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9 Upcycled & DIY Planters for Your Container Garden

By Becky Striepe

Whether you're growing food, succulents, or houseplants, you need something to put those babies in. These upcycled and DIY planters come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can choose what's best for your garden.

Whether you’re growing food, succulents, or houseplants, you need something to put those babies in. These upcycled and DIY planters come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can choose what’s best for your garden.

Sure, it’s easy to pick up a pot or two while you’re shopping for plants at the garden center, but those pots come with an environmental impact (not to mention a sometimes crazy price tag!). You don’t have to go that route, though! I bet there are some things around your house right now that would make perfectly functional and even cute DIY planters with just a little crafty love.

Here are some upcycled and DIY planter ideas to get you started!

1. Olive oil planter – Do you buy olive oil in those big, metal tins? Just use a can opener to cut out the top, drill some drainage holes in the bottom, and you’re ready to plant!

2. Disposable planter to reusable planter – A little bit of burlap ribbon and glue are all you need to turn boring, disposable plastic planters into a DIY planters that are display-worthy!

3. Wood pallet planter – Life on the Balcony shows you how to turn a salvaged wood pallet into an awesome vertical garden.

Upcycled Planters - Whiskey Barrel

4. Reclaimed whiskey barrels – You can find actual used whiskey barrels at the garden center (woah!), but if you get your hands on a wooden barrel, you can just cut it in half and drill drainage holes on the bottom to instantly create two planters.

5. Recycled chevron planter – If you have some scrap wood laying around, turn it into an awesome rolling planter! Perfect for plants like Meyer lemons that don’t like extreme temperatures.

6. Soda or tin can pots – Collect some empties and turn them into planters for small things like herbs.

Shoe Garden

7. Use a shoe – Take a page from San Francisco’s Alamo Square Shoe Garden and turn a worn out pair of kicks into cute mini planters.

8. Recycled tires – Is tire dumping a problem in your area? Gather up a few and turn them into a planter!

9. Use a wine box – Next time you throw a party and get a case of wine, save that box! You can use it to make a miniature raised bed.

I bet that you guys have whipped up some cute DIY planters of your own. I’d love to hear about them!

Image Credits: Succulent and Whiskey Barrel photos by Becky Striepe; Creative Commons Shoe Garden photo by torroid

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

14 Handmade Business Cards from Eco-Friendly Materials

By Julie Finn

DIY Watercolor Business Cards

Want your creative business to have creative business cards to go with it? Check out this list of handmade business cards, all made from eco-friendly materials!

1. brown paper seed packet business cards. Makers of crafts made from natural materials would do especially well giving out these business cards that double as seed packets.

2. confetti cards. If you sell small crafts, you might even have the tiny envelopes on hand.

3. embellished business cards with a treat. If you’re a jewelry maker, consider embellishing your business cards with a couple of beads or surplus jewelry findings.

4. embroidered business cards. Hand these out when you want to make a BIG impression!

5. painted edges. Whatever business card you design, here’s how to give it a pop of color along the edges.

6. paper and fabric scrap business cards. If you sew, you can upcycle your fabric scraps for these themed business cards.

7. paper bag business cards. There’s something about Kraft paper–it just looks good however you use it!

8. paper scrap business cards. These look especially great if you work with paper, as you can include all of your littlest scraps and leftovers.

9. scrapbook paper business cards. If you’ve got scrapbook paper, you’ve got business cards!

10. sewn paper business cards. These business cards suit all kinds of craft businesses, but will be especially quick and easy to make with your sewing machine.

11. shipping label business cards. Why not use some of your extra shipping supplies to make your business cards?

12. shrink plastic business cards. Use plastic to make your business cards tiny and adorable.

13. watercolor business cards. Here’s a super easy way to embellish plain printer-ready business card sheets.

14. wrapped business cards. These cards would look well with stash leftover yarn or ribbon, or even thread.

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

Tutorial: DIY Watercolor Business Cards

By Julie Finn

DIY Watercolor Business Cards

I have a small handmade business, and it’s important to me to use handmade, eco-friendly business cards for it. That doesn’t mean that I LIKE to make business cards–it’s tedious, you have to make, like, a thousand at a time, and all you’re going to do is give them away so you can’t even enjoy them AND you have to go and make a thousand more, sigh…

So I am a huge fan of handmade business cards that take as little time as possible to make. And these watercolor business cards may be the quickest!

I cheated a little with these cards, as I usually prefer to hand-cut my business cards from recycled cardboard, such as cardboard food packaging or old record album covers. But I scored a half-used stash of these Avery business card sheets (thank you, Freecycle!), and the fact that these cards are white, for a change, is what makes this tutorial work.

To make your own watercolor business cards, you will need:

white heavy cardstock or business card printer sheets. If you don’t mind seeking out one store-bought supply, these printer sheets made for business cards are the poop! Get the kind that are uncoated and come away with clean edges, and your life will be so easy. Otherwise, look for a super-heavy cardstock or upcycle some thin cardboard that’s been bleached white.

watercolors. You can use solid watercolor palettes and a paintbrush, but in these pics I’m using liquid watercolors, both in miniature spritz bottles and with eyedroppers. Yes, we ARE still using this DIY liquid watercolor spray paint that I first set up for my kids six years ago!

printed or stamped business card information. You could print your business card info onto the back of your sheets, but I use this customizable stamp set for all of my handmade business cards.

DIY watercolor business cards

1. Watercolor your business cards. I spritzed a little paint onto my business card sheets as a background, then used an eyedropper to add more drops of color. I let some colors bleed into each other, and I inclined some of the pages so that the colors would run. Just go for randomness and let the chaos take control!

My darker colors, when dropped heavily, left a very light shadow on the backside, where I’m going to put my business information. I like this effect, as it carries over the watercolor theme, but if you’re using a different type of paper than I am, you might want to test it first to see how much color the backside shows.

As you’re working, you’re going to think that what you’re doing does NOT look cute. Just carry on–I promise it’ll look cuter in a minute!

Leave the pages to dry.

DIY Watercolor Business Cards

2 Seal the card fronts (optional). If you’re going to use these cards at craft fairs or otherwise out and about, give them a quick coat of your clear sealant of choice, and let them dry. Watercolor is water-soluble (duh!), so you wouldn’t want a customer to pick up your business card, walk out into the rain, and then get paint all over their hands.

DIY Watercolor Business Cards

3. Separate the business cards. Don’t they look a LOT cuter now? The chaos of the random watercoloring translates very well to a small canvas. I especially like how the color carries over to the edge of the cards, so that they look pretty even from the side.

DIY Watercolor Business Cards

4. Add your business information. If you didn’t print your business information onto the printer sheet, then add it on now to the backside of the cards. This leaves the front side as its own miniature work of abstract art!

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

Tesla Electric Power

By Andrew Dunning

Tesla

Solar energy – we all agree it’s a good thing, but generally the panels are so ugly. If you have a beautiful home and want to add solar panels the option has until recently been very limited. Too many beautiful homes have been ruined by the additional of ugly black rectangular panels on roofs along over the country. However much you want to harness the power of the sun surely we can still have a good looking home?

Thankfully Elon Musk and the innovators over at Tesla have just launched a great looking solution and it could be a game changer in seeing more people adding solar energy to their own home. If your home looked like this and it was collecting energy from the sun who wouldn’t want to choose solar panels?

The solar roof from Tesla, in conjunction with SolarCity, consists of glass tiles that are embedded with a very high-efficiency photovoltaic cell. The tiles will be offered in four different styles to suit the different architectural styles of home – Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile.

Tesla

Tesla also announced the launch of Powerwall 2, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to allow you to use the solar power from Solar Roof in your own home. Surplus solar energy can be stored when generated and used later, i.e. when the sun isn’t shining. The Powerwall 2 is around 115cm x 75cm so can easily be installed in your home – either indoors or outdoors.

Tesla

These new products were launched just last Friday in Los Angeles so it will be interesting to see how the products develops and progresses until they are launched next year. If you want to learn more head over to the Tesla site – alternatively for a more in depth review take a read of a great Bloomberg article on the new products.

Let’s hope Mr Tusk does for solar energy what he has done for electric cars – and maybe one day you’ll be inviting people over to see your new roof! I’d love to start harnessing the power of the sun and using it in my own home.

If you have enjoyed this post why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, or follow me for my regular updates on twitter. Full details of all our Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Filed under: Product Reviews Tagged: Solar Power, Tesla

Read more here: APD Interiors

It’s time to start planning your 2017 interior

By Andrew Dunning

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So you told yourself over Christmas that 2017 is the year you will finally get that new kitchen, redo the bathroom, rid yourself of the previous owners decor and finally make your house our own. But where to start? It can be very confusing deciding which room to redecorate, how to prioritise your spend, what to tackle first? To help you get started I’m giving you some inspiration from design projects APD Interiors completed for our clients in 2016.

Did your living room let you down over Christmas? When planning your home renovation I think this is always a good room to focus on as it serves as a retreat from the rest of the house. Relaxing in comfortable seating at the end of the day makes you forget that your bathroom is still avocado.

Last year after several years of grey being the fashion, and buoyed by a rediscovery of colour in interiors, we’ve seen a return to blue. In this Islington townhouse we used Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue to decorate the double reception room. The dark colour provides a perfect backdrop for the strong lupin fabric on the L shaped sofa and two custom upholstered chairs in Osborne and Little fabrics. The room is anchored by a modern engineered light wooden floor that has the slightest hint of blue in the grain.

The fireplace of the home was restored, something we always try to do to retain some of the original character of the home. The marble surround is complemented by a smart convex mirror in matt black. Adding a dash of black to your interior is an interior designers secret trick.

Good storage is essential to any home but you do need to strike a balance and not build into every space in your home. In this part of the room we didn’t opt for the alcove cupboards often seen in Victorian homes to keep the look more relaxed. Instead we bought smart media storage furniture from Heals and used a chair in the other alcove.

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If your bathroom is the 2017 project this is one we completed in Kings Cross. In an urban apartment we decided to remove the bath and fit a large walk in Matki shower surround. The homeowner very rarely takes baths and this solution is a much neater solution.

Tiling is always the one item where I always tell clients they shouldn’t comprise even if your budget is limited. On this project we combined a large grey square tile with a feature faux marble strip running around the bathroom. Luxuries like heated mirror pads and concealed LED lighting finish the look.

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One of the biggest projects you tackle in your home will always be the kitchen. Everyone now wants their kitchen to be the heart of their home and you need to think about how you will use the room. This is one area where a specialist interior design firm can listen to your brief and build a solution for your family.

In Highbury this year we designed and installed this bespoke kitchen for a client. If your budget allows this route will give you the kitchen of your dreams with little comprises. It also doesn’t have to be hugely expensive and is often comparable to the cost of mid end high street kitchen. We work with our in-house fabricators to create bespoke kitchens that are truly unique to our clients and their lifestyle.

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This kitchen was custom sprayed in a soft grey that complements the Element 7 mansion weave floor. Dashes of black were introduced with the honed black granite worktop and the steel exterior door. We also installed a new custom designed roof light to flood the room with natural light. The perfect balance between kitchen and dining space was achieved and it has now become the client’s favourite room of their home.

So having given you some inspiration it’s time to start thinking about your own home. Whether it’s the kitchen or bathroom, your bedroom or living room the sooner you start the sooner it will be finished. If you need help from us head over to our website and drop us an email.

If you have enjoyed this post and would like more inspiration why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, follow me for my regular updates on twitter or look at our Instagram feed. Full details of all our Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Filed under: Projects Tagged: Highbury, Interior Design, Islington, Kings Cross

Read more here: APD Interiors