3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Container gardening is easy and great for instant color gratification. But, it’s especially fun to find “unconventional” objects to use as a planter. You may have noticed my little red wagon planter in the Landscaping 101 post. My 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter is sure to bring color to your landscaping while also providing some fun and whimsy. Plus, it’s easily rolled to a new spot if you want to change your view. But, the best part is, you can make this planter in 3 steps!

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Little wagon or other container
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Hand trowel

Instructions: [Read more...]

Landscaping 101 – Tools, Planting and Adding Color {+ True Temper Giveaway}

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

landscaping-101

When we bought our first home 13 years ago, we were lured by the idea of having at least half an acre of land. Little did we know that it would involve LOTS and LOTS of yard work. Over the years we’ve learned several tips and tricks to creating beautiful landscaping that will last for decades. If you’re a new homeowner (or still trying to find your green thumb), here’s the Landscaping 101 course to help you hit the ground running. I’ll be sharing which yard tools are essential, how to pick the right plants, how to plant them, and how to add color to your landscaping. Plus, stick around because I have a True Temper giveaway to fill your shed with new yard tools! Pull up a stump and lets dig in! [Read more...]

Knock off Garden Table

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

I often find myself searching online looking at furniture and decor on sites that I consider full of unique items.  I recently came across the Anthropologie Partridge Garden Table and fell in love.  The creative use of old mismatched legs was awesome.  Then I saw the price; a mere $ 148.00.  As cool as it is, spending that much for a plant stand is way more than I could ever justify.  I knew I could make it cheaper and am excited to show you how to make your own!

Materials

  • 3 different banister Spindles or table legs
  • 10″ clock face round
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Painters Tape
  • Three different colors of Paint
  • Sliding T-Bevel Square
  • Miter Saw
  • Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum Rustic Mist)
  • Spray Paint (High Gloss Sealer)

Round Legs

Instructions

1.  Lay  out the spindles and decide which sections will be used for the legs. [Read more...]

Beach Themed Succulent Garden

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

You like the beach right? Who doesn’t?! Come December I long for the feeling of burying my toes in the warm sand. Bring back those memories by having a Beach-Themed Desktop Succulent Garden nearby. The idea for this garden came as I sat looking at all the shells I’ve collected that were hidden away in the attic. I chose a big conch shell that had few holes and decided it would make a great little planter.

Material:

  • Succulents
  • Conch shell
  • Smaller shells, beach glass or colored glass filler
  • Play sand
  • Potting soil
  • Plant tray

Optional: Hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, felt pads

Instructions: [Read more...]

25 Ideas for Tabletop Gardens and Terrariums

Faux Terrarium

25_tabletop_garden_terrarium_ideas

As the weather changes and the flowers start to wane outside, it’s a great time to focus on bringing natural beauty indoors. I’ve gathered some beautiful and unique ideas for creating your own tabletop gardens. For those with less time to water, may I suggest trying one of the succulent or cacti gardens. Regardless of the plants you use, I love the wide variety of creative containers used for these mini-environments.

Let’s get started with some beautiful tutorials for planting a tabletop garden:

1. Easy Terrarium in Minutes! [Read more...]

Desktop Terrarium {a Lowes Creator Idea}

add_crushed_glass_shells

DIY_succulent_garden

Hey all you black thumb peeps! I have a gardening tutorial for you. This desktop succulent terrarium is hard to kill. It requires very little water and loves to be neglected. Best of all, you can put it together in less than 20 minutes!

Succulent_garden_in_bell_terrarium

Ready, set, go…..

Materials:

materials_for_succulent_terrarium

 

[Read more...]

How to install landscape bed black edging

edging 6

Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share an easy project that will make your landscaping look clean and neat.

edging3-1

We just moved into a new home with tons of landscaping, it’s full and lush and mature AND lacks definition from the grassy yard.

edging 6

With help from the folks at True Temper® I installed landscape edging using the round point shovel and black plastic edging to create that defining line between grass and plantings: [Read more...]

Make Your Own Metal Tags for Your Herb Garden

all herb metal tags

Metal tags for herb garden

Do you remember seeing those adorable metal tags that were part of my last post on  how to build a window box to be used as a herb garden.  The final decorative touches to the box included metal tags labeling the herbs in the planter. They were so easy to make, I figured you’d like the tutorial.

herb kitchen garden final [Read more...]

Build Your Own Custom Kitchen Herb Planter

both ends cut at an angle

kitchen window herb garden final-title-Lg

Hello again, it’s Cristina from Remodelando la Casa.   I’m happy to share a tutorial to build this kitchen herb planter with you today. It’s one of those projects that you can decorate and customize to your own needs.

kitchen window herb garden final12

Having fresh herbs was something I really wanted to have in my kitchen and NO, I was not going to plant them outside only to forget watering them like it happened last year. They died sooner than expected and I think the lack of water plus my not so good “green thumb” were the main factors for that to happen :-(.

Having an indoor herb planter seemed like the perfect solution. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a long planter to fit in our 5 inch deep kitchen window ledge.  So, I decided to build a custom planter to fit. [Read more...]

Picket Fence Planter Basket {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

pansy_planter_horizontal

pansie_planter_vertical

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week, but better yet I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

I have a fun little multi-purpose project for you today. I’m going to show you how to make this adorable little picket fence planter basket. You can use it as a planter. You can use it as a fun home décor item or you can fill it with glass beads or rocks and use it as a pencil caddy! Don’t you love versatility?

pen_caddy_on_stool1

Best of all, the materials are inexpensive. The fence border section was under $5! And you can use leftover paint if you want. Or you can try out Valspar’s new emerald color. I’ve been seeing that color pop up all over the design world. (Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to give that new Valspar paint color a whirl.) [Read more...]

How to Recover Outdoor Pillows and a Mini Patio Makeover #LowesCreator

how_to_recover_outdoor_pillows

how_to_recover_outdoor_pillows

When Lowe’s challenged me to give an outdoor spot a mini-makeover, I knew exactly where to turn my attention.

Our small paver patio is where we sit on warm spring days to eat lunch, take a break or sip wine after dark. The winter months wreak havoc on the furniture and the pillows I neglected to bring inside.

IMG_2496

dirty_chair_pillow

Cleaning the furniture was as easy as a quick sponging with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

cleaning_patio_furniture_Mr_clean_magic_eraser

Then I hosed them down and was done in less than 10 minutes. The pillows weren’t as easily cleaned. I tried to wash them, but they were still a little dingy. So, I headed to Lowe’s to look for new ones.

As I entered Lowe’s with my complimentary gift card in hand, I found myself wandering down the curtain aisle again. (Do you gravitate to this aisle too? With all those colors, patterns, and textures it’s hard for me to stay focused on my shopping list.) [Read more...]

Outdoor Planter from an Ice Bucket #LowesCreator

LCI_post_badge

close_up_ice_planter_bucket_imperfect

Being a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger is one of my favorite jobs as a DIY blogger. I love walking the aisles of Lowe’s, with my provided gift card in hand, dreaming of finding mundane objects to transform into amazingly beautiful objects. For example, what do you get when you cross an ice bucket with a stove pipe connector?

materials-ice_bucket_planter

[Read more...]

Easy Potted Clover for St. Patrick’s Day

decorating_with_clover

potted_clover_tutorial

Valentine’s Day is in one day, right? So, what am I up to? I’m getting ready to celebrate the return of spring and St. Patrick’s Day of course.

In North Carolina, the trees are starting to bud and a few have flowers. I’m super excited for the arrival of spring. In addition to the flowers, the weeds have also started to pop up. But, there is one weed that I don’t mind sticking around for a little while.

Wild_clover

Although clover is technically a weed, it is also is a beneficial plant for your yard. It encourages bees to visit and help pollinate your flowers. Clover also produces nitrogen which is good for your lawn. And finally, it is a low growing evergreen plant, which means more green in your lawn. [Read more...]

Outdoor Patio Table Planter, Vase and Serving Station – a #LowesCreator Idea

piece_together_pvc

 

three in one patio table centerpiece vase and planter

 

Wanted: A better name for this invention I created!

What is it? I consider it a multi-purpose centerpiece for your umbrella-shaded patio table. But, it can also be a serving station for utensils and napkins. Add some water and it becomes a vase for the table. When the flowers wilt, plant some shade loving flowers into it and you have a living centerpiece! So, my working title was: Plant-a-ma-bo-a-ma-holdey-flowers-n-stuffin-vase. But, I don’t think that anyone would be able to pronounce that. (Nor would that be very SEO friendly.)

Whatever the name, I’d love to share how easy it is to make this outdoor living table centerpiece. [Read more...]

Creative Container Gardening – DIY Talent The Pink Hammer Blog

Kelly_color_profile_pic

Welcome back to another day of the DIY Talent Parade! Do you see that flurry of pink activity? You know what that means, it is none other than Kelly from The Pink Hammer Blog!

Kelly is the gal behind those rockin’ pink tools. With a drill in one hand and a hammer in the other, there isn’t anything she can’t do! Take this bathroom renovation for example:

She took it from dark and dingy to sea-inspired-licious! The transformation is impressive, don’t you think?!

Today Kelly is going to whip up some creative containers for planting. And, boy oh boy does she have some creative ideas!  Take it away Kelly!

[Read more...]

How to Root Plant Clippings

close_up_daphne_flowers

I have a bush in our yard that is a pure delight to me.

It has the distinguished honor of being the first flowering plant in our landscaping after a long winter. In the winter, it has pretty dark shiny evergreen foilage. When these little white blossoms open, they produce the most heavenly lemon smell.

My angelic plant is a Daphne bush (maybe the star white variety ) and it seems to like the shaded spot it holds under the protective canopy of oaks over it. If there was ever a plant I want more of, this is it. So, I decided to try to root some clippings this year using rooting hormone. [Read more...]

Landscaping for FREE or How to Organize a Plant Swap

mingling_before_swapping

Do you want to give your landscaping a face lift? Are you tired of the builder’s grade boxwoods in your front yard, but you don’t really have the money to buy new plants. You shouldn’t have to! Get new plants, bushes, flowers, seeds, bulbs and more for FREE! Plus, I guarantee you will also get loads of horticultural advice from experts who are familiar with your soil and light conditions. Those experts and generous donors happen to live right around the corner from you!

Sound too good to be true? It’s not — and honestly — I’m not writing an infomercial here. You just need to organize a neighborhood plant swap!

I have been doing just that for the past four years. The time commitment is very small and yet the rewards are big. Since doing the plant swaps, I have filled our landscaping with lots of plants that are low maintenance because they grow in abundance in our neighborhood (most of us share the same soil and light conditions.) Plus, I’ve learned enough to avoid killing most of my plants now.

It all started about five years ago when I read an article about organizing a community plant swap. I thought the idea was genius! But, I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know much about plants, rooting, dividing and all that fancy gardening stuff. But, it turns out I didn’t need to know much. My neighbors have been more than gracious in sharing their gardening tips and knowledge with me. Every year I walk away with a slightly greener thumb.

Here are the details of how I organize our neighborhood swap every year. I host ours in October because fall is the perfect time to plant. Plants go dormant as the weather cools, so they need less water and are less likely to go into shock when transplanted. Some plant swaps are held in Spring when new shoots are easy to cut and root. And — because frankly — Spring is the time of year when everyone is coming out of hibernation they want to see flowers and plants (not snow.)

1. Set a date – mornings on a Saturday is best for most folks.

2. Scream it from the rooftops – advertise the swap in your neighborhood newsletter, online bulletin, flyers or individual invitations. Here is the message I send out in the newsletter and to our neighborhood online bulletin:

Neighborhood Plant Swap

Saturday, October 8th 10am (Rain Date TBA if needed)

Locations: your street or other communal location

Do you envy your neighbor’s landscaping? Want to bring more diversity into your yard? Looking to meet some of your neighbors?

Come join us for the Annual Neighborhood Plant Swap!

Divide those bulbs! Dig up seedlings! Root some clippings! Bring some seeds! Or just come empty-handed.

We hope to see you there!

Help some of us new gardeners by labeling plants with as much information as you can:

Name, light requirements (sun, shade, part sun, etc.), soil and water requirements and a short description (height, color, flowering, etc.)

3. Yell a little louder – continue to publicize as the date nears – send out an emails, recruit friends to come, and set out signs a few days before the swap to drum up interest.

4. Contain it – Start collecting used pots, recycled yogurt containers, plastic bags, and anything that can hold a plant that you dig up.

5. Cut it out – 2-3 weeks before the swap, take your clipping and do research online about getting them to root (Sand & Sisal has a great post about getting your clippings to root.) Some clippings only need to be set in a vase of water and put in a sunny window. Others may need you to nick the stem and dip it in rooting hormone.

6. Dig in – 1 week before the swap (or the morning of! Yup, I’m the queen of procrastination.) Dig up your plants, collect seeds, divide bulbs. Set them  in containers. Don’t forget to keep the plants watered or they may die before the swap. (Seeds and bulbs or tubers don’t need watering.)

7. Tell me more – Label your plants with as much detail as you can. At the very least, the tag should have the plant name, preferred light conditions, height.

Here is a plant tag template for your convenience. Special thanks to Karen, The Graphics Fairy for sharing this design. It is actually a blog background design, but I turned it on it’s side and cropped it.

You can make your own tags (several people just handwrite the info on a 3×5 index card.) But, the graphic designer in me had fun making these vintage french tags. (PDF download for your own personal use by clicking on the picture below.)

8. Day of the Swap – Put a big sign and some balloons at the end of your street. Set up a few folding on the street or in a driveway. I use two 8′ tables (plastic tables are best since they wipe easily and aren’t damaged by water) and one card table for coffee and donuts. Refreshments are optional (a little coffee and sugar makes any occasion a bit more fun.)

Have a few supplies on hand:

  • Rag and spray cleaner for clean up afterwards
  • Tape
  • Paper for signs
  • 3×5 cards for last minute labels
  • Sharpie marker
  • Twist ties or string
  • Baggies
  • Wagon or wheel barrel to bring home your new precious plants (assuming you walked to the swap.)

Label three areas on the table: sun, partial, shade.

When people arrive direct them to set their plants on the table according to the amount of sun they need.

Time for some browsing and mingling. Allow your neighbors plenty of time to talk, look at the plants, and ask questions. We normally wait about 20 minutes before actually swapping plants. This gives plenty of time for late stragglers to show up. AND, this is the time to gather all those expert tips and information. All you have to do is stand over a plant, point at it and ask, “Anyone know anything about this?” Naturally those expert gardeners’ ears will perk up and they will be happy to show off their knowledge. Be sure to put on your listening ears because you will get a wealth of information.

After people have had time to mingle, you can start the swap. I’ve heard several ways of doing this. Some swaps allow people to take as many things as they brought to swap. Our group is a lot more laid back, and yet we ALWAYS have plenty of leftovers. We all start by taking one plant. When everyone has one, then we go back for seconds, etc. etc. At the end we try to “sell” the leftover plants and convince each other to take them home.

Ultimately we are usually left with a dozen or more orphan plants. Therefore, after the swap, I leave the tables up for the rest of the day and send an email letting people in the neighborhood know that there are FREE plants for the taking. At the end of the day I clean up and take home any orphaned plants and try to find a spot for them.

Have you ever been to a plant swap? Do you have the desire to create your own plant swap? I’d love to hear about it.

Make Your Own Decorative Mushrooms

Did you see the cute little red and white mushrooms in my terrariums that I made? They were super easy to make. I can show you how and this will only take a second.

Materials:

Instructions:

Mark the height you want your mushrooms to be on the dowel rod. Add 1/2″ to the height for anchoring it into the soil. Cut your dowel rod (or a branch in a pinch.)

Spray your cut dowel rods (or branches) with spray primer. Be sure to coat all sides. Spray the acorn caps at the same time.

Spray paint your acorn caps red.

After the paint has dried, glue the acorn tops to the dowel rods using E-6000 glue.

Let the glue harden (about 30 minutes.) Add some dots of white paint onto the red caps.

Press your adorable little mushroom into the soil in your terrarium and then sit and wait for a fairy to move in.

See, I told you it would only take a second! Well, besides waiting for the paint to dry, this project takes less than five minutes.

I have a mushroom leftover, but I don’t have any more terrariums. Any ideas what I can do with a little lone mushroom?

UPrinting.com Giveaway Winner

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed reading all your comments on the UPrinting giveaway. Some of you had some amazing photos that you really wanted to have printed. And some of you brought tears to my eyes when reading about photos of loved ones who have passed on. You made me think about both my grandmothers who passed away over 5 years ago and who I still miss almost daily. I wish I had a photo canvas for each and everyone of you. If you didn’t win, I really hope you will look into having your photo printed as a rolled canvas and stretch it yourself to save money. Your photos are too precious not to! (Oh, don’t make me cry again.)

We do have ourselves a winner of the UPrinting.com rolled canvas! And she has a special photo in mind.

Deborah wrote: “Thank you for posting this. I would never have known you can do this yourself. I would love to have my favorite picture of my 3 kids printed in a huge size for over out sofa in the living room.”

Deborah is a blogger and homeschooling mother of three children. This month she is writing a series (inspired by The Nester) on 31 days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly on her blog Green Willow Pond.

Green Willow Pond

She has some great tips and ideas on saving money. From making your own linen napkins to making your own laundry detergent! Truly a woman after my own frugal heart.

Congratulations Deborah. Please check your email and get back to me asap to claim your prize.

 

 

 

 

Make Your Own Terrarium and Save Hundreds of Dollars

Tile Adhesives from Tile Depot

Terrariums are making a comeback in home décor. Gone are the octagonal mirrored terrariums. They have been replaced by sleak apothecary jars, tall cylinders and lidded glass vessels (to name just a few shapes.)

Twig Terrariums has an amazing array of beautiful ready made terrariums or DIY kits for sale! Some of them have stunning details, right down to a little miniature person inside the lush world. The terrarium below sells for $200.

If you want to create your own version that is a little more budget friendly, it isn’t hard to do. In fact you can get some plants from a local nursery or as close as your own backyard!

Materials:

  • Glass container (with or without a lid)
  • Small decorative pebbles or pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Live Moss
  • Terrarium plants (small shade loving plants)
  • Potting shovel
  • Water

1. Clean your glass container with soap and water and dry it.

2. Add a layer of gravel or decorative pebbles to the bottom of your glass container.

 

3. Add a layer of potting soil. No need to level it.

 

4. Collect your plants and think through the plant placement in your head.

 

5. Gently remove a plant from the pot.

If it is root bound (all the roots are wound tightly around the bottom) gently tease some of the roots free and break apart the roots at the bottom of the plant.

 

6. Insert your plants into the soil.

Put taller plants at the back and the shorter ones in the front so you can see all the plants.

 

7. Cover the soil with moss. You can cut or tear pieces to fit flush with the edge of the terrarium.

8. Fill your terrarium and let the water soak in. The water should reach the top of the rocks. Check the water level a few times a week and be sure to refill when the water gets low. If your terrarium has a lid you won’t have to water as often as a lidless variety.

 

9. Add any decorative embellishments like these faux mushrooms (tutorial HERE)…

…or my sons’ favorite, a little plastic dinosaur!

Terrariums make the perfect year round accessory. I have them prominently featured in my living room along with some other natural elements.

This version was made entirely with plants that I have growing in my shade bed. Small ferns, arugula and creeping ground covers. Plus, I added a few round pebbles for visual interest.

I might pick up a tiny person or two at a hobby shop next time I’m near one. Anyone seen any that look like the characters in “Land of the Lost” heh, heh, heh!


In the meantime, I’m loving my cost effective terrarium. Yes, terrarium singular, because the cylinder terrarium was a gift for our friends who dog sat for us.


I almost wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairy take up residence in one.

I’ve been busy working on some more projects to show you, so hang tight and check back soon! ;-) In the meantime, I hope you have a fabulous weekend and are enjoying Fall!

 

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

PunchHole

Every year my son’s elementary school has a staff and teacher appreciation week. It sneaks up on me and catches me off-guard (every year!) I REALLY appreciate those men and women who give their time and patience to my child and the other kids in the school. So, I want to make sure I give them something a little different than a card (not that a card isn’t a nice gesture though.)

This year, I spotted some glass votive holders at Goodwill (my latest free time hangout location), and knew I could do something special with them.

Then while doing laundry I found myself staring at the succulent plant that I had received from FreeCycle.org. I had been neglecting it for a while and yet it still continued to thrive. Eureka! I had my gift idea!

Materials:
Plant
Decorative plant rocks
Potting soil
Glass votive holders
Raffia
Cardstock paper
Spoon
Water

Start by filling the bottom 1/3 – 1/2 of the votive holder with the decorative rocks.

Spoon soil on top of the rocks.

Set the plant into the soil and fill in any bare spots with soil. Water the plant until the rocks are underwater, but not the soil.

Print out the gift tags  (Download my tags for free HERE!) and cut them out.

Punch a hole in the top.

Tie a string of raffia loosely around the plant and attach the tag.

Deliver to school with a big thank you and an “I appreciate you” smile!

So, tell me, if you were a teacher, would you appreciate this? Or is this just another tchotchke collecting dust on your desk?