DIY Chalkboard Easter Egg “Baskets”

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DIY Easter Chalkboard Pots - Go from Easter basket to plant pots once the holiday is over!

Easter baskets are fun to fill, gift and receive, but when my son was little we used his basket once and then it would sit on the shelf in his closet for a year. Rather than buy something and use it once, why not upcycle your basket into something new after Easter is over?

Easy DIY Chalkboard Plant Pots

I was browsing Darby Smart when I fell in love with these super cute chalkboard plant pots (image above via Darby Smart.) Having happily purchased DIY kits from them previously for my son and niece this past Christmas I went ahead and purchased this kit without hesitation. Not only did they ship within two days, they arrived within two days of shipping and the kit was exactly as described. However, instead of making them into plant pots, I made mine into miniature Easter baskets!

Since the pots come with Cool Bistro Chalk Markers writing your message on these pots is a snap! You can then easily change the message by simply erasing the chalk marker with a wet paper towel and then write a new message. Easter and even spring gardening projects aside, these could also be used for small Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. Here’s how you make them…

Easy DIY Chalkboard Easter "Basket" Pots

DIY Chalkboard Easter “Basket” Pots

You’ll need:

Three small terra cotta pots (3 1/2″ in diameter by 3″ height)
Broad Point Tip Fluorescent Blue Bistro Chalk Marker
Broad Point Tip Regular White Bistro Chalk Marker
Pebeo Porcelaine Black Chalkboard Paint
foam brush

What to do:

How to Make Chalkboard Planters

Using the foam brush paint your pots with chalkboard paint. Allow to dry 15-20 minutes then apply a second coat of paint.

Bake on the chalkboard paint

Once these finish drying, heat in the oven on a baking sheet at 300°F for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the pots to cool completely in the oven. This process bonds the chalkboard paint to the surface of the pots.

DIY Easter Craft Project - Easy Chalkboard Easter "Basket" Pots

Now write your message on the pots using your Bistro chalk markers and fill them with the goodies of your choice. I used the crinkle paper that my DIY Darby Smart Kit came packed in as Easter “grass” then filled them with candy, eggs and my DIY Easter “Peeps” Inspired Homemade Soap!

DIY Chalkboard Easter Eggs

I still had a bit of chalkboard paint left over that can be used for other projects. Darby Smart also has some other great Easter ideas and DIY kits right now that use chalkboard paint like the DIY Chalkboard Easter Eggs pictured above from their website.

DIY Chalkboard Coasters for Easter

And these easy to execute DIY Chalkboard Easter Inspired Coasters!

Right now I have three new Darby Smart DIY Kits I just purchased and received waiting for me to get my hands on them! I’m super excited. I’ll be making animal canisters, mini magnetic terrariums, and etched champagne flutes!

Want to start on your own Darby Smart kits? Use coupon code: howdydarby when you shop at Darby Smart and receive $10 off your purchase. Plus there’s always free shipping! Oh, and did I mention they also have a new Flower Power Soapmaking Kit?

Looking for more quick and easy DIY Easter projects? Be sure to follow my DIY Homemade Easter Crafts and Treats board on Pinterest for more great ideas. You can also follow me on Blog Lovin‘, FacebookTwitterTumblrGoogle + and Instagram!


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How to Create New Succulents from Clippings

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Making New Succulent Plants with Clippings from Existing Plants - Great for Handmade Gift Ideas and Favors

My succulent container gardens that I made back in May for Mother’s Day have been, of course, growing. So in order to keep them looking great, I had to trim a few of the taller succulents. I decided it would be great to re-grow these clippings into new plants that I could pot for other areas of my home and office at work that needed a little bit of greenery. As I’m pulling some of my arrangements inside to avoid the cooler fall evenings we’ve been having – the cooler weather can easily kill off your succulents – I also thought it’d be a great time to get creative and fill in some of my empty pottery pots – like the one pictured above – that I made many years back in my intro to pottery class in college.

DIY Succulent Container GardensI took clippings from several of my succulent container gardens. The particular clippings I used were from the succulent plant shown in this photograph on the upper left. They just happened to grow faster and much taller than the others and were quite tall after four months in the sun on my porch.

Succulent Clippings Arrangement in Water

The “correct” way to root your succulents is to clip them from the plant, then set them aside in a cool, dark location for a week or so then plant them right into the soil. This is definitely how it needs to be done with those low lying succulents that you really can’t clip a stem off of. Basically you have to take a leaf from the plant and root it. As these were taller and I always have trouble rooting the leaves, I just plopped a selection of these clippings in shallow water in a ceramic container and used them as a table centerpiece.

Succulent Clippings Growing Roots - How to Create New Succulent Plants from Your ClippingsIn the meantime, the clippings grew roots.

Rooting Succulent Clippings to Make Potted Arrangements

At which point I gathered several of these clippings together along with a container to put them in and some dirt.

Pretty DIY Potted Succulents Made from Rooting Succulent Clippings

And then all that was left was to plant them in their new home and water. What I love most about succulents is that they are so easy to grow and do especially well when you forget to water them. Plus most varieties can still thrive in low light areas. Just don’t forget to bring them inside the house in the winter! While some varieties will come back if they are killed off by the cold, others won’t. So keeping these planted in containers is best suited for their survival.

Do you grow succulents in your home? What ways have you had success with when starting new succulents?


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DIY Upcycled Washi Tape Planter

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DIY Easy Upcycled Planter - Made with Washi Tape and an Empty Vinegar ContainerI use so many gallon sized containers of vinegar every month – for everything from a homemade after shower spray to a natural and inexpensive laundry softener – that I wanted to  figure out something I could actually use these plastic containers for rather than just tossing them into the recycling bin. One of the quickest and easiest ways I thought of to upcycle these containers is to re-use them as pots for plants.

To make these pots, simply cut off the top of the container with sharp scissors – I used a knife to get started – wash thoroughly, then wrap with strips of your favorite washi tape. You can also make a small drain hole in the bottom if needed. Leave some of the plastic on your new pot exposed and you’ll be able to tell by how dark the soil is, whether or not it’s time to water.

I put one of my pepper plants in my pot while it’s waiting to be transplanted into the garden. However, these would be perfect for using container succulent gardens and for planting your favorite flowers and annual herbs.

Once I have three more of these vinegar containers emptied and ready for upcycing, I’m planning to use them with a dowel and eye hooks to create some new wall storage in my office.

Looking for more ways to re-use everyday containers? Be sure to check out my DIY Storage Box Organizer as well as my post on Creative Ways to Recycle Everyday Things. You can also follow me on Pinterest!

How do you recycle and upcycle everyday plastic containers?


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DIY Container Succulent Garden – Last Minute Homemade Mother’s Day Gift Idea

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DIY Container Succulent Garden Project - Last Minute Homemade Mother's Day Gift IdeaNeed a last minute homemade Mother’s Day gift idea for mom? Skip the bouquet of flowers and instead gift her with a gorgeous DIY Succulent Container Garden Arrangement! Not only is it inexpensive to make – definitely less than a florist’s flower bouquet – but it will last and last even if Mom doesn’t have a green thumb!

Succulent Plants for a DIY Succulent Container GardenTo get started you’ll need to purchase an assortment of your favorite succulent plants. Our farmer’s market sells larger succulents for about $6 each, but I found these at our local Lowe’s stores. They offer four packs of smaller sized succulents for $3.98 each making it easy to mix and match and create multiple container succulent garden arrangements.

How to Make Your Own DIY Succulent Container Garden ArrangementI also bought some Miracle Grow for my container gardens, although you can use regular potting soil or dirt. For my containers I used some handmade pottery dishes I had purchased several years back from local artisans at our farmer’s market. I chose containers that I really liked, but didn’t really use. You can use existing containers you have on hand for this project, buy new containers, or check out thrift stores. Additionally, I found some rocks in various shapes, sizes and colors in my backyard to use within my arrangements. If your yard is rock free, take a walk through a local park to see what you discover.

DIY Succulent Container Garden Arrangement - Last Minute Homemade Gift IdeaCreating your succulent garden arrangements is easy. There’s nothing to mess up as it’s completely a matter of your own taste! Simply fill your container with dirt, then add succulents throughout the container using rocks to break up sections or fill in gaps. Once you have a look you like, water your finished arrangement thoroughly.

I chose to use a larger aloe plant for the center of this succulent container garden arrangement. It may seem a little sparse now, but remember to leave some space as these will grow!

Last Minute Homemade Gift Idea - DIY Succulent Container Garden ArrangementHere is my second, and somewhat smaller, succulent arrangement. Again I used an aloe plant in the center. What I love about these is it’s okay to forget to water them. I know I always do. As these grow, you can thin the the arrangement and use the new growth to make new container gardens or to gift to friends.

Indoor Container Gardening - DIY Succulent Arrangement Gardening ProjectAnd here is yet a third, even smaller succulent garden arrangement I made in a cereal sized handmade pottery bowl by another local artist. I had a lot of fun with these. In the end I purchased enough of these neat little plant to make my own mother a handmade succulent arrangement for Mother’s Day, one large multi-tiered arrangement, one medium arrangement and one smaller arrangement for my own home. If you want to be sure you don’t over buy like I did – oopsie – take your container or containers with you to the store when you go to purchase the plants.

I hope everyone has a lovely Mother’s Day. And be sure to share any handmade gifts you receive on your special day!


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Growing a Container Garden: From Bush Cucumbers to Herbs and Fruits

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Don’t have the time to till a garden bed or just don’t have the space? Even if you don’t have a yard you can still grow vegetables for your table! I went down to the Roanoke City Market over the weekend itching to buy something other than herbs that I could grow in a pot. The solution? Bush cucumbers!
After talking to Tim of Rolling Meadows Farms I purchased some bush cucumbers from him, then transplanted half into a large container. (As they grow I’ll probably split these again into a second container.) The other half I left for my mom to plant in a container somewhere she could place up high so the deer couldn’t eat her crop this year like they did last year. Apparently bush cucumbers are perfect for containers. They’ll also produce cucumbers a lot sooner than cucumber plants that grow on vines. Just make sure to place your container of bush cucumber plants in full sun and keep watered.
Cucumbers aren’t the only things you can grow in containers though. There are a long list of fruits that can be grown in pots like strawberries and kumquats, and veggies like summer squash, tomatoes, acorn and pumpkin squashes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, small melons, and of course herbs and many greens. Be sure to check out TLC’s article, 66 Things You Can Grow at Home: In Containers, Without a Garden, for a fairly substantial list.

And, if you’re looking to deter pests and diseases in your garden – however you choose to grow one – I highly recommend taking a peek at the article, 35 Pest and Disease Remedies, from Fine Gardening Magazine. It offers some great recipes for keeping your garden looking great with ingredients from your kitchen! For even more great gardening ideas, be sure to check out my Gardening Board on Pinterest.
What types of plants are you going to be growing in your garden this year?

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