Tag Archives: DIY

The Gentleman Caller’s Bird Cage Planter

 

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

One of my most favorite things to do is to repurpose something fun, whimsical, or FREE into a planter. Give me an old bathtub, some used drawers, or in this case a bird cage and in a few weeks it will be dripping with stunning verdigris.

I found this old antique bird cage on Craigslist and thought it had too much character to continue its life as a bird cage. Next I went to Buchanan’s Native Plants. Buchanan’s specializes in attracting specific varieties of butterfly and bird to certain indigenous plants. Isn’t it a wonderful metaphor for life to grow something that will attract the specimen that would normally have been captive inside? I like that idea.

Check out the video. I intend to get another larger one to accompany this one as a pairing. Wish me luck. In the meantime, make your own! The whimsy is just too much!

Rehabilitated Chairs on a Dime!

Rehabilitated Chairs on a Dime!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Friends, you know I am cheap. This video – our first upholstery rehab video – shows you how to rehabilitate a pair of old but well made chairs to make them seamlessly fit into an existing design scheme.

The project turned out to be a little more ambitious than originally anticipated due to extra steps that I added on myself, but the chairs turned out nonetheless exquisite and momma was VERY happy!

Thanks for popping in!

Rehabilitated Chairs on a Dime!

The Gentleman Caller’s Homemade Miracle Gro Liquid Fertilizer

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It’s planting season. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to go to all the trouble of nurturing my little babies, I want them to grow, grow, grow!

Now there are countless options in the realm of commercial fertilizers, but! why not round up a few household items, AND some things you were going to compost or throw away and concoct your own?

This easy liquid fertilizer will deliver nutrients to your plant progeny and won’t break the bank.

What you need:

  • 1 gallon jug (I repurposed a well-cleaned washer fluid bottle. Free.)
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ammonia
  • used coffee grounds
  • egg shells
  • water

Using a funnel, pour epsom salt, baking soda, and ammonia into your gallon jug.

Add used coffee grounds. You can continually add used coffee grounds day after day.

Add crunched up egg shells. You may continue to add egg shells as you cook the actual insides.

Put it in a cool dry place. Allow to steep. Give it a shake every day or so.

After about 2 – 3 weeks, it will be ready to start using. If you want to be fancy, you can strain the solids out. It’s not necessary, but it’s up to you.

Add the liquid fertilizer to the dirt around plants, not to the foliage of the plant itself.

Enjoy, and watch the fruit of your labor!

 

Make Your Own $80 wreath for less than $8

Knock knock knock.
Gentleman Caller.

Know what’s expensive? Christmas!

Now don’t misunderstand, I am more than accustomed to emptying my wallet for a pair of $1000 sneakers or a ridiculously overpriced backpack, but if I can save money on something, I will. Someone I was very close to used to say, “Austin, you will drive across town to save a nickel on an orange.” Accurate! What can I say? It’s my legacy. My great-grandmother was a Scot, like, off the boat immigrant. Scots are cheap. Ahem, frugal.

So when it came time to decorate for Christmas this year, I was confronted with two realities. If you invest in artificial pine things you have to STORE THEM. If you buy real throw away pine things, you still pay an arm and a leg and then you chuck it in the bin on January 2. Both of those options seemed unacceptable.

I live next to a Whole Foods. Like there would be no asking my neighbor for a cup of sugar because my neighbor is Whole Foods. I noticed they had put up a makeshift Christmas tree lot and the guys who worked there were trimming branches off the trees and putting them in the trash. Hmm…

So I decided to ask them for branches. Worst thing they could do is say no. But they didn’t, so up to my apartment I trekked, loaded down with two great arms full of aromatic fresh pine boughs. I got out a 5 gallon bucket and put some water in it. I put the ends of the branches in the water until I was ready to work with them to keep them nice and verdant.

As pretty as my pine branches were, I wanted to amend with some other varieties of plant. Cypress, juniper, boxwoods. You’d be surprised how many overgrown shrubs you see when you are thinking about gathering branches. So I started asking people: May I trim your shrubs? An odd request, I admit. But it worked and I came home with a sack full of cypress, juniper, and boxwood. If I had been in Texas, I would have used those waxy leaves from magnolia trees. That would be gorgeous. Maybe next year.

Now to construct a foundation. I just used three layers of stiff cardboard. I turned a round table upside down and traced a big circle. I then found a mixing bowl and traced the internal circle. I had about 3 inches of width to work with.

I hot glued the layers together. I brushed on some acrylic paint, but I mixed white and dark green together as I brushed so that it had dimension.

We have arrived at the Dollar General portion of this project. So far we have spent about zero dollars, especially if you have old paints available.

Your dollar store is going to have everything else you need. Fine gauge wire, a couple feet of ribbon and a handful of ornaments.

Now let’s build. I would advise that you either do this outdoors, in your garage, or put down a plastic sheet or something. This project is messy.

Lay your foundation on a flat surface. Cut about 8-10 inches of branch and just start layering, working backward. Branch, wire, branch, wire. At first you are probably going to think Wow, this looks like some kind of shitty 3rd grade arts and crafts project. Keep at it. Fill it out as you go. If you make the circumference of the wreath and it looks anemic, get more branches and keep shoving. You can continue shoving supplemental branches in existing wire. Do that until you reach the desire fullness.

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Embellishment time. I cut 10-inch segments of ribbon and hot glued the ends to the back of the wreath on opposing sides. Then I wired clusters of ornaments together and wired them into the greenery. It’s basically like decorating a tree. Be creative.

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In all honesty, I almost pulled all the ornaments off after I put them on because the simple greenery itself was really stunning. You be the judge. Sometimes less is more.

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Time to hang. I had a hole available on my door that I could easily put a wire through. You might need a 3M hook or something like that. I am sure you can figure it out.

Here we are at the end. I spent about $4. Not bad indeed.

Now get to work! Send me photos of your endeavors!

Out for now,

The Gentleman Caller