DIY Special | Little heart-shaped Planters

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Well, it’s about time we had a DIY on here! Things have been pretty busy this summer with my day job as a freelance graphic designer so DIYs and fun blog stuff have sadly taken a back seat. But hey, I’m back….and this tutorial posts is actually a special one!

I was approached by the charity organisation Little Hearts Matter back in June about doing a collaborative tutorial for a fundraiser project they’re running this October called ‘HANDMADE HEARTS‘ to help raise money for the charity. If you aren’t aware of the organisation, their core focus – in a nutshell – is offering valuable support and information to families whose children are affected with the single ventricle condition…also known as ‘half a working heart’. From initial diagnosis to treatment to facing real life challenges, Little Hearts Matter are there to help these children and young adults face their difficulties every step of the way!

I was more than honoured to be asked let alone get involved, so to help out, I’ve created this super simple, hassle-free DIY tutorial if you fancy making little heart-shaped planters for miniature succulents and cacti for a good cause! I mean, who doesn’t like a bit of cacti love, right? Especially when they’re sooooo teeny and cute :) Anyway, all the information on signing up to this fundraiser can be found here. So have fun with these and I hope it helps raise some money!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. Plaster of Paris 
  2. plastic cup or jug to mix your ingredients in
  3. tea light candles
  4. measuring utensil
  5. plastic utensil to stir
  6. deep heart-shaped silicon moulds (you can get either this 6-pack one or a large tray)
  7. array of miniature cacti + succulent plants (I bought mine from the Conservatory Archives in London)

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[STEP 01] In a mixing jug, pour out one cup of water and then add two cups of plaster into it (always adding the plaster to the water). Mix them both up until you have a somewhat not-too-runny smooth consistency, like a pancake mixture! If it’s too runny and a little bit more plaster and mix well. You want to make sure there aren’t any lumpy bits in there!

[STEP 02] As soon as the mixture is done, pour it gently into each of the 6 heart-shaped moulds so it’s roughly 5mm from the top. (you don’t want it right to the edge otherwise when you place the tea lights into it, the mixture will overflow!) Take your tea lights and place them into each mould – make sure they are in the centre and not touching the edges i.e. have some of the plaster of paris mixture surrounding it. Press the tea lights down gently so that submerses enough that the top edge is somewhat flush to the top of the mixture. This mould is deep enough allow room for the tea lights without it affecting the shape. If it tries to pop up then place a pound coin or a pebble to weigh it down while it dries. Leave it somewhere safe to dry for an hour.

Now, should you wish to opt for a large heart-shaped silicon pan as oppose to the 6-tray one, what you can do is either dot a few tea lights about or place a plastic cup or the bottom end of a plastic bottle into the mixture. Again, push it down so it’s 2/3rds in and use weights to hold the plastic cup/bottle base down while it dries.

[STEP 03] After one hour, take your moulds and gently pop out your heart-shaped cast out, which should be pretty simple with the help of silicon moulds! Slowly loosen the tea lights (or cup/bottle bases if you’re doing a bigger planter) until it gives and comes out. If the metal bit of the tea lights come out with the candle, try to pop that back into the cast. The reason for this is it protects your planter form any moisture from the soil or from when you water your cacti doesn’t affect the cast. For your bigger heart-shaped planters, if you’re using plastic cups or bottle bases you can either keep them in there and just trip down any protruding bits or take it out and place plastic plant pots in there…depending on the size, of course.

Now, leave these to completely dry for another 4-6hours. This is particularly recommended if you plan on painting it.

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[STEP 04] Now take your miniature cacti and succulent plants and repot them into your freshly made heart-shaped planters. For your larger planters, you either use larger succulents or have an array of various ones like you would do in a terrarium.

And there you have it! Little heart-shaped planters (pretty apt, right!) for your mini cacti! I reckon they have so much appeal you could easily sell them for a fiver or more!  And the larger ones for at least £10-12. mbm_diy-tutorial_heart-planters-10mbm_diy-tutorial_heart-planters-13

Well, I do hope that was all very straightforward to follow. Any questions, just leave a comment below and i’ll get back to you.

If you’re planning to take part in the fundraiser next month please remember to sign up here to get your free fundraiser pack with all the deets. There will be more heart-themed tutorials and recipes shared on all the Little Hearts Matter social media platforms so keep your eyes peeled for those this month so you can get your make, bake and sew on!! This is a great cause so please can I ask you to spread the word around at work, school and home….wherever you are! Oh and if you do make any of these please share your photos of them using the hashtag #handmadehearts so we can all follow and see what you’re up to!

Also, if you’re after more heart-themed DIY inspiration check out this necklace and personalised felt love hearts I did back a couple of years ago which I think would sell too.

Happy crafting folks!! xx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**This post was in collaboration with  the Little Hearts Matter charity, however, all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for  DIY and styling. If you wish to share any images from this tutorial, please provide full credit to Made by Molu including complete links to this post.**

Gifts for Him with Uncommon Goods

Morning! I hope you’re all keeping well and that your week is going oh-so nicely for you. Mine on the other hand, is a tad bit haphazard, mostly playing catch up after being away for a lovely long weekend in the green isle. We were away for a family wedding and to celebrate my Father-in-Law’s 60th birthday, which was all very delightful – pretty chuffed at how much he enjoyed himself.

And speaking of Fathers….we have Father’s Day coming up this weekend! Have y’all thought of anything nice to do or get? Well,  inspired by the occasion, I’ve teamed up Uncommon Goods, to review and feature some of their products that cater to the fellas, especially as I know how hard it can be to buy for men, let alone fathers! Uncommon Goods are an online marketplace who have sourced and curated their collection of handmade, organic products from designers around the globe; be it emerging artists, artisans from low-income countries or the experienced designer-maker…to bring together a community of creatives for you to engage with, each with a story to tell. If you fancy reading up more about the company and their overall ethos, hop on over here.

As for the products – I’ve categorised some of my favourites under the different type of ‘Dads’ in the hope that it will be of some use to you if you’re struggling to find something unique for that special man/men in you life! (or if you just want to treat yourselves, fellas!). Just click on the links at the end of each category to take you to the details of each product. There’s plenty more online so do have a good nosey on there!!

 

FOR THE HIPSTER DAD
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Beard Pack // Reclaimed Whiskey Barrel Bow Tie // Coffee Press

 

FOR THE URBAN JUNGLE DAD
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Fire Escape Shelf // Boxcar Planter Set

 

FOR THE CHILD-AT-HEART DAD
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Personalized Mixtape Doormat  // Baseball Game // Beeropoly Wood

 

FOR THE MINIMAL-DESIGN OBSESSED DAD
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Minimalist Teak Wall Shelf // Bedside Essentials Pocket // Wood and Ceramic Tumblers – Set of 2

 

FOR THE ART-LOVING DAD
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City Prints // Evolution of Bicycles Pop Chart // Hemingway Literary Poster // “Hi” Five Print 

 

FOR THE DIY DAD

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Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit Square // Home Microbrewing Kit with Rye IPA Recipe Pack

 

So there you have it; ‘Gifts for Him‘ curated by moi that would be perfect for the fellas whatever the occasion. You can check out the full Father’s Day gifts range here, along with other featured collections for groomsmen and baby showers here and here.

Happy Browsing folks! I’ll be back with more this week! xx

**This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods, however all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for all things handmade**

**NOW OPEN** Molu TypeShop

MBM_SHOP LAUNCH_MAINSo it’s here…..the shop doors are finally open so do feel free to hop on over and have a browse through….and of course, share the love if you know anyone else you may think would love some typographic prints for their home, workplace or even as a gift. There’s only 10 prints currently available for each design as I trial things out. You can click here or on the ‘SHOP’ tab on the right-hand-side of the website which will lead you directly to my Etsy shop!

I really hope you guys like it! And of course, if there’s any questions at all or even feedback you may have for me that may be useful, please do let me know – I’m all ears!!

Have a wonderful Monday and happy browsing/shopping! ;) xxMBM_SHOP LAUNCH 01

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Christmas Inspiration | A little round up of festive DIYs

MOLU_CHRISTMAS-DIY-ROUND-UP 01Sadly, this year has left me with hardly any time for DIYs for Christmas so I thought I’d round-up some of my old time favourites from last year if you’re on the look for some festive creative antics or even inspiration this weekend.

MOLU_CHRISTMAS-DIY-ROUND-UP[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

So, clockwise from the top:

  1. Chocolate Spoons that make perfect little gifts or favours
  2. Scandi-Inspired cork placemats for your table
  3. super simple Paper decorations for the Christmas tree
  4. Hand-printed Christmas Stocking perfect for your home this yule time
  5. Liberty Tana Lawn fabric Wreath to add a bit of jazz to your door
  6. Free printable Christmas tags if you still have gift wrapping to do!

Happy Weekend! xx

 

 

Urban jungles | plant shelfies

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This month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers challenge was to create a ‘plant shelfie’ which couldn’t be timed any more perfectly for me having recently put up a new shelving system, as part of our (rather slow) studio revamp we’ve been doing since the end of September. Once the shelves were up, I had relocated my DIY concrete planters with my succulents from our flat (along with a gazillion books and prints) so it made perfect sense to feature them (again) in their fresh new setting. And here they are, with some prints I made! (which, FYI, will hit my forthcoming online shop in the new year!) :)

I’ll try to get more photos of the newly revamped space once it’s completely done, styled and ready for the public eye! I just couldn’t resist using this as a way to resurface back on the blogosphere. I’ll be back with more….bear with me! :)

Enjoy the rest of your week folks! xx

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

[D.I.Y. FEATURE] Scandi-inspired cork placemats

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Hi guys! I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and that your Monday has kicked off well for you.

Well, I just wanted to share with you a recent DIY tutorial I did for the gorgeous B.Loved Wedding & Lifestyle blog as part of being their contributors team. It’s a simple Scandi-inspired set of cork placemats that would, in fact, go really well with most tableware and dining interior style you have. You’ll find the full tutorial HERE, if you fancy giving it a go. The whole things takes roughly 30-40 mins (if you have 6 mats to do) and around 15 minutes to air dry.

Hope you like it! xx

 

**This is not a sponsored post but a collaboration with B.Loved Wedding & Lifestyle. All words and opinions, including images, are my own, dictated completely by my love for  DIY and styling**

[D.I.Y. Mother’s Day Special] Gift ideas for your Mum

MbM_MOTHERS DAY DIYs 3I’ve rounded up a few fun and simple DIYs for you to try this weekend if you’re thinking of making your Mother’s Day gifts! Click on the links below to take you directly to the tutorials:

  1. GEOMETRIC CLAY POTS
  2. HANGING BUNDT CAKE PLANTERS
  3. WATERCOLOUR NAPKINS
  4. FAUX BILLY BUTTONS 
  5. SCENTED CANDLES
  6. IMPRINTED CERAMIC BOWLS
  7. PERSONALISED HARDBACK JOURNALS

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day celebrating with your amazing mums. If they are anything like ours (mine and my mother-in-law) then you’ll know how much they rock! Unfortunately for us, we’ve got a good few miles of land and sea separating us so it’ll be long Skype sessions and virtual hugs for us on Sunday. xxx

Chocolate-tasting and screen-printing antics with Thornback & Peel

MbM_Thornback&Peel_event-10Last Tuesday, I was invited to go along to Thornback & Peel‘s exclusive screen-printing evening at their beautiful store in Holborn, where we bloggers got the chance at screen-printing some of their lush designs whilst indulging in chocolate tasting from Creighton’s Chocolaterie and glasses of fizz….how could you decline such an offer! :)

For those of you not familiar with Thornback & Peel, they are London-based designers who create the most beautiful and intricate hand screen printed homeware and accessories.  Their designs have a fun, whimsical play on British imagery strongly influenced by a mixture of Victoriana, Mr McGregor’s garden, Norfolk and Devon……which definitely evokes a sense of nostalgia, that I love most about. (Seriously, how fab is the custard jelly & cake design!?) Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel’s journey to becoming such a success is incredibly inspiring, having started their first collaboration back in 2003 and then setting up their first studio in 2006! You should totally check them out if you haven’t already done so!

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The evening kicked off with the screen-printing. We all had a go at printing three of their designs including their latest chicken print for their SS15 collection. The first two (the ‘bird & egg’ and the rabbit) were printed onto cards and then the chicken print onto napkins. I had dabbled in screen-printing once before with Zeena Shah a couple of years ago but I had forgotten how amazing it felt to be so tactile with this printing method. I would happily stay there all day printing! And the paint….I honestly could have walked out with that tub of teal paint it was THAT divine! ;)

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It was such a fun evening getting creative and catching up with old and new friendly faces. A heartfelt thank you to Rumour PR, Juliet Thornback, Delia Peel and the T&P girls for having me and being such great hosts. Oh and for the fantastic goody bag too!

For more on Thornback & Peel products, you can hop on over to their website where you can browse through by product type or by design. And you can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all their latest news and events. As for all you chocolate lovers, definitely check out Beford-based Creighton’s Chocolaterie for their amazing concoction of flavours. I’m not a huge chocolate person but I can sure vouch for them after trying their new summer range….FYI that Key Lime Pie one….OMG, yum! You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too! (warning: you may end up salivating a lot!)

Well, enjoy the rest of your week folks xx

MbM_Thornback&Peel_event-11[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

 

The Art Marketplace at Minted.com

I’m sure many of your are familiar with the online company Minted.com, usually for its amazing array of wedding stationary designs that you may have come across on wedding blogs or magazines. If you aren’t, well, they are a large online marketplace that bring you designs from independent artists and designers from around the world. The business ethos being, that the work submitted by the artists are voted on by you, the readers and creative community, and the winners are then picked to sell on the site, directly to its consumers. It’s such a great concept! The site has now grown and expanded to include many new categories, one being the Art Marketplace which I’m mostly excited about.

Some of you may already know of our keen interest (aka obsession) with art and prints – we have a huge appreciation for them and collect ones we like over the years (either from places we’ve travelled to or lived in, or simply down to what resonates our aesthetics) in the hope that we can look back at them 20 years down the line and reminisce over the stories that go with it. My husband is into his minimal photography and abstract paintings, while I’m more into typography and illustrations, especially ones from the bygone years…. so between the two of us, we do collect quite a bit, particularly from small independent artists. All we need now is find that big house we dream of so we can hang them all up! :)

Anyway, Minted.com kindly invited me to review some of their products online and with great delight I agreed (any excuse to ‘window shop’ art pieces!) so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite art pieces found on the Art Marketplace…..it’s so hard not to want to buy them all!

minted_art 01The ‘Distant Island Pier‘ piece Julia Contacessi by far my favourite piece on Minted.com, which stood out instantly to me. Seascapes are my weakness. The colours, the brush strokes, the tranquility it exudes…. completely draws me in. It’s the kind of statement piece you’d have hanging up above your fireplace so you can stare at it all day!

The pattern and textures in Currents & Abstract Herringbone by Paper Dahlia are simply gorgeous. They can totally work as stand-alone pieces or side by side (yep, I”m already thinking of where it would go in the flat!)

minted_art-06You know how I like my typography…..and the raw, textured aesthetic in Matthew Taylor Wilson‘s hand-illustrated Don’t Quite Your Daydream is right up my street! Actually the quote would be perfect in my studio…. :)

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I love the way the above three pieces explore colour, textures and patterns in this mixed media collage approach. From top left clockwise, you have Circling by Kelly Nasuta, Domino by Carrie ONeal, and ‘Look Again‘ by Paper Roseminted_art-02

Interestingly enough, this would be something my husband would pick but I do admire the simplicity of the way the Southern Californian landscape is captured (quite Kinfolk-y) in this Life On Mars print by Matthew Sampson, and as the photographer suggests, the fact that this terrain looks as though it could belong to any planet out in the universe is strangely evocative.

Well, there you have it. Some pretty great pieces right? I found it so hard to pick a handful of them to show you as there are lots out there I LOVE and could easily make up a gallery wall out of! ;) Hopefully you can get an idea as to how varied the collections are on the site from drawings to paintings to photography. You can buy the prints in various sizes, pick paper types for it to be printed on, and you can even choose to get them framed or unframed (the have different choices for frames too)! The service totally caters to your needs and budget! So do hop on over and do take a look. There’s a home decor section too so be warned that you may end up browsing on there for a while!

minted_artOh and if you’re getting married and looking for unique off-the-peg designs then check out their NEW collection of wedding invitations! You won’t be disappointed!!

Well folks, enjoy your Sunday and all that browsing on Minted.com!

xxx

[D.I.Y. tutorial] Personalised hard covers for journals

MbM_DIY-TUTORIAL_JOURNAL-COVERS-mainOkay, so here’s how to make personalised hardback covers for your journals and sketchbooks, like the ones you saw in my February Styling the Seasons post a couple of weeks back where I used the Laura Ashley Blue Bird Seaspray wallpaper to spruce up some new notebooks. You don’t need to use wallpaper but if you have any left overs then perfect, otherwise any kind of pretty patterned paper will do!

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What you will need:

  1. Wallpaper scraps, wrapping paper or any kind of textured/patterned paper you have kicking about
  2. Glue or double-sided sticky tape (something strong enough to bind cards together)
  3. Scalpel or Stanley knife
  4. Spray Mount (or similar spray-on adhesive)
  5. Cutting mat (and a steel ruler!)
  6. Notebooks (anything cheep and cheerful, like the 5-pack ones you get from Muji, that you can bond together or go for a thick one)
  7. Thick card (about 2-3mm thick)

MbM_DIY-TUTORIAL_JOURNAL-COVERS-01Firstly, stick your notebooks together to make up one thick one (ideally, you want a spine that is at least 2cm thick) or go for one that’s already thick to skip this part. If you opt for putting bind a few together, then you can do so by using glue (hot glue, UHU or PVA) or double-sided sticky tape. Leave it aside to dry and place a couple of heavy books on top to help it stay in place.

In the meantime, get the wallpaper and the sheet of card and glue them together using Spray Mount. Make sure you apply a nice even coat of this so to avoid any chance of the paper peeling off over time. Put this aside for a few minutes, with some heavy books on top. Once it’s dry, measure out the exact width and length of the piece you’ll need to cover the sketchbook, using the sketchbook as a guide. I would add an extra 1mm to the edges just to be on the safe side – it’s a lot better to have the cover 1mm or two bigger than it falling short to reveal the edges of the notebook. Also, when marking out the width of the spine, (big note: make sure this is marked out on the nice patterned side of the card) allow half a mm leeway too so that when you fold along those lines it’s not sitting too tight against the book. This will prevent the hard cover from being too stiff to open once stuck down.

Once the long strip of card has been cut down, take your ruler and scalpel/stanley knife and score down along the fold lines you marked out for the spine. Remember to score on the patterned wallpaper side of card for the fold to bend the right way! (You’ll see what I mean, when you’re doing this). When you’ve scored along those two lines, gently fold along it. You’ll know if you’ve scored well if the card bends easily without creasing or damaging the paper, and you have a clean fold. :)

Check the notebooks against the cover to double-check the fitting before you proceed onto the gluing phase. If it’s all great to go, then get your glue and apply it to both the inside faces of the back and front cover, and press them tightly against the notebook. You can apply glue to the spine but I’d advise otherwise as it does give it a lot more flexibility when you open the book. Make sure you apply some heavy books on top of this while you wait for the glue to set….give it a few minutes, and voila! You’re very own personalised hardback journals! You can of course, embellish and customise it further by adding a contrasting colour to the spine or add either rubber bands or ribbons to tie your book shut. It really is up to you how you decorate it further.

What do you think? Pretty darn effective right? Well, I hop you enjoyed that and if you have any questions, just drop them in the comments section. Let me know how you get on! Happy crafting folks! xx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]