Spring Craft: DIY Herb Garden Painted and Labeled Planters

The Craft Challenge

This post is part of The Craft Challenge. If you’re interested in learning more about the challenge, you can read about it here.
DIY painted planters with labels

While deciding what I wanted to make for the Spring portion of The Craft Challenge, I kept coming back to flowers. But I didn’t want to use flowers because I painted them last week. What’s more Spring-y than flowers?

I’ve wanted an herb garden for a long time, and Spring is a good time to buy herbs. I also enjoy painting so putting the two together seemed like a no-brainer. So, an indoor herb garden it is.

Making everything was the easy part. Keeping the herbs alive is going to be a bit harder. I’ve never kept anything green for more than a month, so we’ll see how this goes. I’ll keep you updated.

DIY planter materials

Things You Will Need:
Acrylic paint
Paint brushes
Painters tape
Sharpie paint markers

You will also need herbs (which you can buy at a greenhouse for about $5 each) and some potting soil. The lady I talked to at the greenhouse recommend Gardner’s Gold brand.

painting tape on planter

Step 1
Tape off the top half of your planter so the paint stays below the rim.

solid-colored planter pots

Step 2
Start painting your planters. I chose a variety of bright colors to add some pop to my living room.

painted labeled herb planters

Step 3
Paint your labels onto the planters. I chose to do some hand lettering of each herb I chose with a minimalist design.

DIY painted planters with labels

Make sure they have a good drainage system and you’re good to go! Set them on a sunny windowsill and water them when the soil feels dry.

herb garden planters

herb garden with labeled planters

I can’t wait to be able to use them for cooking and tea!

Let me know what you think! Did I choose a good Spring craft?

If you’d like to see the last challenge, check out the Yarn Craft Challenge. The other bloggers’ crafts are linked at the bottom of the post.

The Craft Challenge Participants

Craft Challenge 2015 Introduction Eclectic Enchantments A Pop of Red Found This Painted That Tinkerbell Knits Make Something Mondays Image Map

Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy Crafting!

DIY Watercolor Flower Painting

watercolor flower painting

My mom LOVES flowers and that is probably and understatement. The house I grew up in is like a jungle because of all of the plants.  Anyway, it was her birthday on Thursday so I went home for the weekend to spend some time with her.

I know it’s traditional to buy birthday cards, but I’m really not a fan of picking up some templated card with text that some random person wrote. I wanted to give her a birthday card that was more personal so I decided on a watercolor painting with a happy birthday at the bottom.

The process can take a while, depending on your experience level, but it’s a great starter project for getting into watercolor painting.

There are a few things you should know before you start using watercolor

Watercolor paints are transparent, so if you’re used to using oil or acrylic, this might be a little bit harder to get used to. You have to plan out where you’re white space is going to be. Painting an area white after you’ve painted it a different color is not going to work.

Limit your color palette to 2 or 3 colors. If you get too many colors on the paper, they will start to blend together and get a little muddy.

Use a variety of brushes. Don’t try to use one small brush. Vary the sizes and you’ll get better results.

watercolor flower painting materials

Things You Will Need:
Paint brushes
Paper towels
Watercolor paints
Thick paper (watercolor paper, Bristol)
Flowers to look at (optional)

watercolor prep drawing

Step 1
Draw a very light outline of flowers on your paper with a pencil. These will be your guides. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look fantastic. The best thing about watercolor is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to look nice.
light blue flowers

Step 2
Paint your lightest colors first. Make sure your brush is wet (but not soaked).

To get a lighter shade of the color you’re using, get your paint brush wet, swirl it on the paint, dip it back into the water, then lightly dab it onto the towel. When you start painting you’ll get a very light color.

To get a darker shade, just use less water. Go from the paint directly onto the paper.
watercolor painting of flowers

watercolor painting with no outlines

Step 3
Paint on the darker colors.
watercolor flower painting

Step 4
Wait for everything to dry, then draw a thin black outline around all of the flowers and leaves. The outline helps to pull the whole image together and make it look a little more defined.

When you’re finished, you can add your message at the bottom and you have the perfect, from-the-heart birthday card. Your recipient will appreciate it much more that the card you thought about buying at the store.
If you’ve never used watercolor before, don’t worry! This is a good medium to start with. The colors bleed easily when there’s a good bit of water and can be easily touched up with ink when you’re finished. I would definitely recommend playing around with it. It’s a very nice stress reliever.

Hope you enjoyed my DIY for this week! I’d love to hear your feedback.

DIY Sketchbook Pen and Pencil Holder

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Every artist that carries a sketchbook should have an easy-to-access pencil. Some carry multiple pencils in a fold-up case, but I typically don’t used more than one or two at a time. But every time I get an idea, I have to look for a pencil. So, I thought about buying a pencil holder for my sketchbook but, of course, decided to make my own instead. I know you’re surprised.

It’s really easy, cheap, and didn’t take long at all. I did mine my hand, but if you have a sewing machine, this will move a lot faster.

I love that it fits around my sketchbook so that I always have pencils with me. I was also excited about the elastic band because it fits a variety of sizes of sketchbooks. I’m trying out a Mod Notebook right now, but when I’m done with that one, I can use the pencil holder for my Moleskine as well.

sketchbook pencil holder materials

Things You Will Need:
Sewing kit

You can find everything you need for the DIY sketchbook pencil holder at Michael’s or any other craft/hobby shop.

pencil holder sizing

Step 1
Measure out your main piece of fabric to be situated something like this around the front cover of your sketchbook. That extra space is where we’re going to sew in the elastic later on.

pencil holder fabric pieces

Step 2
Cut out two more pieces of fabric: one for the actual pocket and one to accent the top of the pocket.

The pocket piece should be about half the size of the wrap-around piece.

The accept piece is optional, but looks nice. It’s your call how much space you want that one to take up.

pencil pocket

Step 3
Fold the accept piece under on both sides and sew it to the pocket.

pencil pocket inside wrap

Step 4
Fold over the piece that wraps around the sketchbook, inside out. Place the pocket inside of that. I put mine about 2 inches from the bottom of the wrapped piece, but this will depend on the size of your sketchbook. You’ll have to measure it to see what you like.

pencil holder with sewn edges

Step 5
Sew up both sides of the wrapped piece, making sure to include the pocket with your stitch.

Don’t sew across the top or the bottom of the wrapped piece or the pocket.

pencil holder in progress

Step 6
When you’re done sewing up the sides, flip the fabric right-side out so that you can see the pocket.

Sew across the bottom of the pocket so that your pencils don’t fall out.

elastic pencil holder

Step 7
Measure out your elastic pieces so that your wrap will fit around your sketchbook cover.

Now you can sew the elastic pieces into the top and bottom of the wrapped piece. Make sure to fold the ends of fabric pieces down inside first so the edges look clean.

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Wrap the pencil holder around the front cover of your sketchbook and you’re done! Well, you’ll need some pencils, of course.

open sketchbook with pencil holder

The inside should look something like this.

sketchbook with pencil/pen holder

When planning out the pencil holder, I wanted something that wouldn’t ruin the cover of my sketchbook. In order to do that, I chose a thin fabric and made sure to end the pocket section right at the bottom of the sketchbook cover. With the fabric and elastic that takes up space on the inside of the sketchbook, it only lifts the cover a little bit. I’m happy with that.

If I wanted to carry anything else, like a smaller sketchbook or my wallet, it would fit nicely underneath the pencil holder, which is very convenient.

I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments.

Happy crafting 🙂

DIY Upcycled Striped Wedge Heels

DIY Upcylced Wedge Heels

I love the idea of high heels but I never wear them, mostly because they hurt my feet after a while and I’m kind of a wuss. But I’ve had these wedge heels for a few years and I love them because they match almost everything I own and they’re actually comfortable. They also walk a fine line between dressy and casual. Perfect, right? Yeah, until they look as worn out as mine did.

roughed up wedge heels

Yep, those are in rough shape. Instead of trashing them and buying a new pair, I decided to see if I could upcycle them. If not, then I’d give it and spend the money to get a new, probably less wonderful pair of wedge heels.

Warning: this project took about 4 hours with drying time. It was definitely worth it, but I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you are planing to do the same thing with your shoes. It’s a perfect craft for a day when you have cleaning and laundry to do.

materials for DIY upcycled heels

Things You Will Need:
Satin paint
Wedge heels
Painters tape
Sponge brush

*You might also want some Outdoor Mod Podge or waterproof spray protectant for afterwards. My paint bottles say to let the paint cure for 7 days before using them. Afterwards I plan to waterproof them as well.

**Before you get started, cut off any frays or loose material on the heels. I also used a file to sand down the rougher parts so that the paint would lay smoothly.

taped wedge heels

Step 1
Tape around the wedges so that you don’t get any paint on the fabric/plastic part of the shoe. Make sure it’s very close to the wedge. Otherwise, you’ll have to touch it up later.

Then you can tape up the heels to create your striped pattern.

white striped heels

Step 2
Paint the white on first.

This is the part that takes a very long time. Depending on the color of your wedge, you might need to add quite a few layers of the white paint. Since mine were brown, I had to paint on 5 layers.

Wait until each layer is completely dry before adding another layer.

When you’re satisfied with the white sections, very slowly and carefully peel off the tape. You want to make sure you’re not pulling any paint off with the removal of the tape.

tape job 2

Step 3
Tape off the white sections of the wedge heel so that you can apply the black paint.

black striped wedge heels

Step 4
Apply the black paint.

Follow the same procedure you followed in step 3 with the white paint. You probably won’t need as many layers though. Since black is a dark color it will cover up the brown much easier.

Make sure to let the paint dry between layers.

When the paint is completely dry, peel off your tape starting with the tape around the white sections.

chipped paint

touched-up paint

Step 5
Apparently, I didn’t pull the tape off slow enough because some of my white paint came with it. Ugh… it was devastating.

So, this step is for touchups. I didn’t want to risk pulling off any black paint, so I eyeballed it.

You can hardly tell I had to touch it up.

striped wedge heels

Read your paint bottle. It will tell you how long you have to wait for the paint to cure. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a week. I am  really happy with the way the shoes turned out though. They’re not perfect, but they’re good enough for me!

DIY Upcylced Wedge Heels

Let me know what you think!

Do you like them? Would you try it?