Aquarium Terrarium

 

I’m actually not certain what species of air plant these are. Genus Tillandsia, but no idea about the species. I bought them because I thought they looked like tentacles. And I just love things with tentacles.

I wanted to get an aquarium for our apartment, but I really just don’t trust our one cat. The other cat would never bother an aquarium, but our big one would definitely destroy it the moment we turned our backs on him. Making one out of plants, though, might last a little longer with him.

I bought the air plants at the Philadelphia Flower Show a few weeks ago, but you can find them at just about any store that sells plants. They’re a bit trendy right now. I bought the shells in a big bag for a few bucks at my local Michael’s.

The air plants I chose were just the right size to rest comfortably inside the shells. Next we needed only a few supplies to make this, all of which I could buy from my local Big Box Store.

Small washers, fishing wire and scissors. A drill will also be necessary, but I assume everyone has one of those just lying around. If you don’t, you should really get one, they are awesome!

I drilled tiny holes into the tops of each of the shells. Remember, the hole only has to be big enough to get fishing wire through and you don’t want it to be noticeable, otherwise. This is all about creating the illusion of swimming.

              

After running through the fishing wire, I tied a small washer to the end in order to anchor it inside the shell. I did this for all three shells and then placed my air plants inside them. The nestled nicely inside each.

Side note: all three of these plants were long and twisty, until my big cat found them and ate part of one of them. Do not leave these around your cats like I did. That being said, it actually worked out for me to have one of the plants be a tad shorter than the rest. It would fit in nicely as the plant that lives to the left of the terrarium.

The trouble one is the big guy one the right. He’s why I can’t have nice things.

I made a run to Home Goods to buy a glass case. I originally thought I would buy a lantern for this project, but the glass case I found was just perfect. Anything that has large, open glass panels will work for this. It’s all about how clearly you can see your air plant-fish.

I strung the fishing wire up through the crease at the top of the case and tied some more little washers to them to keep them hanging. I arranged them in a way to make them look as though they were swimming. Finally, I bought some small black rocks at Michael’s to fill in the bottom of the case. This was my end result:

My Terrarium Aquarium!

 

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Flash Medal Box

 

I gave Sam this as an anniversary present a few years back. Running medals had accumulated in small piles on his nightstand, on his desk and sometimes in between the sofa seat cushions. He needed to organize! His running buddy is my sister, who I discovered had been using a small decoupaged box I gave her years ago to hold all her medals. In fact, I’ve now had to make her a few to hold all the medals she’s won. Naturally, this gave me an idea for Sam.

Sam is a big comic book fan, so of course, I had to make this from a superhero know for running. I gathered up supplies from his own collection and my trusty bottle of Mod Podge.

   

One thing I do different when I decoupage is that I rarely use the original item in the finished project. I have a pretty fine scanner that I use to make copies of the images I want. This way I can size things the way I want them (and I don’t destroy any of Sam’s comics). I usually scan them in at a high resolution, then re-size them, and finally print them all out (on as few sheets as possible) on card stock paper.

Using scissors and an Exacto knife, I figured out my layout onto a pine box I bought at Michaels. I painted the box black before I covered it, assuming that some of the box would be showing through.

Once I figured my layout, I used the Mod Podge on the box and the backs of the pieces to place them onto to the box. When the box was covered, I used the Mod Podge to cover the whole box, using enough coats that none of the original pieces were sticking up anywhere. It has a nice, smooth feeling when its done.

Around the edge of the lid, I simply painted the box red. The color matched with most of the images and I thought it gave it a nice cohesiveness.

 

  

Sam has been using this box now for a few years, and pretty soon I will have to make him a new one. Personally, I just don’t get running, but Sam shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Library Book Basket

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I buy a lot of baskets. I’m pretty sure I will always find a use them, and when they’re only a dollar or two at the thrift store, I buy them. I brought this basket home, where I was met with a pile of library books covering one side of the sofa.

First, the basket:

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Perfectly fine little basket. Probably would’ve worked great in a bathroom.

Now, I should have taken ‘in-process’ pictures, but I didn’t know I would be blogging about this a few months later. So, I will try my best at explaining.

I went by my local Jo-Ann Fabric’s and went towards the wood crafts aisles way in the back of the store. I found a pine plaque roughly the size of one of the sides of the baskets.

I knew I wanted a literary theme and, visually speaking, children’s literature is perfect for a project like this.

I drew out my idea, in this case “The Little Prince.” (Great book, in case you haven’t read it). I used acrylic paints to paint in the design, and chalk board paint to fill in the negative space.

Once the paint dried, i coated the acrylic in polyurethane, sealing it in. I painted three coats of the black chalk board paint. Once the polyurethane and chalk board paint were all dry, I tempered the chalk board by completely covering it in chalk and then erasing it. Remember, you do not seal in the chalk board.

Finally, I drilled two holes into the plaque and used some sewing thread to attach it to the basket. In the end I got this:

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