Friday, July 6, 2012

The Pot Tower

Picture taken this week.

We found this idea on Pinterest.  I loved it.  Sadly, I did not take pictures while we were doing it because we were kind of in a hurry once we got home with all the stuff.  I'd gone to the Growers' Outlet up the street and just randomly bought two each of several plants I liked plus a huge tray of Marigolds for the pots in the back to keep bugs away.  I had tons of Marigolds leftover.  I was telling Scott about how I really needed some taller plant stands, etc...but that I'd settle for making the pot tower.  His interest was peaked.  We measured, planned, went to the store, and made some purchases.

We wanted a 6' piece of rebar, but could only find 10'.  Then, we decided if we had to buy a 10' piece, we'd just use 6.5'.  A guy at The Home Depot cut it down to 6.5' with a hack saw.  Based on our measurements, the height of a pot ended up being about the diameter of the pot when we tilted it the way we thought they should be tilted.  But, we ended up needing another pot, so apparently our calculations were off a bit.  We hammered the rebar 18" into the ground, leaving 5' sticking out.  I would suggest doing no less than 18", you could even cut your rebar down to 7' and hammer 2' for more sturdiness.  Our neighbor came out when they saw our flurry of activity and helped.  Then, made suggestions.  When we realized we needed another pot, he suggested that we add in a colored pot.  Wow the colored pot cost about three times the clay pot of the same size.  But, I love it.  If we decided to add another colored pot next year, I will invest in spray paint and just spray paint a pot we already have.  We ended up using some pots I already had and buying the rest.  We used 2-10" (one flower pot and one azalea pot), 2-8", 2-6" and then the blue pot which I would guess is about 8". 

Once we'd hammered the rebar into the ground, we put one 8" pot upside down over the rebar (just slide the rebar through the drainage hole).  I took a plastic grocery bag and put it down in each pot to line it then pushed a hole through the bag just over the drainage hole.  I leave the handles sticking out and everything until I am done planting, then I trim them.  This is important when you have a hot dry summer with clay pots because they release so much moisture through their pores.  Then, we put the first 10" (right side up) over the rebar and held it in place slanted until we put the next 10" pot over it and once we got them slanted going in opposite directions of each other, they stayed.  Then, we added the regular 8" pot, the blue pot, and the 2-6"s.  The end product is probably 5-6" taller than me (I'm 5'1.5"), because we made sure that our top pot was on the rebar, but the rebar was not sticking out of it.  For the rebar and the pots (including the cost of the two we already had), we paid approximately $50.

We filled each pot half full of dirt.  Then, I hemmed and hawed and placed all the plants in different gatherings until I had decided what to do, then of course as I filled the pots, I changed my mind a couple of times or things just didn't fit the way I thought they would.  I think that's how I ended up with the two Million Belles on the same side and the two Sweet Potato vines on the same side.  After I put the plants in the way I liked them, I filled them the rest of the way with dirt, pressed it all down, and Scott followed after me with a box knife and cut the bag handles off and tucked them in the dirt.  I probably used a little less than half of a big bag of potting soil that I had already purchased for my pots out back. I think it was 2 cubic feet and cost about $6. 

The interesting part is watering them the first time when all the dirt is loose in a tilted pot.  Watering  You have to just put a little water in each pot.  If you put too much, it will run off and cause erosion onto the next pot's plant.  I find that I enjoy our pot tower so much that I am more likely to remember to water it and to take the time to dead head all the flowers.  The recent heat spell that came through has claimed one of the Marigolds, but thankfully it was in the back of that pot and since it was in there with a Million Belles, I am hoping no one can tell from the street.  Lots of neighbors have stopped by to ask how we did it.  It definitely adds height to our garden. 

In case you are wondering, I used two white Gerbera Daisies, two purple Angelonia, one Sweet Potato vine that I had two little vines in it split into two pots, two yellow Million Belles, two pink Geraniums, two Blue Daze, and at least one Marigold in each pot except the top one, which was too small.  Because I got the plants super cheap at the Growers' Outlet, I think I spent about $25 in total on the plants.

I really enjoyed this project.  I still enjoy taking care of our pot tower.

Picture taken on the day we built the pot tower, April 14.

I hope I've helped if you weren't sure about how to go about this.  If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'll answer it the best I can.  When I first saw this on Pinterest, the link I had only had a picture, but I have since seen others posting tutorials.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Luggage Tag Tutorial

Hi Y'all!

It has been so long since I have posted anything that blogger has updated!  Wow!  The purpose of this post is for me to share the way I made a luggage tag.  I read through and attempted three different versions I found on Pinterest.  I kind of used a snippet from each of theirs to make mine like I wanted.  These are the ones I tried.  This one was just too "curvy" for my sewing abilities, but I liked the button hole to keep it closed.  Because I purchased the super-firm double sided fusible interfacing called for in the previous tutorial, my tag was just too thick to do this one.  But, I liked the fact that the handle was made from the same fabric instead of ribbon.  Finally, this one was really the simplest, but when I made it then shook the tag upside down, the address label fell out.  So, here is my way.  I am still not crazy with the idea of snipping out the fabric from the window without hemming it, but I just don't think I can think of a better way.  Any suggestions for doing this better are welcome.


Vinyl - (1) 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece (keep the paper)
Top fabric - (1) 3 1/2" x 5" and (1) 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece
Bottom fabric - (1) 3 1/2" x 5" and (1) 2" x 12" piece
Fusible interfacing - single sided fusible is fine for this project - (2) 3" x 4 1/2" pieces
Coordinating thread


Scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
Sewing machine - you'll need to be able to do a button hole and a zig-zag stitch
Parchment paper

I went to a quilting store to find the vinyl.  It came in a roll, like this:

You can use whichever stiffness of fusible interfacing you want, it depends on how stiff you want your luggage tags.  Mine was super stiff because I bought it for a different tag than the one I ended up making.  I would suggest one a bit less stiff. It will make it easier to turn inside out.  And, it will probably be less expensive than what I bought.

When I ironed the fabric and fusible interfacing together, I protected my ironing board and iron by folding it into a piece of  parchment paper.  One of the brands of interfacing I used suggested to do this, so I just kept doing it.

The very first thing you want to do is find some fun materials that you like.

Step 1:  Cut out all of your materials.  Don't forget to hold onto the paper from your vinyl!
Step 2:  Iron on the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of one piece of your bottom fabric and the 3 1/2" x 5" piece of your top fabric.

Step 3:  Iron your 2" x 12" piece in half, lengthwise.  Then, open it up and fold each end in to the center.  Then, fold those in half.  You will end up with a 1/2" x 12" piece.  See pictures below.  Sew down the length of this strip, kind of close to the edge, on each side of this folded fabric.  This is the strap of your tag.  Set this aside.

Ironed flat

Ironed in half


Open up and iron one side in to the crease

Iron the other side in to the crease

Then iron the whole thing in half to be 1/2" wide


Here is another strip that shows where to sew, sort of

Step 4:  Make a button hole on the 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of your top fabric, about 1 1/2" from the edge of one end.  The button hole should be a teeny bit wider than the strap, just enough to pullt he strap through.  Now fold the end over and make a hem.  You will want this piece to end up shorter than the actual tag or when you go to sew the end up, you'll have a hard time doing that.  See the picture below the next step to see what I am talking about.  I hope this makes sense.

Step 5:  Now, center your vinyl on the right side of your fabric with the button hole.  You'll want it to be close enough to the button hole that you can zig-zag stitch and be close but not touching.  I kind of centered it across the width.  You just need enough at the opposite end of the button hole end to sew the tag together.  I don't know if I took a picture of this, but hopefully you'll see what I mean in the finished product.  Go ahead and zig-zag stitch all the way around the edge of the vinyl.  You will want to leave the paper on there or your presser foot will stick to the vinyl and it won't move.  This will be very frustrating and you will want to jump up and down (not that I would ever do that).  So, don't try it.  Use the paper.  Here is a picture of the button hole, hem, and vinyl sewn on.  I am apparently not good at documenting.

Step 6:  You can now pull the paper off.  It should come off pretty easily because you  have just perforated it with a zillion holes.  I did a very "close" zig-zag on all but one, so I didn't need to try to pull the paper out of the stitching area on any of them except that one that had a less "close" stitch.  It's a pain.  And a mess.

Step 7:  Now, very close to the stitch, cut your fabric out of the window, like in the picture.  If this isn't clear, let me know.  It might be kind of hard to tell, but you can kind of see it.

Step 8:  Take your piece of top fabric with the interfacing attached and lay it interfacing side down on the table.  Take the window piece and lay it face up on top of this.  Make sure that your hemmed end will be shorter than the end of your tag.  This is your chance to adjust the hem if it isn't.  Lay the piece of bottom fabric with the interfacing attached and lay it interfacing side up.  Now you have an inside out luggage tag sandwich. 
Step 9:  Sew very closely around the edge of the interfacing on the fabric, on all three sides except the edge that has the button hole/hemmed edge.  Leave that one open.
Step 10:  Turn the whole thing inside out (the window stays with the matching fabric).
Step 11:  Now, fold in the edges and sew all the way across the top.  I had to give it two rows of stitching to make sure I got the hem because it was kind of small.  Plus, I ironed the hem in before sewing to make it stay in place. 
Step 12:  Fold the strap in half and line it up with the botton hole, between the window fabric and the upper fabric, but not so far down that you can see if through the window.  You'll kind of have to fold down the window piece, and then sew the strap on there.  I went backwards then forwards twice and made two rows of stitching to make it nice and sturdy.  Pull your strap through the botton hole.

You're all done!  The tag will hold an address label the size of a business card.

Let me know if something doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.  I know that sometimes something that makes sense in my head doesn't make sense to anyone else.  :)

I could never have figured this out on my own, so I am super thankful for the three other tutorials that I went through to get to this one.

I made four of these for my sister for her birthday.  She seemed pleased with them.  Scott was like, well, are you going to make some for us?  Yes, before our cruise in November, I will do that.