Succulent ‘Seat Cushion’: Hypertufa DIY Planter

I have to say that hypertufa planter chairs are my all time favourite DIY upcycle project for the garden! What could be better than a ‘seat cushion’ made of succulents?

Roadside Rescue

Look what we stumbled upon discarded at the side of the road! Hubs and I couldn’t wait to turn it into a hypertufa planter chair! Today we’re giving you the low-down on how you can make one too!

At first glance, we both thought the chair was cast iron. But on closer inspection it turned out to be a plastic imitation. Hubs and I loaded it into the car; luckily we grabbed it before anyone else did!

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Pond Maintenance: Get Your Pond Ready for Summer!

Opening up the pond for the season is a dirty job. But somebody has to do it – and thankfully, it’s not me! Someone has to be behind the camera 🙂

Flashback to last Fall: we tie off the grass (to be cut down in the Spring) and cover the pond to protect it from the elements. This is how we leave it over the winter:

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Homemade Pesto

Homemade pesto is the payoff after we previously showed you how to set up an indoor herb garden! My personal favourite herb is basil and we use it in a lot of dishes. It’s not only great as a pesto, but in a bocconcini, tomato and basil salad. As you’ll see later, we also love to use it to simply top a burger.

You might be tempted to pick off a leaf or two as you need it. But if you make a habit of doing that, you can leave the plant looking spindly and sad. The key to producing more basil, and keep it lasting and looking good, is to prune. Pruning will foster full bushy plants. To ensure that you are not going to damage the plant, wait until it has at least three or four sets of leaves and is about 6″ to a foot tall before the first pruning.

Pruning Basil

Basil leaves grow on opposite sides of the stem. Cut the plant 1/4″ above at least two sets of leaves (where the scissor icon is pictured below). The leaves left at the top of the stem will grow out to become branches. Once the branches bear a few sets of leaves, again, just cut them above a pair of leaves and the plant will re-grow.

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The scissor icon shows you where to prune the stem so you can pop it into some water!

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Indoor Herb Garden

We love herbs but they are typically sold in such large bunches that they end up spoiling before we can finish them. Under those circumstances a living herb garden makes perfect sense! But let’s face it. Canada really only has two seasons: winter and the month of July. The perfect solution for us was to start growing our own herbs indoors!  Growing our own will not only curtail our current food waste, but provide a ready source of nutrient rich, flavour-packed herbs year-round!

Find a Sunny Window

We have the perfect sunny spot in a window that faces South to grow herbs successfully! With the help of Ikea’s SATSUMAS plant stand and VILDAPEL plant pots, we got busy setting up our little herb garden.

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Vintage Ink Stamp Holder Upcycle

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that one last bloom from the garden as Fall sets in, grab an ink stamp holder the next time you’re out hunting for those vintage treasures. I can promise this will be the fastest, easiest and cutest 5 minute project you’ll ever do!

We were on the way back from a rare Saturday appointment when we stopped in at our favourite antique market much later than we would usually go. When you snooze you lose, but in this instance the timing was perfect because we probably would have overlooked this piece had we gotten there earlier!

I didn’t know what I was going to do with the ink stamp stand until about 2 seconds after I purchased it. Inspiration didn’t take long to hit!

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Guitar Planter

With the weather transitioning, our guitar planter can be displayed outdoors while the weather is still nice and then brought inside to enjoy until next Spring! We first saw a guitar planter in 2012 while vacationing in Florida when we visited the botanical gardens in Naples. It was like any traditional botanical garden until we came upon a stunning vignette in the Smith Children’s Garden. It featured planters made of items from garage sales, thrift stores and donations to show that expensive flower pots and a lot of space is not needed to have a garden.

This was very much up our alley: repurposing items into planters to save them from going to a landfill! The guitar planter left a lasting impression on both of us. Thinking back, it’s probably where my adoration for succulents started to turn into more of an obsession!

Roadside Rescue

Recently Hubs came across this abandoned guitar. He’s the best ‘Partner in Grime’ a girl could ever ask for: always bringing me other people’s discarded items!

This guitar was beyond saving as an instrument but absolutely perfect to use as our first victim (I intend to make another one after working out some of the kinks on this one).

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Front Paver Walkway Makeover

I had yet to install a paver walkway, despite owning and renovating two houses before this one. Hubs came into the picture shortly after I bought this house so it was great timing for me; maybe not so much for him! Faced with rows of underwhelming builder slabs that the previous owner lived with for over 20 years, the perfect opportunity presented itself for both of us to learn a new skillset!

Here’s an idea of how the walkway looked before (but you’ll have to imagine it without the pond because we installed that ourselves)!

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Repurpose Your Bathroom Fixtures in the Garden!

They say that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, but I wonder if that holds true when items you would typically find in those spaces are used outside! Why not repurpose your bathroom fixtures in the garden?

We had a blank section of fencing at the entry to our backyard that needed a little somethin’ somethin’. Last August when we stumbled upon a garage sale, I decided that the somethin’ was going to be a bathroom light fixture!

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‘Partners in Grime’ Planter – Snazz up Metal & Terra Cotta with Milk Paint!

The ‘partners in grime’ planter is a celebration of 14 years of DIY. I feel like we’ve come a long way since my husband first raised his eyebrows when he helped me replace all the ‘perfectly good’ door knobs in my house soon after we met. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks! It wasn’t until he agreed to help me install a little pond beside the front walkway that I realized he really was a DIY wannabe. Little did he know what I had in store for him after we wed! Although we’ve only been documenting our DIY pursuits on Birdz of a Feather for a few short years, since tying the knot he’s become my one and only ‘partner in grime’. We really do enjoy DIY’ing together.

When I came across this galvanized planter set at a garage sale for only $1, I had an idea to create something that was inspired by hubs.

Previously we showed you how to get milk paint to stick to anything! A bonding agent was used to paint right over a lacquered finish on a mini adirondack chair (which you’ll see later). I was curious to see if milk paint + bonder would stick just as well to other surfaces, such as metal and terra cotta.

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Solid Fence Screen

You know the proverb: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!  Well, our house in the burbs has a wooden fence that surrounds it. It’s great that it defines the boundaries, but it’s not so great for privacy. As you can see by the picture below, we have a distracting view of our neighbour’s pool in the back yard. No grass – just a cool, refreshing, inviting pool that we don’t have access to 🙂 As if the sightline isn’t bad enough, noise transference is an issue too.

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