The Ladder Garden

I’ve been researching this DIY project for about a month now, and I’ve seen so many different styles and shapes of ladder gardens. Before we get into some examples of what I want to build, let me tell you what a ladder garden is. A ladder garden is, in literal terms, a garden that is in a shape of a ladder. Here is an example: (Visit this website: Click MeEe)

From what I’ve seen on the Internet, it doesn’t seem like an easy project. However, I’ve really been wanting one and I don’t have the means nor do I want to spend a couple hundred bucks on it. I would rather make it and save money.

There’s a version of the ladder garden that basically uses an old, metal ladder. I personally want the material to be made out of wood and preferably shorter. Here’s the metal version: Click MeEe.

This next one would be the one I would attempt to build. I would definitely need the help of my fiancé, a crafty woodworker, to help me purchase, measure, cut, sand, tint and build the ladder. Here’s the one I really want to attempt to build if I were to build one in the future: Click MeEe.

I hope to make this soon. I think it’ll be an awesome way to display all my cactus plants. (I love cactus, BTW)

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Mirror-Finished Vase

I came across an idea while looking at some vases on Pinterest. I found one that was spray painted with a “frost” spray, which made the vase look frosty. I wanted to add my own twist to it so I looked for different textured sprays online, and I came across the mirror-effect spray paint.

This is my second vase, but I absolutely loved this project. It was fun, fast and so easy. The end result came out very pretty; much prettier than the plain old vase I started out with. Just make sure you spray paint in a very well-ventilated area.

Here is the list of things you will need:

1. Vase of your choice (I bought this from Amazon.com for $5)

2. Masking tape with different thickness (This is completely your choice; my vase was only 7 inches tall, so I used .25″ thick masking tape and .38″ tape. These were a little pricey because I bought them at an art-supply store. I spent $15 for the both of them.)

3. Krylon’s Looking Glass Spray Paint (It gives the finished product an almost “mirror-glass” look. Very pretty! I bought this on Amazon.com for around $7.)

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Step One:

I took the tape, started at the top, and twisted the vase in my left hand as I held the tape steady in my right.

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Step Two:

I took the taped vase, and started spray painting it according to Krylon’s instructions. The spray paint smelled so bad though, I had to wear a mask. (Beware: It does NOT smell like regular spray paint.)

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I took the vase and spray paint and took it to a well-ventilated area.
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This is after the first coat of spray paint.
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This is after my 3rd coat of paint
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This is after my final coat of spray (7 coats, I believe)

Step Three:

I let the paint dry completely before peeling the paint. The results are posted below.

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It’s so pretty! I will definitely be spray painting more objects with this in the future.

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The Somewhat Successful Chalkboard Cups

Let’s start with the truth. I thought I did a pretty good and thorough job of making these cute, do-it-yourself, chalkboard-painted cups. I successfully finished painting, drying and then peeling the tape off. They came out really cute.

Cactus Cup
I wrote “Cactus Cup” because I was going to plant a cactus in it.

This is where it gets funny.

I wrote “Cactus Cup” on one of the cups because I wanted to plant a small cactus in it. I didn’t like the writing so I tried erasing the words. It didn’t come off. (I followed all instructions, spray paint and liquid chalk marker instructions) I then gently wiped my cup dry from the water, and the towel scraped and scratched off bits of the chalkboard spray paint.

Failed Scrape
Parts of the chalkboard paint got scraped off while gently towel drying it so I attempted to peel the paint off with my nails. This is the failed result of that as well.

However, if you plan on using it as a decoration without writing and erasing, then this is the project for you.

To make these cups, I only needed 3 things.

1. Masking tape. (I have a very thin masking tape in the photo because I couldn’t find my regular 1-inch thick tape)

2. ChalkBoard Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum)

3. Ceramic, non-porous surface cup

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I took the masking tape and taped all around the cup, including the handle so that the spray paint would only be on the bottom side of the cup.

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Next, (after I finally found my 2-inch thick masking tape) I went on to taping the rest of the top of the cup, including the top, and went on to flipping it upside down for easier application.

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I started spraying, one coat at a time. I just followed the spray paint’s instructions.

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After about six coats, I let them air dry.

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I let the cups dry completely and finally peeled off the tape. They came out very nice.

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(This is the liquid chalk marker I used, and after following directions, it didn’t even erase completely from the “chalkboard” cup) I am never buying this brand again. (I bought them from Amazon.com for $7.)

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Anyway, I have the one other cup left that I managed to leave and not write anything on. This time, I’m going to write “Cactus Cup” on it and plant a cactus in it. Hopefully, that’ll work out better.

The Ring Holder 2

This is one of the cheapest ring holders you can make.

They may seem too simple, but I think that’s the best part about them.

You can decorate them in any way possible. I left the pieces of wood blank because I honestly did not know how to decorate them. I am still thinking of how to decorate them.

I thought of spray painting, but that’s been done. I used a lot of spray paint in my other DIYs.

I thought of acrylic painting, but it seems too flat and simple.

I then realized that I had some ‘flowers’ left over from another DIY project I did. So I ended up gluing flowers onto the pieces of wood.

All I used were two pieces of cutout pieces of wood I found at Michaels craft store for $.88 and hooks from Home Depot for $2 each package.  I definitely did not need to purchase two different colors but I did anyway in hopes that I will need the rest of the hooks someday.

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The Picture Frames

I made these two picture frames for less than $10. I think they’re simple and rustic. They were very easy to make and I very much enjoyed making them.

Also, I think these picture frames would make great gifts for the holidays and for any other occasion.

I purchase the materials at Michaels craft store. I chose to stick to the neutral color theme so I chose brown flowers, but you can choose any decorations of any kinds, sizes and colors.

You will need a hot glue gun, some decorations of your choice and picture frames.

Additionally, I chose to sand the frame down to avoid getting splinters. This step isn’t necessary and you can choose to skip it.

First layout your decoration pieces onto the frame and adjust them where you want to glue them.

Next, glue your pieces together.

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And voila, two lovely picture frames for your own use or for a gift.

The Ring Holder 1

I recently got engaged and I have a new ring I have to take care of. I’ve already misplaced it a couple time, and all those times nearly gave me a heart attack. I decided to go to stores and purchase a couple ring holders. (Ring holders are these things below; they come in many different shapes, colors and sizes.)

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However, the ones I saw in my price range were not pretty at all, and I did not want to spend any money on an unattractive trinket for my rings.

I was wondering what I should do because the pretty ring holders were over my budget.

And lo and behold, I had an idea. What if I make one? I researched online and found that a lot of people used clay. So I went and ordered Sculpey Clay on Amazon for $7.

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A piece of advice, make sure you cover your work surface with something. I tried rolling the clay onto a black coffee table and it left white residue on the table. I found an old clean piece of cardboard and worked on top of that.

I started off by cutting pieces of clay and rolling them out into a ball.

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I then flattened them out in an even layer to make the base. Make sure it’s thick enough. Mine was about a centimeter thick.

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Next, I rolled out a long strip to make the sides.

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I then smoothed it out as much as I could to make a dish/bowl.20141109_142317

Next, I took another piece of clay and formed the “holder” part of the ring holder. I then attached it to the bowl.

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Finally, I baked it in the oven according to the clay’s direction.

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My fiancé made this one.. He said it was the Tree of Gondor. (From Lord of the Rings)

These are the three I baked and I have to say, they came out pretty well.

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I could have kept them plain, but I decided to paint them.

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Try these out, they were cheap and pretty!

The Hot Glue Gun Vase

I made these cute flower vases that you can use to decorate your table for a brunch with friends or a romantic dinner with a loved one.

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You will need only 4 things to make these.

1. Vase(s) of your choice (I bought mine off of Amazon.com. I think I spent around $13 for the both of them)

2. Spray paint of your choice. (I chose a glossy one; you can use a matte spray paint)

3. Hot glue gun

4. Alcohol wipes to clean the surface of your vase. (You can use a cotton ball with some alcohol on it)

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Step One:

Wipe your vase clean with alcohol wipes or a cotton ball with alcohol on it.

Step Two:

Heat up your glue gun and write whatever your heart desires. I wrote “love” and “hi”. I also drew hearts on them.

(I will admit, this was really hard to do. I tend to have a steady hand when drawing or painting minuscule things, but it was impossible to control the flow of the glue while trying to keep the stringy ends to a minimum. You can see the stringy and tapered ends that make it messy. However, I think I did a pretty good job for my first time.)

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Step Three: 

Spray paint it with a paint of your choice. I chose a glossy-finish cream-colored spray paint. I purchased this at Walmart for less than $4.

(Follow the instructions on your paint can.)

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This is the result after spraying my final coat of paint.

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The words came out a little messy but from a distance, they’re cute and I think they can be a fun, do-it-yourself project to turn boring vases into a decorative table center piece.

Try it out and let me know how it went for you in the comments. (:

craft, recycle, diy