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

DIY Christmas Wreath

November 29, 2012 | DIY

Oh I do love a good Christmas wreath! There’s just something so festive about seeing wreaths hung on doors, especially when they’re made from real foliage and berries. I find something very relaxing about making them too, from going to the market to select my branches and leaves, to cutting them down to size and winding them onto the ring.. my studio has been smelling particularly good lately with all this greenery around!

So I thought I’d pass on the little knowledge I have of wreath-making with you. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right really (I did learn a few years ago, but can’t remember the exact details!), but it gets the result so why not :)

Here’s what you’ll need:

– A wreath ring (any size and material you like)
– Green florist wire
– Various types of foliage, flowers, and berries

Note: Fragile plants won’t work too well here, look for hardy wooded plants and sticks that will last a while without water. Also, including some foliage with more volume and leaves helps to fill out areas and hides the wire better.

Step 1.
Cut your foliage into manageable pieces. My ring is 30cm (12″) and I cut them to around 13cm (5″).

Step 2.
Wind a loop of wire around the ring edge and secure. Keep the wire attached to the roll, it’s a handy way to continuously pass the wire around the wreath.

Step 3.
Take one or two of your foliage pieces and lay them over the wire. Bring the wire around the ring and over the foliage stems to keep them in place. Keep the wire fairly tight so they don’t shift around.

Step 4.
Always work in the same direction. Place the next piece overlapping the bottoms of the last so as to cover the wire. Bring a loop of wire around again and secure tightly.

Step 3.
Continue this way (not forgetting to also cover the inside edge and outside edge as well) until you reach the start again. Finish off by hiding the stems of your final foliage pieces under the tops of the first pieces you put down. Carefully wind the wire around a final time, keeping it hidden as much as possible under foliage. Once you’re sure it’s all secure, cut the wire and secure the end under the wreath.

Step 4.
Now you can look at your wreath overall and gently maneuver pieces that seem out of place, or even add new pieces if you think it needs it.

That’s it! You can add a ribbon later if you want to, or a hook of wire at the back for hanging. Most of all, just enjoy the process and have fun with it!

Workspace Wednesday 35.

April 25, 2012 | Workspace Wednesday

I’ve been after some sweet little succulents to pretty up my desk for like.. ever, but apparently they aren’t too popular here in Singapore (something about them being hard to keep alive?). Unfortunately even under normal circumstances I’m a bit of a serial plant-killer, so had pretty much given up on a) finding succulents, and b) keeping them alive. But then I went to good-old Ikea and saw these lovelies, and thought it was really my duty to take them home and love them, and try really really hard not to kill them. And so I did. Wish me luck!