add some variety.

Once everything is pinned (and edges are tucked) into place, you can start sewing. I like to use thread the color of the ribbon on the top and white thread on the bottom.

Once all the burb cloths are sewn, iron them flat to give them a crisp look.

Stack the diapers and tie them with coordinating ribbon or twine.

I had picked up some fun little boy shoes to go with the burp cloths. And the gift is complete!

Everything was wrapped  in a brown bag with tissue and was ready for the party!

 

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$3 Placemat Apron

Two years ago, we threw a baking/cupcake themed birthday party for our daughter’s fourth birthday.  I made these aprons as one of the party favors for the little guests.   You will be amazed at how simple they are to make!

I found these placemats in the dollar section (do you sense a theme in my life? “Target Dollar Section”).  If memory serves, they cost me $2.50 each.

First you tack down the top two corners.   You can either do this by hand, or use a sewing machine. I opted for a sewing machine and stitched back and forth in place to make sure the stitching held up.

I used a piece of grosgrain ribbon that was 20 inches long (make sure yours is long enough to go over the kiddo’s neck, but not too long that the apron will sag). Another option is to cut two pieces of ribbon and sew at the neck.  Each piece will need to be approximately 15″ long, in order to tie it around the child’s neck.  Make sure you use a lighter to singe each edge of the ribbon so it won’t unravel.

Next, cut two more pieces of ribbon (approximately 17″ to 20″ in length) and sew them in the middle of each side, to be tied around their waste.

Another variation is to use simple dishtowel.  This option might look a bit more masculine and be a better gift for a boy.  I made this one the exact same way.  The corners were tacked down (I actually sewed these completely down since the stitching was hidden within the pattern of the towel).  And I added coordinating  ribbon to the neck and waist.

And the view from the back….

An apron paired with a children’s cookbook would make a fantastic gift!

Don’t you love them!?

Jen

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Teacher Gifts – Done!

I finally finished up my teacher/bus driver gifts last night.  I had one more personalized doormat to paint.  And still had to finalize my bus driver gifts.  Last night I got to work and finished up everything so the kids could start delivering them today.

This week I had a girls dinner to attend (we call ourselves a book club, but truth be told, we don’t really read books and it really isn’t a club….)  Anyway, we did a gift exchange and I ended up these caramels that are way too delicious.

I did my fair share of sampling. But knew if these stayed in the house any longer, I may be sporting a good 5 to 10 extra pounds, thanks to these yummy goodies.  And since I needed a few more gifts, I thought these would be perfect!!

I happend to have a few cellophane goodie bags leftover from a birthday party.

They got filled them with caramels and tied with some red ribbon.

Attach a card and Starbucks gift card to it and you’ve got yourself a gift that will (hopefully!) be enjoyed by our bus drivers and class helpers!

So the doormats are completed and caramel goodie bags too. Now the delivering can begin!!!

-Jen

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