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.**

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]

Urban jungles | a bout of green fingers

MbM_URBAN-JUNGLE-01It’s FRIDAY you guys!!! Are you as relieved and happy as I am that another week is coming to a close and you can pretty taste the weekend in the air? Well, I’m actually going to be working over the weekend…thankfully on some nice stuff for a shoot I’m working on next Monday so it’s not all too bad. I’ll share a few ‘work in progress’ later today.

Well, I’ve been meaning to write this post last week but work, life, etc keep getting the way, as it does. Slightly different from my usual posts but some of you may already know how I desperately keen I am on having plants indoors but more importantly, learning how to keep them alive! Sadly for me, my track record with plants isn’t the greatest…in fact, I have the reverse effect of the midas touch (if there’s a name for that!), killing anything in the space of a week-month! It’s gotten so incredibly frustrating that I’ve had to resort to artificial ones (and even dried flowers!) which really isn’t quite the same. I’m even tempted to make them out of paper! (like those billy buttons I made!)
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I do love plants and flowers, and while I have lost all hope and patience of tending to them, I really enjoy having that bit of greenery and pops of colour within the house particularly when you don’t have much of that where you live.  And every year, at spring time, I get all eager bringing in seeds, bulbs and flowers only for them to wither away within weeks….once again, bursting all ounce of enthusiasm I have. I know I don’t have the knack for gardening but surely you’d think keeping a few plants alive in the house wasn’t exactly rocket science?! Seriously….what is wrong with me!! I used to get pretty upset over it thinking it badly reflected on me as a person not being able to keep something so simple, alive! Okay…a tad bit melodramatic…but you understand, right?

Anyway, it’s that time of the year again, and I decided that this year, I’d invest in a few more succulents and cacti…plants that are a little more hard-wearing and need less of the TLC from me. I know they’re all the range now at the moment which is really not why I got them but simply for the fact that I wanted some plants that would withstand the icy cold death vibes I omit! I have also been inspired by fellow bloggers who just seem to have the green-finger skills I secretly envy so much….and decided to jump  on the Urban Jungle Bloggers bandwagon. Coined by bloggers Igor Josif and Judith de Graaff, the concept behind ‘urban jungle bloggers’, is basically a monthly series where they and other bloggers share their urban jungles, through styling, DIYs and tips as a source of inspiration….kind of like ‘styling the seasons’ but for plants. So I thought this would be a perfect incentive to improve on my gardening, plant-tending skills…..well, there’s me hoping anyway! I’ve actually created an ‘urban jungle’ board on Pinterest now (have a nosey if you fancy) and been actively pinning since last week, so hopefully its all onwards and upwards from here! :)

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So far, all my succulents and cacti are still alive and kicking…although I did panic the other day seeing a few of the lower leaves of the larger succulents turn brown but then I was told that’s normal (phew!).

The most recent thing I got excited about is this BEAUTIFUL copper planted by Geo-Fleur which I bought from Renegade Craft Fair a few weeks back. I’ve always had a love affair with copper and combined with the plant obsession I’m going through at the moment, it really was meant to be.  Thankfully, my husband liked it just as much and was pleased with the purchase. So yeah, I’ve got it up hanging in our dining area and can’t stop admiring it! It also ties in nicely with the succulent and aloe vera I have on the table. In fact, I’ve recently spruced up an old enamel bowl to turn into a hanging planter for the kitchen when I have my little makeover in June (more on that later) and plan on potting a range of succulents in that but for the next few weeks I’ll have on the dining table until the kitchen is done. I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress. MbM_URBAN-JUNGLE-09

What do you think? I’m trying not to get too eager by buying too many plants all at once but start slowly until I get better at looking after the ones I have right now, but it’s already making me happier seeing all the greenery in the house, which is exactly what your home should do. So whether I’m more in love with planters than plants…either way, I hope it helps eradicate my plant-killer title!

Well, if like me, you want to improve or give yourself an incentive to grow more plants in your home, then join in on the #UrbanJungleBlogger fun by signing up to their mailing list. Each moth, they’ll give you a topic to explore and you use that to style, create, etc with your indoor plants. This month’s topic is ‘offer a plant to a friend‘, exploring the different ways you could create a green gift! I’d love to partake in that if time permits with these two big editorial styled shoots I have next week, otherwise, definitely next month!

Have a lovely Friday xx

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 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]