Wednesday, January 11, 2012

living gifts

A little while ago I hinted at some DIY gifts I was working on for Christmas.

My dad is a fly fisherman and loves his garden.  He's also a sort of hard person to buy for.
He really doesn't want much, and if you get something he doesn't need or want it'll sit there. Forever.
I don't like that.

So I saw this on pinterest (the source was from here - although this item is no longer showing up) awhile back and thought it would be a perfect combination for my dad.
A fishing tackle box turned mini easy care garden.  Perfect.

And if I was at the garden store, I thought I'd get enough to make my mom one of these to match.

I found the idea on pinterest, from this site where she explains that she uses clippings from all of the succulant plants she had on hand.  I did not, so buying the plants from scratch did kind of add up, but it was worth it.  They didn't have all the amazing colors she had in her collection, so I had to stick with mostly green.  
I picked up some reindeer moss to fill in the holes.  I loved the different tones of green and was so happy with the end result.  

I had my husband drill six holes between the two different levels of the tackle box.  Three on top and three on bottom for drainage.  While I was putting it together, I put some press n seal on the bottom to keep the soil from making a mess.

But let me tell you, I was making a mighty big mess of my kitchen on this eve of Christmas eve.  I don't think I know any other way to create.

I'm not so good at tutorials because I never want to take the time to stop what I'm doing and take pictures.  But I tried here, with my cell phone to give a little tutorial on the wreath.
I had a wire frame from Michaels already in the closet from some long forgotten craft idea.

The directions called to soak the sphagnum moss in water for 5-10 minutes.  Then you begin putting it in between the wire of the wreath frame, on the backside.  

Using floral wire or clear fishing line (I found some at OSH where all the wires are) to wrap around the entire wreath.

Once this is complete flip the wreath over and start filling in the moss around the front and repeat with the wire/fishing line and tie in knots securely to hold the moss in place.

Now comes the fun part.  I used the eraser end of the pencil to put little holes to 'plant' the cactus plant inside.  I first had to get all the soil off of it and take the root and press it deep inside. 
The handy trick prudent baby suggests is using bobby pins to help hold the plant securely in the wreath.  You don't poke through the plant, but sort of wrap it around the sides.  It worked perfectly.

All in all, I was really unsure about taking this project on just before Christmas.  So when it came out looking half way decent I was really happy.  
And happy it's a gift my parents can enjoy for some time to come.

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