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Garden Home Scrapbook

Make a simple and inexpensive scrapbook or planner for your garden home.

Materials:

  • Artist spiral bound sketchbook
  • Stapler
  • Permanent marker
  • Photos of home
  • Paint chips reflecting exterior paint colors
  • Fabric samples (for instance from lawn furnishings or accent pillows)
  • Items cut from magazines or copied from books
  • Plot plan of property
  • Glue

Directions:

 

  • Fold pages of spiral bound sketchbook and staple to create pockets approximately 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the original page. These pockets are great for storing photos, loose papers, plot plan, etc.
  • Glue onto pages inspirational pictures cut from magazines. These can be plants you are interested in trying, a garden that you would like to emulate, etc.
  • Glue or staple onto pages swatches of fabric and paint chips to be used as reference points
  • Use your imagination and have fun!

Drying Flowers

If you find it hard to say goodbye to your favorite summer flowers, there are several quick and easy ways to extend your enjoyment of their beauty and save some money as well.

One of the best ways to preserve your flowers is simply to dry them. You may be surprised to discover how many blossoms can be dried and then combined into striking and long-lasting floral arrangements.

While there are many ways to preserve flowers, air drying them is one of my favorite methods as well as the simplest. Gather flowers through the growing season when they are looking their best, then strip the leaves after picking. Use rubber bands to bundle together the same variety of flowers into small groups. Make sure the rubber bands are tight so as the stems dry, they will continue to constrict around them. Dry large flowers individually.

Dried flowers and seed pods

Hang the flowers upside down in a warm, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight. Once dried, spray the flowers with hairspray or an aerosol floral sealer to help prevent shedding and shattering. This is especially effective on ornamental grasses.

If necessary, use thin floral wires (found in craft stores) to strengthen the stems of the flowers. Now they’re ready to be arranged.

To learn more about drying flowers, check out the video below!

 

Build an Easy Citrus Topiary

Cone Shaped Topiary made with Lemons, Key Limes and KumquatsDecorating ideas can be found as close as your fruit bowl.  This simple citrus topiary is super for adding fresh color and fragrance to your home, especially during the winter months when we spend so much time indoors.

Materials
Lemons
Kumquats
Key Limes
Foam Cone
Floral Stakes
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks

Directions:
Foam Topiary Cone and Floral SticksInsert the sharp end of a floral stake into the fruits.

Go around the insertion point with a little hot glue to secure the stake to the fruit.

Begin attaching the fruit to the Styrofoam topiary form at the bottom.  Simply press the stake into the Styrofoam.

Insert Fruit into Foam Topiary ConeCover the cone evenly with lemons, then fill in with limes and kumquats.

Stuff sprigs of greenery, such as boxwood, between the fruit.

Set the arrangement on a bed of glossy evergreen leaves.

1-2-3 Done!™ Fresh Lemon Greenery

Pipe Cleaner Inserted through a LemonAn easy way to give an evergreen wreath or fresh garland a little extra zip is to simply attach a few fresh lemons with green pipe cleaner. I like using pipe cleaners because they won’t tear through the rind of the lemon like wire has a tendency to do.

  1. Use an ice pick to pierce one end of a lemon.
  2. Slip a pipe cleaner through the hole, fold the ends toward each and twist once.
  3. Tie the lemon to greenery.

Preserve your Fall Memories with a Leaf Frame

Pressing leaves is a good way to preserve them for use during the fall and early winter. Fall Leaf Frame

Materials:

  • Assorted fall leaves
  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ Picture frames
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tree bark
  • Twigs
  • Pressed leaves
  • Spray adhesive
  • Background paper such as linen writing paper
  • Tissue paper
  • 5 or so heavy books
  • Iron
  • Extension cord
  • Brown wrapping paper (paper sack grade)
  • Scissors

Directions:
Collect colorful fall leaves, twigs and bark pieces.

Press the leaves. You can do this a few different ways. The old-fashioned method is to dry them between the pages of a heavy book, such as a dictionary. Simply place the leaves between two pieces of tissue paper and insert them into the book. Close the book and set it aside for a week or two. This is a good way to press leaves if you want to wait for a rainy day to complete the project.

If time is of essence you can speed up the process by using an iron. Place the leaves between two pieces of brown wrapping paper (paper grocery sacks will work as well). With the iron on a low setting, glide it over the top layer of the paper. This will flatten the leaves and remove some of the moisture. This usually takes about 10 minutes with 2 or 3 leaves between the paper.

Now once you have several colorful leaves pressed you can make a creative picture frame. You can find inexpensive frames at a hobby store. Create a pattern with the twigs and tree bark and attach them to the outer edges of the frame with hot glue. Allow the glue to dry. I made a simple border with the twigs and filled in with bark. It gives the frames a nice, rustic look, perfect for the fall.

With the frame completed, you are ready to add the leaf “picture.” Lay the frame on top of a nice sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. This will help you place the leaf where you want it in relation to the inside edges of the frame. When it comes to paper, you can use just about anything. Construction paper is nice as well as linen writing paper. Just use your imagination.

Apply a dab of spray adhesive to the back of the leaf and press it onto the paper.

Once the adhesives dry put the paper and leaf design into the frame and presto, beautiful framed fall foliage.

Flower Press

One art form that I really admire is that of pressed
flowers. It’s great because you can pick and preserve
the flowers and use them year round to create pictures,
note cards and decorate picture frames.

It’s a fun way for children to become engaged in
gardening and begin to take a closer look at the many
gifts of nature. In late summer our gardens are full of
beautiful blooms that are perfect for pressing.

Building a flower press is simple. All you need is a few
simple materials:

Materials

  • (2) 14 inch x 14 inch pieces of 1/4 inch plywood
  • (4) 3 inch long 1/4 inch threaded bolts
  • (4) wing nuts and washers to fit bolts
    Hand drill with 1/4 inch bit
  • 5 – 7 pieces of cardboard 14 inch x 14 inch with the corners trimmed off so that they will fit around the bolts. The flowers will be pressed between these.
  • 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Clamps
  • Markers
  • Masking tape

Materials for making a flower press

Directions:

  1. First measure and mark the corners of the plywood to indicate
    where to drill holes for the bolts. At each corner, with a
    pencil or pen, mark a spot about 1" in from the edge of
    the plywood.

  2. Lay the second piece of plywood under the one that you have
    marked and clamp the 2 together. Drill a hole in each corner,
    using a 1/4" drill bit.

  3. Now you are ready to assemble the press. Begin by placing 1
    washer on each of the bolts. Thread the bolts through the
    bottom piece of plywood and set this on your workspace so
    that the screws point up. Stack the cardboard on top of the
    plywood and cap with the second piece of plywood so that the
    bolts fit through the holes drilled into the corners.

  4. Add washers and wing nuts to each to the bolts. Tighten the
    wing nuts.

  5. Once your press is built you are ready to collect flowers.
    I’ve found that plants such as petunias, cosmos and salvias
    press better than fleshy or bulky blooms like marigolds,
    large roses and sunflowers. And don’t forget to collect some
    leaves as well, ferns, and colorful foliage plants such as
    coleus will complement your pressed flowers.

  6. After the flowers and leaves have been selected, lay them on
    your construction paper and hold them in place with a little
    clear tape. Then label each one and write something about
    where it was found growing. Place the construction paper in
    the press between the cardboard pieces and tighten the wing
    nuts.

  7. In about 1 week you’ll have pressed and dried flowers. The
    pages can be made into an album for a nice late summer keepsake
    for you and your children to enjoy for years to come.

  8. If you don’t have time to make a press you’ll find an old phone
    directory can work just as well. But the real fun with this
    project is going out and gathering the flowers.

Materials for making a flower press

Branches with Scrap Paper Leaves

Making paper leaves for branches.
This is a great little project for bringing the outdoors in. Make the leaves from bright colored paper or metallic would be fun too. Place three or four branches in a vase for a clever arrangement.

Materials for Making Branches with Scrap Paper Leaves

  • Small twiggy branches
  • Scrap paper, old magazine pages
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors

Directions for Making Branches with Scrap Paper Leaves

Collect interesting branches from your yard. Leave them out to dry for a couple of days. This will make the your leaves stick to the stems better.

When the stems are ready, bring them to your workspace and begin making the leaves. Do you remember making construction paper hearts in grade school by folding a piece of paper and cutting out half the heart on the fold? This is a similar process, but you’ll cut out the whole leaf shape so that the end result is two leaves connected at the base. You can create multiple leaves at one time by folding several pieces of paper together.

Place the leaf, face down, on a piece of paper. Continue the process until you have all the leaves you want for your branches.

Spray with the leaves with adhesive.

Fold the leaf around stem and press together like a sticker. Follow the pattern of the leaf buds on the branches for a natural look.

Upcycle Wine Corks as Party Favors

Help your party guests remember your holiday get-together for months to come with a thoughtful and creative party favor. These wine cork herb markers are both decorative and useful, and they sure are easy to make.

Materials:
5 wine corks (per guest)
5 wooden skewers (per guest)
Sharpie

Instructions:
On a smooth and un-labeled space on each cork, write the name of a different herb that grows in the garden. I used parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano, but you could also use basil, mint, chives, cilantro or any other herb.

Once it has dried, insert the skewer into one end of the cork. All of my corks had come from bottles that I had opened, so I placed the skewer into the end of the cork that already had a hole.


Tie the bunch of herb markers together with a festive ribbon and share with each of your guests.

S’mores Station

For a twist on a traditional dessert, Cindy, one of my producers, set up a s’mores station. It provided a great chance to get up and stretch, mingle, and make the perfect s’more.

Materials:
Medium-sized, shallow, flat-bottom wooden box
Decorative rocks
3 cans of Sterno
Graham crackers
Chocolate bars
Marshmallows
Skewers

Directions:
Fill the box about half full with decorative pebbles.

Place three cans of Sterno in the pebbles. Make sure the flammable part of the Sterno is positioned just a little higher than the top of the wooden box.

Fill the rest of the box and around the Sterno cans with pebbles, hiding the cans.

Light the Sterno cans. Insert skewers into the marshmallows. Roast marshmallows over the Sterno flames and assemble s’mores.
Smore Station

Punched Tin Votive Holders

I often wonder if October would be so mysterious if it didn’t end with the holiday synonymous with all things otherworldly, Halloween. There is something magical about this time of year. A transformation occurs taking us from a period of light, growth and abundance to darkness, cold and dormancy. The signs of this transformation such as shorter days, cool nights, clear starry skies and the hunter’s moon all lend an air of mystique. In the end I have to conclude that, with or without Halloween, October is indeed a very mysterious month.

Being a person with an inquisitive mind I am attracted to the enigmas in life and this carries over to the garden as well. A well-designed garden always incorporates the principle of mystery; a winding path, a dim recess, a bench hidden under the low branches of a tree.

Punched Tin Votive HoldersOne of the easiest ways to add this element to your evening garden is to vary the interplay of light and dark. A strategically placed source of light beckons us forward with a warm glow and intriguing shadows.

This project for punched tin can votive holders is the perfect way to illuminate your garden during the witchy month of October.

Materials
empty soup, broth or vegetable cans
fine gauge wire
large nail
hammer
sand
votive candles
thick gloves
pliers
table vise
permanent marker

ImageDirections
Remove labels from cans and wash and dry thoroughly.

With your safety gloves on, take the pliers and bend down any sharp edges created when the lid was removed with a can opener.

With a permanent marker draw dots on the can to create a shape. You can also do this on a sheet of paper to use as a template. I stick with simple geometric patterns rather than intricate representations. It just cuts down on the frustration level.

Fill cans with water and freeze. This will help the cans keep their shape when you punch in the holes. Keep in mind that water expands when it freezes. I found that one or two of my cans split down the side. The expansion also caused the bottom of the cans to protrude. This was easily remedied by tapping them back into place with a hammer.

Punching Holes in a CanOnce the water in the can is frozen solid, clamp the can to a work table with a vise.

Using a large nail and a hammer punch a hole into either side of the can. This is where you will attach the handle.

Then punch holes into the can following the pattern you laid out with your permanent marker.

Interior Image of the Votive HolderAllow the ice to melt, pour out any remaining water and dry the can.

To create a handle, take a length of the fine gauge wire and insert it through one of the side holes. Twist the end to secure. Repeat with the opposite end of the wire on the other side.

Place a small amount of sand in the bottom of the can and add a votive candle. If you are feeling particularly festive use a spicy scented candle to perfume the air.

Hang these in various places in the garden and light at dusk.

Use caution when removing holders after use, as the sides will be very hot.

 

Pounded Leaf Prints

This is a great project for making botanical prints or note cards. The process transfers leaf color to paper. You can also use cloth to make your own printed fabric. Use a natural, pre-washed material such as cotton and you’ll need to soak it in a mordant to set the dye after your done pounding the plant materials.

Expect to do some experimenting. Different leaf + paper combinations with produce varying results.

Materials

  • Water Color Paper
  • Leaves and flowers
  • Wax Paper
  • Hammer

Directions

pounded leaf printsSelect the leaves and flowers you want to use. Ferns, maple leaves, colorful blooms are just a few options. Avoid dry materials that won’t transfer well or those that are too fleshy because the color will bleed. And anything white won’t work because there isn’t any color.

Your work surface needs to be flat and hard. Remember that you are going to be pounding it with a hammer so choose a spot that can take a beating.

Tape your paper to the work surface.

Arrange your leaves and flowers. Cover with wax paper.

Now the fun part. Tap the plant materials. Use a steady, even hand and don’t linger on one spot.

Once you have hammered the leaves and flowers to your satisfaction, pull back the wax paper.

Allow the plant juices to dry and you’re done!