Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY Plant Markers from a Plastic Bottle

After last year's seed starting fiasco, I considered not starting my own seeds again this year. Buying plants at the store is so inexpensive, you don't have to worry about your cats eating them, and you don't have to spend the time taking care of them. But, my super great husband got me this four foot grow light for my birthday last year, and so I plant again!

Planting seeds is really only worth it, in my opinion, if there are varieties of plants that you want that can't be found at the store. Yesterday I only started some heirloom tomatoes and peppers, and some random seeds I had left over from last year. I put off planting these for close to a week because I didn't have plant markers and didn't want to spend money on buying some (I know, I get hung up on little things when it comes to getting things done!). Many of the DIY plant markers require rocks, wood, popsicle sticks, or clay, none of which I had on hand. So I roughly followed a tutorial on how to make them out of a plastic bottle.

Click on photo to enlarge.
1. Get your container. I used a vinegar bottle, but you can use a milk jug or any plastic container you can cut through. 2. Cut down the center of your bottle. You may have to use a craft knife to get it started. 3. Cut off the top. 4. Cut off the bottom. You will now have a sheet of plastic. This is the time to wash the plastic well. 5. Cut the strip into 3/4" or so strips. 6. Plant markers! You can cut the bottom to a point but I found it unnecessary. Just write on them with a permanent marker and you're good to go! The tutorial I saw this on said they would hold up to watering, but I have yet to find out.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cross Stitched iPhone Case

My sister bought this case for me as a gift for my birthday back in November, but I just got around to spending some time on it in the last couple days. Isn't it cute? I saw a similar pattern online, and used some thread I bought from a garage sale. The case I have is no longer available on Amazon, but you can find a similar one here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Andes Mint Cupcakes

Here's another sweet treat I made for my mom's birthday (along with the coffee syrups) and they were so yummy. I halved this recipe to only make about 16 cupcakes for a small celebration, but you can see the full recipe here. It looks intensive because of the long ingredients list, but it was really pretty simple. You could even use a box cake mix for the cupcakes and just make the frosting and ganache. Also don't substitute peppermint essential oil for peppermint extract like I almost did. The bottle was open, ready to be poured when I had an "aha!" (or maybe more like a "stop it stupid!") moment to make me come to my senses. Peppermint is known to be awakening, after all.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Make Your Own Coffee Syrups

Here's a super easy way to make your own coffee syrups. These recipes come from A Beautiful Mess, but my recipes below are halved to fit in these 7 oz World Market bottles. See below the recipes for a gift wrapping idea! This is the perfect inexpensive and easy gift.

Vanilla syrup: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Heat water and sugar in a pan over medium low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into container.

Caramel syrup: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup caramel. Heat water and sugar in a pan over medium low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. Stir in caramel until disolved. Pour into container.

For a raspberry syrup recipe, click here. They also have lavender and honey recipes here.

I gift wrapped the bottles in the box they came in. This is the box before decoration. Reusing this box helps so the bottles won't fall over in the gift bag and possibly leak. You can purchase the bottles for $3.99 (for both!) at World Market.

For the next part, all you need is some kraft paper, a pen, double sided tape and a bit of scrapbook paper. For the bottle labels, I just wrote the labels and designs on kraft paper, cut the circles out, and used double sided tape to stick the labels to the bottles. For the box, simply cover the printing on the front with a written label. I gave these to my mom for her birthday this weekend and she didn't know that I made them until my husband told her!