Sunday, March 25, 2012

DIY Picture Frame Terrarium

I saw this project awhile ago and really wanted to make one myself.  The basic idea is to make an enclosed glass terrarium using old picture frames with the backs removed.  You screw the frames together, add a few hinges and paint, and voila!  I ended up using the directions, rather than the original, so mine has a hinged top.  I also didn't have any access to plywood (or even a saw...) so I used thick cardboard to make the triangular wall tops (we'll see if they rot or not). There is no bottom to either the countryliving or the blogspot versions, so they aren't air-tight, but still hopefully keep in some humidity. 

This is where the project comes from and complete directions. is the original, is the fancier version that they then published.

The hinged-top version (countryliving) has the benefit of being easy to use (you can put plants into it rather than having to pick up the entire box and set it over the plants) but you lose more humidity.  I use mine mostly for decoration, and also as a handy way to keep the cat from eating plants.  Currently I am giving it a trial run with an orchid and a peace lily plant to see whether it keeps enough extra humidity around to help them grow.  Here are some pictures of construction and the final project.

I first foolishly tried to put the screws into the frames by hand.  This led to splintering the frames beyond recognition, so I changed to a drill and life was much easier. 

The four frames making up the top of the case did not sit very flush, so I used Popsicle sticks, wood putty, and hot glue to seal it up a bit.  In the end though, it was a hefty coat of paint that covered most of the little gaps.   

I put the glass back into the frames after the paint dried, and used a bit more hot glue to make sure they stayed in place.

 The little poison dart frog is from an earlier project you can see here. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

DIY St Patrick's Day Irish Temporary Tattoos: Caran D'Ache

Some easy, quick temporary tattoos to make St Patrick's day a little more green!
For the basics of how to use Caran D'Ache face paints, click here

Clover: Start with the black outline.  A four leaf clover is essentially 4 hearts pointed in at each other, each taking up 90 degrees (the base of each heart makes a right angle).  Fill in with green.  Add accents with a lighter green.  Add further accents with white.  Go back over with the original green color to blend.  

Irish Flag: Start with the basic outline of the entire flag (I include one 'wave' in it).  Fill in green, white, orange.  Add a little black then blend it to gray to make one side of the white section of the flag appear to be behind the other.  You'll notice I ended up switching where my 'wave' line was.  I also blend a little black into the edges of the green and orange. 

Celtic Cross: Start with the cross itself.  I imagine the center corners as full circles.  Add the back circle next.  Fill the cross in green and the circle yellow.  Add white accents.  Blend in with green and yellow. 

Lyre:  Start with basic outline.  Add accents and strings.  Fill in yellow.  Add white accent, blend in with yellow.  In the past I've also used orange to make these slightly more fancy, but yellow and white is plenty.