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Nature

DIY – Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell

DIY Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell Title PageDIY – Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell.  Avocados are in season in the subtropics at the moment.  Recently I came back with a haul of these homegrown beauties from the locals who offer roadside stalls at beautiful Tamborine Mountain.

DIY Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell After scooping out their green buttery goodness, it occured to me that the leftover shells were almost perfectly round halves and just ripe (sorry) for a craft project.  This particular variety of avocado is called Reed. It’s the roundest of them and I think the most delicious!

DIY Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell Setting I mixed a small batch of white cement, washed sand and water and poured into the avocado half. The pit was used for the tealight ‘holder’ space. I oiled both the shell and pit with olive oil.

DIY Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado ShellLet it dry for a few days and you can easily peel the shell away from the concrete (the oiling really helped too.)  Pop out the pit and you’re done! Sand smooth or leave rustic.

Points to Note:

  • To be honest I didn’t know the difference between cement, mortar and concrete. So I looked it up and from my understanding, here is a summary if you’re interested:
  • Cement is just one component of concrete. Cement is the binding element.
  • Mortar = Cement + Sand
  • Concrete = Cement + Sand + Gravel. The strength depends on the amount of water used and also the sand to cement ratio. There’s all sorts of technical information and ratios, but that’s it in a nutshell, or in this case, an avocado shell!

I suppose really this should read DIY – Mortar Tealight Holder from an Avocado Shell.

DIY Concrete Tealight Holder from an Avocado ShellClaire

DIY – Plants Rock! Air Plant Display Idea No.1

DIY - Plants Rock! Air Plant Display Idea No 1 Title PagePlants Rock! I love plants, all sorts, but some are easier to care for than others. Meet the Tillandsia genus (Air Plants) – possibly one of the most interesting yet undemanding plants for your home or office.  Here’s also possibly the simplest DIY idea to display them.

You will need:

  • Rock. I used Rose Quartz.  There are meanings and properties to various crystals and rocks, but really I just liked the pink colour.  Choose any you like, but be careful of natural stones containing copper.  Copper will kill your Tillandsia.
  • Air Plant.  Purchased from Bunnings for $6.99.  This particular one is Tillandsia ionantha. It’s information card says “Small compact species to 8cm across, clustering habit, flowers appear in warmest months on red foliage. Hardy, great indoors or outdoors.”  Those pink tinges look really pretty with the rose quartz.
  • Glue. I used a hot glue gun. Slightly cooled. Air plants use their roots as an anchor, not to source water, so it’s quite safe to glue them. E6000 is also a good choice.

How to :

Glue your chosen Tillandsia to your chosen rock. You’re done!

Points to Note:

  • Copper is an enemy of Air Plants. I’ve also read that so is zinc.  Since brass is an alloy of both copper and zinc, perhaps mounting on brass is also not a good idea?
  • YOU WILL STILL NEED TO WATER YOUR PLANT!  It will not continue to survive on air alone, nor on just light misting / humidity in the air.  Gently ‘dunk’ your plant in water, lightly shaking off excess droplets. Do this about twice weekly in warmer months, just once a week or even less during the cooler season, as a guide.
  • Use regular tap water, NEVER distilled or salty water.
  • Display in an area where it will receive bright filtered light and your attention.
  • As a gift idea, pair your plant with a stone that may have a special meaning and/or metaphysical properties for the receiver.

DIY - Plants Rock! Air Plant Display Idea No 1

DIY – How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower Colour!

DIY - How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower Colour Title PageDIY – How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower Colour! Make these with simple supplies and a cosmic boom of colour will meet you within a few weeks of planting these handmade paper stars, embedded with Cosmos flower seeds.

You can use these stars as decorations, wedding favours or sweet little gifts.

DIY - How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower Colour SuppliesYou will need:

  • Coloured Paper. Any colour you please. Plain, not from glossy magazines.
  • Tea Towel. Fine weave if you can. Waffle ones will leave indents on the stars.
  • Cosmos Seeds. These were $1.47 from Bunnings.
  • Star Shape Cookie Cutter. I already had one, but try Op / Thrift Shops.
  • Straw. The drinking kind.
  • Chopstick. Try to find one with a flat bottom and a bit pointy at the other end.
  • String / Cord. I used cotton, so it will also biodegrade into the garden.
  • Scissors. For cutting your string
  • Workspace. May get a little wet and when drying the stars, somewhere warm.

 

You will also need (not pictured):

  • Blender. For ‘mulching’ up your paper.
  • Water. Also for making paper pulp.
  • Strainer/Collander. For draining the pulp.
  • Sweater / Jumper Flat Dryer Rack. Mesh – helps your stars to air dry.
  • Paper Towel. For draining excess moisture.

DIY - How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower Colour Steps 1 - 8How to :

  • Tear about 3 sheets of paper into 5cm (2″) pieces and add to the blender.  Cover with warm water and pulse until ‘mush’. Strain (but don’t squeeze) the excess water.
  • It almost looks good enough to eat (like ice cream in a bowl) but DON’T.
  • Take about a cherry size piece of pulp and add 3 to 5 Cosmos seeds. Mix gently.
  • Hold your straw where the hole will be and drop the pulp ball into your cookie cutter.
  • Drop pieces to fill the star and gently mash the pulp, with the flat end of a chopstick.
  • Use the pointy end to ensure the star points have pulp all the way into the edges.
  • When smooth, remove the straw and hold above some paper towel
  • Press out gently onto the jumper dryer rack.  Leave here or transfer to paper towel.
  • When dry, add your string and Voilà!

Points to Note:

  • Add glitter to the pulp mix if you like and/or use a flour and water glue sparingly AFTER the paper stars have dried if you want more glitter. Don’t ‘seal’ in the seeds.
  • Use a (fancy metallic) pen to write names or messages on the stars.
  • I didn’t use a paper punch so as to ensure the seeds remained intact.
  • It’s important to position the straw FIRST. It’s impossible to get through wet pulp.
  • The thickest you want to make them is no more than 5-6mm.
  • You can keep the paper pulp (with NO seeds added) in an airtight container in the refrigerator, so you can make the stars in batches when you have spare time.
  • Plant in Full Sun and water regularly until established.  Enjoy your blooms!

DIY - How to Make Seed Paper Stars for a Cosmic Boom of Flower ColourClaire

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