The Upcycled Garden - Spring 2015

It's that time of year again! It's finally spring! Yay!
That means it's time for some new upcycled garden ideas.
Check out my picks for the most creative, unique, and beautiful ways to wow your
outdoor landscape and crate some fun, artistic, and functional art by incorporating 
salvaged and repurposed materials into your yard and garden. Check it out!

A beautifully painted old door adds magical charm to a garden. What a fun project!

This clever piece of garden art was made from a pipe and faucet from a hardware store,
an old bucket and old chandelier crystal. via Each Little World

Upcycle cans into small planters. via planetblue

Use an old crate as a vertical planter.

Looks like somebody likes to ride around the garden. How about this little guy? 

Garden chandeliers with votives from Ruffled blog found via Pinterest
I see lots of vintage chandelier crystals at flea markets. Why not fashion your own mini
garden chandeliers with wire, chain, and a handful of old crystals? 

This old sink was repurposed into a garden planter. via

Use an old mailbox to store your garden tools

Painted and personalized pavers brighten up a garden. from Quirkycool

Mobile garden dress as found on,  by Nicole Dextras

Light fixtures upcycled into hanging garden lanterns by La Manufacture

What do you do with a giant old tree stump? Turn it into a planter, of course! 

Old fence gates used as garden trellises via thegardenglove

Or how about making a trellis with old garden tools

Freeland Tanner's garden art from

Recycle old chair backs into a log bench

What do you think?

Check out my new diy jewelry books on amazon!

Jewelry Tutorial: How To Make Wire-Wrapped Ribbon Necklace Ends With Pearls

Using pretty ribbon is a great alternative to standard chain when creating a necklace! 
Ribbon adds color, charm, and softens the allover design of your project, and is a
great way to give your jewelry projects a unique, personalized look. For the project in
the photos, I used a 3/8" wide (9.5mm), soft, ombre dyed ribbon. The 3/8" is my personal
ideal ribbon width for ribbon necklaces, but you can use wider or narrower ribbon if you
like. Just don't go too thin or too wide or you may find it difficult to wrap with wire. The
same goes for stiffer ribbon materials. I find that thinner, softer ribbons are easier to wrap
with wire and are easier to work with in general. You can also use as many strands of ribbon
as you like. For the project shown, I used four lengths of ribbon that I sandwiched together. 
Idea: Try using a variety of coordinating colors together! 

I attached the ribbon to my focal pendant at two points by threading it through two jump 
rings that were attached to my pedant (one on each end of the pendant), which you will see 
in the following project steps. On to the tutorial! 

Materials needed:
Ribbon (I used eight - 18" to 20" strands of ribbon, four for each side of my necklace)
22 gauge wire (two 10" lengths and two 6" lengths)
Jewelry pliers (I use flat nose or rosary pliers)
Pearls or beads that will fit onto your wire
Side cutters
Focal pendant with jump rings attached
Necklace clasp 
6mm (or larger) jump rings to finish the clasp-ends of your ribbon

Gather your ribbons together so that the ends are laying flat against each other in your fingers. I used a group of four ribbons, and I like to make them long - I measured mine
to be about 18" to 20" in length. You will need two of whatever you measure - one group of ribbons to attach to each side of your focal pendant.

Use scissors to trim the ribbon ends at an angle so that the ends come to a point.

Hold your ribbon ends together, keep that point intact!

Thread your ribbon ends through the jump ring on one end of your focal pendant.

Once all of your ribbon ends are threaded through your jump ring, gather the ends neatly
together and then trim them straight across with scissors.

Next, neatly fold the ribbon ends that you just trimmed back against your long lengths 
of ribbon.

Now it's time to add wire! I like to use either 20 or 22 gauge wire. If you use a gauge that
is too heavy it will be difficult to wrap the wire tightly enough around the ribbon for it to be 
secure. Also, if you are going to add beads or pearls to your wire, don't forget to make sure
 that the beads or pearls fit onto the wire before you start wrapping. 
To begin, cut a 10" (25.4cm) length of 22 gauge wire. Position one end of the wire beneath
where you folded over the ribbon ends, leaving about 1" of wire extending from below the
other side of the ribbon. While you position the wire, be sure to hold down the ribbon ends, 
keeping them gathered neatly together as shown in the above photo.

Now for the tricky part! Once you have the wire positioned below the ribbon, use your fingers to bend either one of the wire ends around your ribbon, wrapping it as tightly as you 
can. While doing this, you will have to firmly hold onto your ribbon against the wire, 
keeping them in place against each other so that the ribbons do not move around while you
 are wrapping the wire. Continue to wrap the wire as tightly as you can. Remember that 
these wraps are what will be holding your necklace together, so you do not want them to be 
weak. Make eight or nine wraps an then stop if you are planning on adding pearls or beads.

After you have made about eight or nine wraps, it's time to add some beads or pearls to your 
wraps. To do this, thread a pearl or bead onto your wire, and slide it down the wire until it is 
flush against the ribbon. Use your finger to hold the pearl against your wraps and then 
continue to make two or three more wraps around your ribbon with your wire. 

 Now add a second pearl or bead to your wire, and as you did with the first pearl, push it
down your wire until it is flush against your other wraps, positioning it as you see fit, and 
then continue to wrap the tail end of wire firmly around your ribbon. I like to make my 
wraps kind of free-form with no particular rhyme or reason. I love the handcrafted, organic
look of wraps that were clearly done by hand and not by a machine! 

To finish your wrap, continue wrapping the tail of wire around your wraps until
you are very close to the end of your wire. I then like to use a pair of jewelry pliers to tightly 
pull on the end of wire to help tighten up the wire against the ribbon. Next, snip off any 
excess wire length from the end of the wire (if needed) with your side cutters. Use your
 jewelry pliers to tuck the end of the wire into your previous wraps. Repeat this process with
a second group of ribbons, wire, and pearls/beads, attaching them to the second jump
ring on the other end of your focal pendant. 

To finish off the clasp ends of your ribbon necklace, repeat this process on the end of each 
side of your ribbon necklace: simply gather the ribbon ends neatly together and then trim 
them with scissors so that the ends are all the same length. Then use a 6" length of wire to 
tightly wrap the ribbon ends on one side of your necklace together four to five times and 
then stop and thread on a 6mm (or larger) sized jump ring. Then continue to tightly wrap 
the wire until you reach the end, tucking it into the previous wraps. Repeat on the opposite side and then attach your clasp to one of your jump rings on one of your ribbon ends.    

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What do you think?

Learn how to solder and make unique jewelry!

Egg Carton Flowers And Egg Carton Crafts

Flowers made from recycled paper pulp egg cartons are nothing new - As a matter of fact, I remember them from grade school! (certainly not going to give away my age here, but let's just say that was well over 3o years ago!) 

In any case, egg carton flower crafts are a great way to recycle paper pulp egg cartons. The cartons can easily be cut, shaped, and painted to look like a variety of different flowers. This is a craft that the entire family can do together, and that makes it even better!

As for the flowers, check out the varieties I've gathered here for you. 
Personally, red poppies are my favorite... 
I might have to fashion a garland of those for myself!

Egg carton flower Anthropologie display, image from lovelywren (above and below)

Sweet little way to reuse an egg carton from marieclaire

Egg carton flower lights by Norskeinterior

Egg carton flower bouquet by Then She Made

Egg carton flower tutorial by Five Days 5 Ways

Egg carton flowers by Hennymats

This garland of egg carton lights look like fairy flowers... by Espritcabane

Egg carton roses (above and below) by Rosi Jo

Egg carton daffodils by Intimate Weddings

DIY egg carton flower centerpieces by Intimate Weddings

These remind me of Lilies - egg carton flowers by Supercozy

Egg carton mushrooms by hjane

 Of course you could always use them as seed starters for spring!
image and link from Little Alexander

What do you think? 

Which is your favorite?

Check out my new diy jewelry books on amazon!