Upcycled seed starters

Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comI’ve read that planting seeds is a sign of optimism. It’s pretty cool watching a little thing grow into a living, flowering or fruit-producing plant so I’m in. My garden space and amount of sunshine it gets is minimal so I’m sticking to few herbs and sweet peas. It’s still a bit chilly here so I whipped up some seed pots and started these inside. I’m not at all a fan of recycling crafts (I actually refused to do them when I taught kids craft camps), but I’m making an exception here. Yes, these are made from toilet roll tubes – totally biodegradable and plantable right into your garden. Start saving yours now or ask your neighbours to help you out, then make yourself a bunch.
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comYou need one empty toilet roll per seed starter. Here’s how:
Cut 4 slits about an inch and a half up one side.
Fold one side in to the centre and give it a little pinch to make a crease. This will help the fold to hold. Fold in the opposite side, then the two remaining sides. Voila! A tiny pot, perfect for one or two seeds.
If you find these a bit tall, simply cut an inch off the bottom of the entire tube then start the instructions from the beginning. Although they seem tippy, they flatten out once the weight of some soil goes inside. Add your soil, seeds and give them a misting!
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comSeed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comI’ve got mine sitting in a plastic tray that my ground turkey came in, washed out of course. You could also use an empty milk carton or line a little box with plastic wrap…maybe a tissue box. Someone stop me…the recycling bug has bitten.
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comOnce your seeds have sprouted and your wee plants are ready to go into the ground, plant the whole tube to keep the young roots intact. It’ll break down over time. Easy, peasy! Feel free to show your optimism with a little planting of your own!

Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Easter friends.

Spring bucket list

spring bucket list www.nestinthewest.comThe days are definitely getting longer and brighter! It’s slowly warming up and my beloved sun is visiting more regularly. I love Spring and all the great colors and smells that come with it.
spring bucket list www.nestinthewest.comI’ve made a little bucket list of things I’d like to do to celebrate this season. Here it is:

  • hang lights on the front patio
  • start and finish the 21 Day Fix program
  • plant seeds and grow an herb garden
  • swim once a week
  • have a thrift shopping day
  • make a ‘scrappy’ bunting and wreath for the front patio
  • send out some random happy mail
  • make marshmallows from scratch
  • keep running twice a week and run a 5 km race
  • do a ‘paint your own ceramics’ session with Sydney
  • go on a photo-taking day trip

spring bucket list www.nestinthewest.comWhy make these seasonal bucket lists, you ask? I find that time goes by so fast and there’s gotta be more to life than just going to work. I make these to keep me on track with things I want to do and places I want to go and as a reminder to have fun and live more in the moment. Plus they’re a great excuse to be still and color! What about you? What’s on your list for Spring? Whatever you’re up to, I hope you enjoy it and all this season has to offer!

Previous lists are here and here!

Leather bow bracelet DIY

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLet’s get crafty! There’s a photo of this bow bracelet all over Pinterest and I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. The lack of instructions was holding me back but it was pretty quick and easy to figure out plus I learned a new ‘skill’. I love how this gives a big hit of color but is practically weightless on. Gather some supplies and make some too!

You need:

  • scraps of leather, suede or pleather
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • small hole punch (optional)
  • snap kit OR button, thread and leather needle

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comMay I offer a couple of suggestions for finding leather? Michael’s sells scrap bags that are literally that. You never know exactly what you’ll get but you can see most of it through the bag. Most towns will have a leather shop, ask them for small pieces or scraps. They’re often really good quality and reasonably priced. Check your local thrift shops for leather skirts, jackets or pants. Those 80’s fashions can be cut and upcycled!

Okay, let’s make a bracelet.

  1. Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut a piece of leather to 2″ wide by about 10″ long. Also cut a scrap about 1/2″ wide and 2″ long.
  2. Pinch the centre of the leather strip using a bit of an accordian fold. On the back side, put a dot of glue in the middle of the pinch. Attach the short side of your little scrap and hold a moment until set. Wrap the rest of that scrap around the front of the pinch and add a second dot of glue to the back side, probably on top of the strip and glue again. Trim any excess leather and glue bits. This is your ‘bow’ done!
  3. Wrap the leather around your wrist with a good inch or so of overlap. Trim the length if you need to. Now we need to figure out how to attach the leather ends to form a bracelet. You guys, I tried hammering on snaps for the first time and am blown away at how easy it is – I totally recommend it. If you go that route, use a small hole punch or the little tool that comes in the snap kit to punch a hole at one end of your leather. Find the centre and go in a good 1/2″ from the end. Do the same on each end. Follow the very clear instructions on the back of the snap kit to hammer the snap and closure into place.
  4. Another option for a closure if you’re shy of the snaps is a button. I prefer the ones with a loop on the back over ones with holes. They give the leather a better place to sit when buttoned. Just sew a button on one end and cut a small slit on the other. The slit should be just big enough for the button to squeeze through. An exacto knife works well for cutting leather.

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLeather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comSofter leather works best for these because they let you get the best pinch/fold – plus they’re super comfortable to wear. If you make one, please remember to remove it for showering and swimming. Now I’m off to find more projects that require snaps…so fun!