How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium

Whenever Spring comes around, I automatically want to fill the house with green plants. They make a space feel alive and as I mentioned when I put together my kitchen window plant (which is still going strong), I love the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. I have a tray on top of my coffee table where I put the remotes and photo/coffee table books so they’re tidy, and usually have a candle sitting on top. I decided to build a happy little tabletop terrarium (Bob Ross fan here) to take the place of the candle, but knew it had to be small because of where I was putting it. I have been seeing a lot of terrariums lately, and there are so many possibilities with how you set this up that you can really customize to fit your taste. Here’s the few easy steps it takes to build a tabletop terrarium no matter what jar you decide on.

First, you’ll need a container. I found my container at Home Goods which actually had a tag as being from their terrarium line, but you can really use any kind of clear glass container to house your little garden. I picked up my jar just yesterday which motivated me to get started ASAP, and here’s everything I used for my DIY tabletop terrarium.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium Supplies

I was worried I would make a mess because of the soil, so I went outside to put together the terrarium. I started by putting a layer of rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the jar to help with drainage, which I found at Lowe’s. You could probably use fish tank rocks if you prefer too. I thought the pebbles were pretty, so I put a little more than what was probably needed, filling about an inch or two in my jar. I specifically went a little pebble happy because I didn’t want them to get lost when I added everything else, which they almost did. If you’re like me and want to see the pebbles more in your bottom layer for aesthetic appeal and not just function, I recommend going a little heavier.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 3

Next, you’ll want to add a layer of activated charcoal. This helps filter the air and keep it fresh in a closed environment, since I planned on closing the lid to my terrarium when finished. I just did a light layer to where you couldn’t see the pebbles anymore, about a 1/2 inch or so. I surprisingly couldn’t find this at Lowe’s, but the nice cashier recommended I try a pet store since activated charcoal is often used for fish filters. She was correct! I found it at Petsmart for about $6.

After the charcoal, I added a very thin layer of moss. I just wanted a little bit to prevent the soil from falling into any cracks below. Next, you’ll add your soil and put in plants as desired.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 4I used a variety of succulents, including a cactus, so that I would have different heights and textures. I think ferns would have been pretty too, but succulents are supposedly very hard to kill and do no require a lot of attention or watering. In fact, they can die by over-watering them because they are desert plants and like dry, hot places. I purchased a water bottle which I’ll use to lightly spray my garden every few weeks. They also like sunlight, so put them in a spot where they can see the sun….I’m hoping my coffee table is sunny enough.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 5I actually wanted to go lighter on the soil layer so everything sat a little lower, but I wasn’t able to because of the size of the root base the plants had. Maybe that’s something you’ll want to consider when selecting your plants, container, and determining the thickness of your layers..

I found a few bigger rocks outside in my yard (free!) and placed them on top for decoration, along with a little more moss.

Finally, add the top and you’re done!

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 6

How to DIY a Terrarium

How to DIY a Terrarium 2So here’s my final mini garden.

Do you like the idea of bringing the outdoors inside? How are you embracing Spring?


Custom Artwork for a Baby Girl’s Nursery

I have a lovely client who is an orthodontist and owns her own practice in College Park. When she opened the space, I painted 2 large paintings that still hang in her dental chair rooms. I was honored when she reached out to me again to complete another piece for her baby daughter’s nursery, and I had to share the painting and the gorgeous room she put together. I think it’s the prettiest nursery I’ve ever seen!

baby girl gray and pink custom nursery room artowrk style trials

She is an avid reader, and always has wonderful visions for the paintings. This one was a quote by Mary Oliver, and I think it is SO PERFECT for a baby or kid’s room. She wanted it to match the paint colors in the room, so she told me what she was working with and I coordinated. She also had a vision of a chalkboard look with various fonts, so I sketched up a draft in a few versions and let her decide. Here were the options:

Option 1 sketch

Option 1

Option 2 sketch

Option 2

Option 3 sketch

Option 3

Option 4 sketch

Option 4

And the winner was……….dunnn dunnnn dunnnnnnnnnnnnn…… #3! Here it is complete, size 24 X 36!

mary oliver quote painting baby room style trials

custom painting baby room style trials

Close up shot

Now, look at how cute it is in her beautiful nursery! I love her nursery color scheme of gray, pale pink and blue-green.

baby room quote artwork

baby girl gray and pink custom nursery room artowrk style trials

In case you were wondering, the paint colors she used in her baby girl’s nursery are all Benjamin Moore in colors BM Palladium Blue, BM Touch of Pink, and BM Hearthstone.

What do you think of the painting? Isn’t the color scheme she used adorable?!


Sketching with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen

This post brought to you by BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hello sketch style trials with bic penBeing an artist and creative thinker, I also tend to be a multi-tasker. That’s why I was excited to review and play around with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen! It reminded me of a pen I used to have when I was a little girl, where you pushed down and several colors were conveniently right there. This doesn’t have my elementary school colors of bubble gum pinks and cotton candy blues, but rather 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen: Green, Black, Red, and Blue. I would rate this as a fun all-in-one pen that’s office or student appropriate, which is great for organizing or even doodling.

I just watched The Great Gatsby movie (I know, where have I been?!), and loved the era and flapper style. I guess that was on my mind, because this is what I ended up drawing during lunch with my BIC ®-4 Color Pen. I started with the eye, then nose, lips, face structure, hair and flower.

portrait girl bic pen sketch style trialsNails:  Zoya Purity | Bracelet: Murano glass from Murano in Italy

It’s also an easy way to outline writing or organize thoughts through color coding.

to do list bic 4 color pen style trials

Colors give off different meaning and can be a fun expression of your mood, so I thought it was really creative how BIC® gave each color a distinct personality. For example, Blue is definitely the boss, Green is the jealous type, Red likes it when everything is correct, and Black, well, he just doesn’t get it. I would say I resonate with Red the most, but checkout these videos to see what I mean!

You can get one of these awesome pens at Amazon or your local Staples, and they’re less than $6 for a 3-pack! Also, if you’d like to follow more of Red, Blue, Green, and Black’s shenanigans, make sure to follow BIC ®-4 Color Pen on Facebook and Twitter.

What color fits your personality best and why? What do you like to sketch/doodle with?

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How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu

 It’s almost Halloween! One of my favorite times of year, and I needed a tulle tutu skirt for a costume. Those things can be really expensive, but I found they’re super easy (and cheap) to make yourself. I wanted to share my easy DIY tulle tutu technique, which can be applied to a variety of things such as baby skirts, pet outfits, or even adult costumes!

How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu:

tulle tutu skirt finished diy

Tools Needed:

  • Between 45 yards – 60 yards of Tulle Spool (approximately 6″ wide) needed for an adult skirt. Joann’s Fabric sold these for $2.50 each, and I used 3 but could have used 4 spools if I wanted an even fuller skirt.
  • Ribbon of choice (I got one to match the tulle color) or elastic band for the waistband. If you use a ribbon, you will be tying it around your waist instead of stretching it out to get into it.
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure

Style Trials Orange Tulle Spool

Step 1: Measure out the tulle about 2 feet long for an adult skirt. If it’s a pet skirt or baby skirt, it may need to be about half of that.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 1

Step 2: This is probably the easiest and quickest way to get your tulle into 2 foot long strips. Weave the spool of tulle back and forth until the entire spool is stacked on top of each other in attached 2 foot length “strips.” The stacked ends should look like the picture below, and it’s okay if it’s not perfect. Some ends may be a little longer than others since the next step will even everything out.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 2

Step 3: Simply cut the ends off! Just cut them straight across, and this will ensure the ends are even and now separated. When you do this on both sides, you’ll then have completely separated tulle strips that are about 2 feet long. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for all spools of tulle.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 3

Step 4: Measure out how long your elastic or ribbon should be on your waist. If you’re using ribbon like me, allow an extra 1 1/2 feet on each end so you have excess ribbon to tie a bow and let it hang down in the back. Then tie one strip of tulle at each end of what will actually make the tutu, so you can mark it off and know what needs to be filled in.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 4

Step 5: Start tying individual strips of the pre-cut 2 ft. length tulle to fill in the skirt. You can just make a knot, and push it together to create fullness.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 5

Completed tulle tutu!

Style Trials orange diy how to make an easy tulle tutu skirt

What do you think of this project, and how will you use it?

UPDATE!

Here’s a picture of my total #diy costume that I used this tutu for. For all you social media fans, I’m “Blogger!”

Style Trials Halloween Blogger Costume DIY Tutu


My Kitchen Table Makeover – Easily Recover Chairs

Moving into my first house, I realized how little furniture we really had and how expensive it can be to furnish. Right now I’m trying to focus on buying things we don’t already own, and refreshing the hand-me-downs we do have. On my agenda today, our kitchen table!

Our total kitchen can only be described as BEIGE. As in beige walls, countertops, floors, and even appliances (until we eventually upgrade). I’m trying to bring in some color and life through prints, fabrics, and plants until I can add a little depth with the permanent surfaces.

We have a kitchen table which is in pretty good condition. It’s a hand-me-down, but the fabric on the chairs has definitely seen better days. I’m sure it could be cleaned to look better, but the dinginess and color (yep, beige), was a makeover project I was willing to take on.

It’s actually quite easy to give an old chair, bench, or ottoman a completely new look by simply recovering them with new fabric…and this method doesn’t require sewing because it’s just the seat! I admit this was my first attempt at recovering a chair using a staple gun, but seriously it was super easy. Even if you don’t have a DIY bone in your body, I’m sure you could pull this off. Here’s how….

First, figure out how much yardage you need and where you want the pattern to fall on the seat. I think I accounted for 1 yard per seat (taking the pattern into account), but I also found this handy pattern yardage calculator you could use.

Next, the tools to do the job. You can find a staple gun at any home improvement store, and the fabric I picked out was an HGTV Home fabric called Turtle Shell found at Joann Fabric. It’s on sale too! I know it’s a little loud, but I knew it would definitely liven up the space.

Style Trials Kitchen Chair Makeover Tools HGTV fabricHere’s the table before:

Style Trials Kitchen Table Before

First, unscrew the seats from the base. I ended up using a power drill to unscrew because the screwdriver wasn’t strong enough.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 1

Next, place the seat upside down on top of the fabric, taking into account where you want the pattern to be centered on the seat. You can leave the existing fabric on the seat and work around it. Leave at least a 4″ border around the seat and cut out your square.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 2

Pull the fabric tight around the edges, leaving the corners lose. I found it was easiest to start at the top (stapling multiple times across the length of the seat), then pull from the opposite side (bottom). The repeat the other sides until it looks like this….

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 4

Next is the trickest part. The corners. You want to make sure you pull these really tight to get a finished look. Start by pulling the fabric in closer from the edges towards the corner, and stapling in place. Then take the remaining fabric and fold like the picture below, and pull extremely tight. Then staple in place as well.

*Note, you may need to cut off some excess fabric to make this easier. If you have too much fabric, it will be bulky, harder to pull tight, and harder to staple.*

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 5

The finished back should look like this…

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 6

And the front like this!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 7Next, screw the seats back on, and voilà! Checkout the before and afters!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 8 before and after

Style Trials Recovering Chairs finished with hgtv fabric

What do you think of the finished results? Have you ever recovered anything using a staple gun?


Yard Sale Coffee Table Makeover

Furnishing my house has been a task due to my indecisive nature, but I found I’m able pull the trigger much quicker if I think I’m getting a heck of a deal. Then in true Tim Gunn style, I simply “make it work.”

I was itching to try my first furniture DIY makeover project, but really had no clue what it would be. I scoured thrift stores and resale stores, but anything I liked was too pricey in my opinion for a first attempt. Then I went to a few yard sales, and hit the jackpot! I found a gem that’s the perfect size for my living room, but definitely needed tlc. I was able to negotiate her down to $10…not bad! If I hated it, I would toss it, and for $10 I figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the full shot “before” pic,” but you’ll get a sense in the pics below.

Here’s the tools I started with:

Style Trials DIY Table Makeover Tools

  • Sanding sponge (medium grit) to get in the crevices and oddly shaped areas
  • Epoxy Putty
  • Painters tape
  • Electric sander (not pictured) with fine grit – oddly enough, I found this too at a yard sale a few weeks ago!
  • Flat latex paint (if you want it shinier and easy to wipe, get something with a sheen instead. Eggshell, Semi-gloss, or Gloss)
  • Paint sponges

BEFORE

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Before

You can see how beat up the wood was, especially in the molding on the legs. Also, there’s a metal piece at the foot of each leg (which I kinda liked), but I hated the matching fake drawer pull that was on the side of the table. I simply unscrewed the drawer pull with a screwdriver…easy peasy. Since I was keeping the metal legs, I taped them off so I wouldn’t accidentally paint or sand them. Then used the putty to fill in the drawer pull holes and “remold” the missing chunks on the legs.

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Putty

Style Trials Coffee Makeover wood epoxy

As the epoxy was drying, I took my electric sander and sanded down the finish on the entire piece, plus smoothed out any nicks. Once the epoxy was dry (about an hour dry time), I sanded down those areas too, and used the sanding sponge to get in the small molding crevices. I tried my best not to sand the entire thing too much, because I wanted to keep as much of the dark stain as possible. You can see here the natural wood color poking through, but I knew the darker finish would show up better during the distressing stage.

Style Trials Coffee Table Sanded

Next, you want to prep to paint by getting off all the dust caused from sanding. Either wipe with a clean damp sponge, or you could try my trick. Blow that sucker off with a leaf blower! Worked like a charm.

From there, I went straight into painting. I probably should’ve primed it first since I wasn’t using chalk paint (which doesn’t require primer), but I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t. I felt like this piece didn’t need it because it had a marble top, and the top is what would get the most wear and tear. Also, this wasn’t going in a highly trafficked area, but if your piece is then you should probably use a primer first.

Style Trials Prime and Paint Furniture

Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane

Let me tell  you, I was really excited about the paint because I got it for FREE! Every few months or so, Ace Hardware has a “Find Your Soul Paint” event where you literally get a free quart of paint of your choice…no purchase necessary! I post these types of deals on Style Trials Facebook and Twitter pages,  but you could also follow Ace Hardware  just to make sure you don’t miss it.

I went with Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane. It’s a really pretty pale blue. It dried super quick, so by the time I was done with the first coat I was able to immediately paint the second. The paint sponges helped to get into the little areas without being streaky.

Now, I could have left it just like that, but I wanted a distressed look. Sometimes I think distressing actually makes a piece look more expensive, plus painted distressed furniture is really on trend right now.

Style Trials Distressing Furniture

My living room is still a work in progress, so I quickly styled this for the after photo.

AFTER

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover 2

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover

I’m thinking not bad for $10! What do you think? Have you given a piece of furniture a makeover?


Cotton Candy Bunny Tails

A friend of mine made the cutest Easter treats for a party, and I couldn’t resist sharing with you! She said it was super easy to do, and would be a great gift to bring to a party. Best part is, you get to play with cotton candy! Mmmm.

Easter Bunny Cotton Tails

Style Trials Easter Bunny Cotton Tails Cotton Candy

Here’s what you need:

  1. Small – Medium plastic baggies – you could probably use ziplocks or sandwich bags, but I think she found these ones at a dollar store which look better. They don’t close, but you end up sealing them shut with staples anyways. I’d estimate these to be about 5″ wide.
  2. Cotton Candy – buy a few packs of one flavor or variety sold at places like Target, Wal-Mart, and dollar stores.
  3. “Like” The Idea Room on FB for their free Cotton Bunny Tail printable you’ll use to top off each bag! Click on previous downloads and you should see them. While you’re at it, I’d appreciate if you’d “Like” Style Trials on Facebook too. 🙂

From there, it’s super easy! Just take the amount of cotton candy you want, and lightly mold it into a flattened ball shape with your clean (ha, yessss clean) hands. Put it in the bag, fold the top of the bag over two or three times (if it doesn’t zip closed already), then fold the printable over the top of the bag and attach with one staple on each side. Here’s a close-up…

Style Trials Easter Bunny Cotton Tails

Adorable, right?

This is another cute version of a different cotton candy Bunny Tail gift with free printables. This one requires jars, so may be a little more expensive to make.

Easter is only a few days away, so hop to it!

What are you fav Easter DIY projects, treats, or traditions?

 


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