IKEA Project 1: Bringing the Outdoors In – Terrarium DIY

June 27, 2015 | DIY, Singapore, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

A couple of weeks ago I put a photo on Instagram eluding to an exciting collaboration with IKEA that was coming up, and I’m finally able to share a bit more about it – and show you my first project! :)

I was pretty thrilled to be asked by IKEA Singapore to take part in their blogger program for the next 4 months – I mean really, anyone who’s been in my house knows I love everything IKEA (our housing agent even described our style recently as ‘IKEA Concept’ haha), so I knew it was going to be right up my alley! Here’s how it works: for the next 4 months, 6 bloggers include myself are given a monthly theme/task by the lovely team at IKEA. We then interpret that task however we like, make it happen in our homes, and then share it with our readers. Simple, and oh so much fun!

At the initial meet-and-greet a few weeks ago (fuuuun!), we were given our first task – “Bringing the Outdoors In”. Okay. I can do that. Teepee? Balcony overhaul? Hanging planters?… so many ideas!

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

I tossed and turned my ideas for ages before settling on making over my dining table with a terrarium DIY – yay! I decided on this idea specifically because it focussed on an area of my home that always drives me crazy and could use some livening up. Also we’re going to be moving house in a couple of weeks and I wanted something that was going to be easily transportable and would look just as good in our new space.

So, here’s the before and after.. Please don’t judge me for my shamefully uninspiring dining table in the before photo – we’re good at sorting things into piles in this house ;) 

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

I’d never made a terrarium before, and have a notoriously brown thumb (poor plants), so I read through this post on Little Green Dot and watched the video she shared before I started, to get the basics. Then I went shopping! I had to make two stops – first to IKEA, and then to the nursery.

If you want to create something similar to mine, here’s what you’ll need from IKEA:Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

1. CYLINDER set of 3 vases
2. FRASERA whiskey glasses
3. INGEFÄRA terracotta pot (I just used the saucer)
4. Various plants, cacti, succulents and ferns (see what’s in store at the time)
5. TOMAT spray bottle
6. BITTERGURKA watering can

Then from the nursery you’ll need:
– Soil appropriate for the plants you’ll use (mine was good for ferns, cacti and succulents)
– Charcoal (to keep everything fresh)
– Small stones (for drainage)
– Larger stones (for decoration – optional)

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

Now to make your terrarium:

Step 1: Take one of your vases, and put down a layer of small stones. These will act as a false drainage, so make it about 1cm deep.

Step 2: On top of the small stones, add a layer charcoal. This keeps the water fresh.

Step 3: Then put a layer of soil on top of the charcoal before adding in your plants. I de-potted the plants first, knocked off a bit of the soil and then planted them in the terrarium, adding soil as I went to really bed them in. Then, once you’re happy with the layout of the plants, add in some larger rocks, little mini statues or fake mushrooms if you want to, but it’s not necessary. Also if you can find some moss, that always looks good too – I just couldn’t find any.

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

For a different look, and some height differentiation on the dining table, I then did a more open terrarium using the saucer from the INGEFÄRA terracotta pot which was quite deep. I really love how it turned out! :)

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

It took a little bit of playing around to get the plants in the right positions and looking cohesive, but I think I got there eventually :)

So there you go, easy as that! I did 3 terrariums and 2 normally potted plants in total to make the arrangement on our table, and it just makes it all look so much more fresh. I love it! You could even try making mini terrariums in drinking glasses, or tea cups..

Ikea - Bringing the Outdoors In

And just because I had a couple of plants left, I tackled another one of my pet-peeve areas of our house. This bookshelf just collects bits and pieces as we go past, so it was nice to clear it off and give it a bit of life :)

Ikea terrarium DIY

Now me and my brown thumb just have to keep all these plants alive :-/ Wish me luck! x

Arlo’s Nursery

February 6, 2015 | Baby, Personal

Yesterday I showed you some of my inspiration for Arlo’s nursery, and today I wanted to share how it turned out. I’m no interior decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but here we go ;)

Arlo's Room

We’d been very generously gifted the Stokke Cot, the blue Eames Elephant, the teddies, and loads of books from family and friends, so we used those as the starting point. We knew we wanted a touch of mid-century modern, so we bought this beautiful sideboard (from here in Singapore) that we’re using as a change table and storage. I love it! Not only the look, but also because we can very easily use it elsewhere later down the track.

Please excuse the slightly ill-fitting change mat cover… I couldn’t find one here so decided to make my own. I didn’t have a pattern to follow, and it shows haha.

Arlo's Room

These three bears are very special to us. They have personalities and each have a story. The awesome Dinosaur print by Corby Tindersticks was a gift from a lovely friend of mine.

Arlo's Room

My wonderful Mum came over to Singapore before Arlo was born and we spent the week sewing up a storm. One of the things we made were the organiser boxes above (I saw them first on my friend Julia’s blog). They’re so super handy! The pattern is from Noodlehead and you can find it here if you’d like to make some too.

Arlo's Room

The mobile above the change mat was one I made years ago, and I was thrilled to finally have the perfect place to hang it. Arlo adores it, he could watch it for hours :)

Even though it’s only a small room, we really love how it’s turned out. The only thing we weren’t able to fit in comfortably was a chair, but for now I just nurse in our bedroom. Hopefully this will become a space that Arlo will enjoy as he gets older too :)

If there’s anything I’ve missed out and you’d like to know where we got it, please just let me know! I’ll do my best to answer. You can find some of the items in this post.

Nursery Inspiration

February 5, 2015 | Baby, Inspired by..., Personal

Last year, when we found out we were going to be having a baby, we were super excited (as many people are, I think) at the prospect of decorating a nursery for our little boy.

We decided that we’d convert our guest room into the new nursery, which is the smallest (tiny!) room in the apartment. Because we’re in a rental, we were pretty limited with what we could change, so unfortunately the walls couldn’t be painted, and the ugly beige curtains had to stay. But we tried to make the most of it!

Before I show you what we ended up with, I thought I’d share some of my inspiration.. we really wanted earthy blues and greens, lots of neutral, and a touch of mid-century mod. I also didn’t really want it to look overly “baby”.

Pinterest was my best friend while I was looking around for inspiration (of course!)… here’s some of what grabbed my eye:

Inspiration

Top: Amber Interiors via Mini Style | Nursery Notations   Bottom: Project Nursery | Charleston Mag

So with all that in mind, I went on the hunt for the perfect furniture and accessories – or at least, something close to what I’d seen online. A few of the items I put together below aren’t what we ended up with (as they weren’t available here in Singapore), but were a good starting point for style. We’d also been generously gifted a few items – the Eames Elephant, the Stokke Sleepi cot, and loads of beautiful books – so we went from there :)

Arlo's Room inspiration

1. Oliver Jeffers Books  2. Utopia Elephant Lamp  3. Alhede Rug  4. Ellipse Dresser  5. Stokke Sleepi Crib  6. Baby Jives Cloud Mobile  7. Poang Chair  8. Eames Elephant

I’ll come back in a couple of days and share some photos of the finished room with you guys… we’re really happy with how it turned out :)

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

October 3, 2013 | DIY

Hellooooo!

I know I haven’t done a DIY for you guys in a little while (my bad, life has been Busy with a capital B), but I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you see what I’ve cooked up for today :)

Feast your eyes on these cuties!

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

How cute are they? AND they’re a cinch to make too – bonus!

Here’s what you’ll need:

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

Materials:

– Pouch Template
(Get the 2-tone pouch template in A4 and LETTER, or the single colour pouch template in A4, or LETTER)
– Faux-leather
– Fabric scissors
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Ball head screwback studs (if you’re in Singapore, I found them at People’s Park China Town, if you’re not, try these ones).
– Sewing machine and thread
– Pinking Shears (optional)
– Permanent paint markers (optional)
– Bull-dog clips (optional)

Some things to keep in mind:
– Before you start, do some test runs on your sewing machine with the faux-leather. I found that the metallic leather was great to sew on either side, but the green and brown only worked when the material side was facing up. It’ll differ for you, so it’s best to test it first – the way it sews might determine which colours you use where.
– Because the leather won’t fray, unfinished edges are A-ok! 

Step 1.
Print out the template, and cut out each piece. Feel free to make adjustments! You can make it whatever size you want, make the front flap longer/shorter, finish the edge or not. Up to you.

Step 2.
Lay your leather face-down and trace the pattern piece/s onto the back. Cut them out. Keep in mind that 1 cm (0.4″) seams are already accounted for.

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

Step 3.
If you’re going to hem the top edge of the pouch, do it now. Just fold it down about 8mm (1/4″) and sew in place.

Next, if you’re doing the 2-tone pouch, place the the two sides together, keeping in mind that it will be turned inside-out (so be careful about which colour is facing in and which is facing out).

If you’re just doing a one-colour pouch, fold the leather in half lining up the bottom edge with the two bits that stick out. I’m getting really technical with my wording here. Hopefully the photos below will help.

Step 4.
Ignoring the top flap for the moment, sew the two pieces together 1cm from the edge. If you’re having trouble keeping the two sides together, use bull-dog clips to hold them. It’s best not to use pins because they leave holes.

If you’re doing the 2-toned pouch, sew both sides and the bottom. If you’re doing the one-colour pouch, just sew the two sides.

Step 5.
Using pinking shears (or scissors) trim each seam fairly close to the stitching. Trim corners.

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

Step 6.
Turn pouch right-side out. Fold the top flap in half vertically with the underside out. Mark the spot you’d like your closure stud to be with a pencil. Carefully snip a little cross on that spot, but be careful not to make it too big.

Step 7.
Now close the flap over the front of your pouch and poke a pencil through the little cross you just made, marking a spot on the pouch front. Snip another little cross on the point you just marked, and stick the screw base (from the stud) through the hole from the inside. Screw on the ball head.

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

Now close your pouch and admire your amazing work! And then go make lots more :)

As an alternative too, feel free to get creative with your leather! Permanent paint markers work beautifully for creating pretty patterns. Again – best to do a test first. :)

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

DIY Faux-Leather Pouches DIY Faux-Leather Pouches DIY Faux-Leather Pouches

Fun right? What will you do with yours?