Upcycled garden planters Crafternoon

Last Sunday was my first workshop in partnership with Homesteader's Emporium and it was a blast! Kelsey at Homesteader's Emporium contacted me about giving a couple of Crafternoons and I'm so glad I got to craft with them. The peeps at Homesteader's Emporium are awesome!

I got there early, set up, grabbed some caffeine and I was ready! They have a great space in the back of the shop for the workshops. We had 6 people registered - 4 kids, 2 adults plus Kelsey. We were going to make planters out of upcycled milk containers and burlap.

Here are some final projects and my new crafty peeps... I love happy crafters! Decklan was our official glue gun operator.

A couple of super shy crafters who LOVED their planters... We used jewelry and buttons to add some bling to our planters then planted our succulents.

And another finished planter... Overall a very successful Crafternoon. It was small, not too messy and pretty darn fun!

Big thanks to Kelsey and Homesteader's Emporium for crafting with me. Super stoked for our next workshop!

Definitely drop by Homesteader's Emporium for workshops, homesteading supplies, etc - they are awesome!

My next Crafternoon at Homesteader's Emporium is October 4th. Stay tuned for details!


Piñata making and magical beasts

Nothing says quality time with your BFF like making piñatas together. It's true... Especially magical beast piñatas! That's what I did this Saturday... I spent 4 hours meeting new peeps, checking out the new MakerLabs space and crafting a kookie, crazy piñata. All for $30... Oh it also included food, goodies and drinks. Not too shabby! Thanks to Meaghan Kennedy (aka Your Piñata) and Interesting Vancouver.

First we got to the new MakerLabs space at 780 East Cordova Street. It's one big awesome space of maker goodness!

We grabbed some coffee, got a seat and got ready to create.

Meaghan Kennedy was part of the 2013 Interesting Vancouver event and then was asked to be part of Interesting Vancouver's inspirational day of hands-on learning and discovery called "DoShops"...

Gatherings of the curious where attendees explore, discover and learn through hands-on demonstrations from past and current IV speakers about interesting hobbies, passions and obsessions.

I was hooked when it said hands-on learning and piñatas! And so we got started...

This is what we all started with... Two balloons plus a couple of layers of papier-mâché... We were good to go!

Next was adding the horn. We were all tasked with creating a unicorn piñata. Or something else if the inspiration hit.

We had a very industrious and fun bunch... There were about 16 participants - 15 adults and 1 youth.

We added our horns and another layer of papier-mâché... Then left our unicorns to dry.

Now we added paint, fun fur, bling... After I painted the eyes I realized mine was not a unicorn. Turns out I was making a magical beast.

I added ears, wings and hair... And of course a bit of glitter everywhere!

Adding the fun fur gave my magical beast some whimsy and personality.

Here's Meaghan with our gang of piñatas. Quite the range of completed projects!

Here's mine and my BFFs...

And that was my Saturday. I've already gifted my magical beast to a friend of mine. He just needs to poke a hole then place candies inside and then seal the hole. And then my magical piñata will be no more.

If you're into kewl workshops, crafting and learning from an awesome instructor, sign up for one of Meaghan's workshops... Details at www.yourpinata.com.


Kids Summer Crafternoon at NVCL

I had another awesome Crafternoon at the North Vancouver City Library on Friday! Yay! I've been asked to give two upcycling workshops in partnership with the kids department. My first one was on Friday and my next summer Crafternoon is on Friday, August 21st from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Register at www.nvcl.ca.

We made aquariums out of upcycled glass containers and cereal boxes. Here's one of my regulars with her first of three aquariums.

Another upcycling workshop regular with his completed aquarium.

Here's a close up. This is a Mom and son project. It looks awesome!

Crafting is da bomb! Look how happy this crafter is!

A Dad and daughter craft date...

More Crafternoon regulars kicking craft butt...

Here's a completed aquarium. Such a fun and simple project while also allowing participants to get super creative.

Aquariums one and two of three... Crafting is addictive...

These two cuties were so much fun. The boy is really hardcore when it comes to crafting. Seriously. He also told me he draws every day so he can get better.

This is his Pacman aquarium... Pretty darn kewl!

I was told to take a close up so people could see the Pacman in the aquarium. I hope to craft with these two again. So much fun!

And this lovely lady - she came by herself and was a bit shy. But then when she left she was so happy with her aquarium. Love that!

A forest aquarium...

My new crafty friend... We bonded over 'junk'. It happens! She also took home my sample aquarium and promised to give it a good home.

So really - Crafternoons ROCK. They really do! Love my crafty peeps.

So next up at the North Vancouver City Library is the Kids Summer Crafternoon on Friday, August 21st from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Register at www.nvcl.ca. Also stay tuned for Fall dates - we're confirming upcycling workshops for September, October and November at the NVCL soon.


Upcycled juice container and burlap planter

Here's my latest and greatest DIY I wrote for LowerLonsdale.ca - how to make a burlap milk carton planter.

Nothing says fun like reaching into our recycle bins and making awesome stuff out of 'junk'. This is the perfect summertime upcycling project. I have this recent addiction to getting doubly green - repurposing junk and making projects that use soil and succulents. Total win win!

What you'll need:
  • 2 strips of burlap
  • juice or milk container (preferably a 1 or 2 litre container)
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors and/or X-Acto knife
  • cactus soil
  • succulents - trimmings are A-OK
  • buttons, junk jewelry, ribbon (optional)

Get your supplies on hand. You can either find burlap at Michaels or drop by your local coffee roaster for a burlap sac. There are a few places you can go to for succulents - Dykhof Nurseries, GardenWorks, your local florist or nursery. And containers are easy - use empty juice or milk containers from your recycle bin.

Now we're good to go!

Find a container the width you want. Preferably a 1 or 2 litre container. You can easily adjust the height when you trim the container.

Measure and mark a line for the height you want for your planter. I measured a 5" height for mine.

Use an X-Acto knife to cut along the measured line. We want to create an opening for the planter and remove the top of the container. Cut slowly and carefully so you don't damage the container or yourself.

Next we'll cut out our strips of burlap. We want two strips - measure them at the same width as the container panels plus add 1-2". The length should be enough to cover one side panel, the bottom panel and the opposite side panel plus have enough extra burlap to fold over the edges.

Now plug in your trusty glue gun and we're ready to add the burlap to the container. Fold the short end of the burlap over the rim. Dab glue to hold in place then wrap the burlap on the outer panel then bottom and along the opposite outer panel of the container. Dab glue as you add the burlap then fold the short edge over the opposite rim and glue in place.

Glue the sides of the long edges so they cover the fold between panels. Dab glue to hold burlap in place. Add the second strip of burlap to the other side to cover the whole container. Fold the sides of the long edges so they align with the panels of the container. This creates a clean, professional finish plus covers the edges of the first piece of burlap.

Once your container is wrapped in burlap you're ready to add the soil and succulent. I used cactus soil for the container as recommended by the person I talked to at Dykhof Nurseries.

You can either plant a couple of different succulents or one. You can even use trimmings - these should root with a bit of TLC. Don't water too much as succulents need minimal water. Also the container will have no drainage holes for the excess water to drain through.

And you're done! It looks awesome, doesn't it? And doesn't take long at all.

Feel free to add some bling - maybe ribbon, old buttons or jewelry. You can even stencil a design on the burlap using a Sharpie.

This is a fun DIY that's the perfect green gift for family and friends. Enjoy!


Thrift store find now gorgeous teak planter

Nothing says awesome like reloved thrift store finds and succulents. Seriously... My addiction to all things green is growing. I found this $0.50 teak container at the Salvation Army this week. I'm assuming it's a pencil holder. I thought it could make the perfect planter.

After a bit of sanding I added olive oil to the wood then wiped off the excess oil. Olive oil is perfect for adding a gorgeous finish to teak.

I love the curved rim. Such a nice, subtle detail.

Next I added a plastic bag to the inside and trimmed the plastic still leaving enough for the plastic to cover the rim.

I then added soil and trimmed the plastic so it lined up with the rim.

And then I added trimmings from my succulent. I thought the Sedum Coca Cola from Dykhof Nurseries was a lovely partner for the teak.

I've added a bit water and now I'll wait to see if the succulent roots and grows. Ya gotta love how resilient succulents are. They're good plants for people like me who have minimal gardening know how!

And it's really that easy! And maybe cost $2 in total.

I ended up replanting this guy too using a glass vase from the thrift store. The planter I had it in broke with the roots growing out the bottom. We'll see if this container works out.

Next up? Finishing up some macrame samples for an upcoming workshop. Nothing is more zen-ful than macrame. Seriously! Best Sunday DIY ever.