Posts Tagged ‘ planters ’

Build a Bat Box for Daddy

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy

This Father’s Day, we’re taking dads back to their childhood with a superhero bat box, DIY style! Give dad a heartfelt, handmade gift with this fun activity for the whole family. It’s time to get out those tools, that leftover paint, a couple of nails, and a little bravery if needed.

The fact of the bat is
  • Most bats spend the summers in trees, under bridges, or in old buildings.
  • They are a protected species in South Africa and it is illegal to harm them.
  • They are not vampires (thank goodness). There are 3 species of bats which feed on the blood of large mammals, but they do not bite into human necks and suck our blood.
Why should you build a bat box?
  • One bat box can host up to 50 brown bats, who in turn will eat thousands of bugs each night, hooray!
  • Bats love to eat mosquitos, yippee! One little brown bat could eat over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. Amazing!
  • Bats play a role in plant pollination too. Fruit trees, night flowering plants, and a variety of other flora can all benefit from having more of these friendly pollinators around.
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Tools needed:

This project will require some basic carpentry skills. It’s a good idea to get dad involved in helping you build his gift.

  • Table saw or handsaw
  • Caulking gun
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tape measure
  • Staple gun (optional)
  • Two clamps for clamping wood while you saw or drill
  • Safety glasses for when you use power tools
Materials needed:
  • Piece of plywood: 60 cm x 120 cm x 1.5 cm
  • Piece of cedar or pine board: 2.5 cm x 5 cm x 250 cm
  • Piece of cedar or pine board: 2.5 cm x 10 cm x 60 cm
  • Tube of paintable, nontoxic, latex caulk
  • Exterior-grade, non-toxic, water-based paint or stain
  • Wire or rubber mesh
  • A super-cool Batman stencil
  • Spray paint

 

Steps to building the bat house
  1. Measure and cut the 60 cm x 120 cm x 1.5 cm piece of plywood into three pieces:
    1. 60 cm x 65 cm (for the backplate)
    2. 60 cm x 40 cm (for the top half of the front plate)
    3. The remaining 60 cm x 15 cm piece will be used as the bottom half of the front plate
  2. Cut grooves into the entire backplate (for the bats to hold on to), or attach wire or rubber mesh using a staple gun.
  3. Measure and cut the 2.5 cm x 5 cm x 250 cm cedar board into one 60 cm piece and two 55 cm pieces. These are referred to as “furring strips,” and will be sandwiched between the front and backplates.
  4. Apply caulk to all 3 of the furring strips and attach to the inside of the backplate (the side with the grooves/mesh).
  5. Apply caulk to the other sides of the furring strips (that are now attached to the backplate), and attach the top section of the front plate first.

Then, attach the bottom half of the front plate, leaving a 2 cm gap between the top and bottom halves for ventilation.

Wait at least 30 mins for caulk to dry.

  1. Apply caulk to the 2.5 cm x 10 cm x 60 cm cedar board and place on the top of the box, with the edges equally off the box, to function as the roof. Add one or two screws to the top corners to hold the roof in place.
  2. Seal the entire box up by caulking every joint of the exterior of the box where wood touches wood. Bats want a dry home, free from drafts.
  3. Add some screws through the front plate, the furring strips, and the backplate, to ensure the structure is firmly secured.
  4. Apply your Batman stencil and spray paint away! Wait until all your stencils are completely dry.
  5. Paint the exterior of the box with the water-based exterior paint/stain.
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Where to position your bat box

These shelters need to be placed in a mostly sunny location. East-facing is usually best, where it will get morning light while being protected from afternoon sun. Position your bat house at least 5 metres off the ground to protect them against predators. A water source nearby would be super so that mommy bat doesn't have to leave her young for too long.

Life is a Garden – Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy

For more fun DIY projects, click here. 

Mother’s Day Macramé Plant Hangers

Posted on: May 4th, 2020 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a hand-crafted, Mother's Day gift. Brush up on your knotting skills because the sassy 70's décor is back, baby! Try making this DIY macramé plant hanger for your mamma and gift her something genuine, from the heart.

You will need:
  • Four pieces of 2-meter cotton cord (3.1mm thick)
  • 1" brass ring
  • Two pieces of 30 cm rope
  • Scissors
  • Plant of your choice - we have used a Sweatheart Creeper (Philodendron scandens oxycardi)
  • Pot plant container
Getting to know the Sweatheart Creeper

Sweatheart Creepers (Philodendron scandens oxycardi) can be identified by their unique heart-shaped leaves. They are fast-growing climbers and one of the most popular foliage plants used as room or conservatory decor. This plant is adaptable, tolerates low levels of light for long periods, and thrives in summer or winter room temperatures. Click here to find your local GCA Garden Centre for more indoor plants suitable for this project.

Step by step to making your macramé masterpiece:

Step 1.
Begin your DIY macramé plant hanger by cutting the pieces of the cottob macramé cord. You will need four, 2-meter cords and two, 30 cm long cords.

Step 2.
Fold the  four, 2-meter cords in half and loop it through the bass ring.

Step 3.
Next, secure your cords in place by using the wrapped or ring knot. This is a simple knot that has a sophisticated, finished look. You will need your 30 cm piece of cord for this knot.

How to tie a wrapped, looped knot
  1. Place the short cord over the looped cords with the short tail to the left, the loop pointing down, and the long tail to the right.
  2. Wrap the long tail around the looped cords and around the loop of the short cord.
  3. Continue wrapping the long tail, pulling it tight and leaving the bottom loop of the short cord uncovered.
  4. When you are happy with the length of your wrapped knot, thread the long tail through the loop at the bottom.
  5. Pull up on the short tail to tighten the knot and pull it underneath the wraps.
  6. Cut off the tails as close to the knot as possible.

And that's it! We will be using this knot again later for the tassel.

Step 4.
Next, hang your rig on either a hook, door knob, or a friend’s finger. Group your eight cords into groups of two and tie the cords together using a simple knot. Continue this until you end up with four separate knots and make sure they are all the same distance from the top.

Step 5.
Now, you will continue to your second row of knots. Take two adjacent knots and one cord from each knot and tie the cords together. Repeat this until you have four knots and make sure they are the same distance from your first row of knots.

Step 6.
Make sure your pot plant fits, and if it does not fit, adjust the second row until you feel your pot plant is secured and will not fall through the knots.

Step 7.
To finish off your DIY Mother's Day macramé plant hanger, you will need to tie all of the cords together with one final knot. End off with a wrapped or looped knot.

Step 7.
To finish off your DIY Mother's Day macramé plant hanger, you will need to tie all of the cords together with one final knot. End off with a wrapped or looped knot.

Step 9.
Trim off the excess cord to create a tassel finish.

Step 10.

Insert your plant with care. Carefully arrange your plants' branches between the groups of cords and make sure that the hook you hang the plant from is secure and able to handle the plant's weight.

For more fun DIY projects, click here.