DIY Mirrored Planter Box

DIY Mirrored Planter Box

I tend to think of gardening as vegetable gardening and constantly have to remind myself that some people like to grow plants they don’t eat. Even stranger is the fact that some people actually grow plants … inside their homes!

The gist of this DIY is literally hot gluing together five squares of bevelled mirror, which you can buy at any craft store or, if you’re really lucky, your local dollar store. So little effort, so little money, such a great effect.

DIY Leather-Bound Gardening Diary

DIY Leather-Bound Gardening Diary

I try to take notes on my smart phone, but sometimes using a good old-fashioned notebook is just easier. This gardening diary is a really great way to use up old, out-of-date leather or suede coats, plus you can personalize it.

You need only a few materials – leather (find an old leather coat or purse from a second-hand shop), a hole punch and an inexpensive date book – to make this DIY that looks like it cost a fortune.


  1. Remove the original cover from the day planner. (Just pull it off of the rings.)

  2. Lay the cover on your piece of leather. If you can’t avoid seams, line the seam up with the spine of the cover.

  3. Using the original cover as a pattern, cut your new leather covers.
Creating the leather binding.

  1. Lay your old day planner cover on top of your newly cut leather.

  2. Mark the holes for the spiral binding using a marker.

  3. Fold your leather cover in half along the spine and punch out the holes. I used a paper punch, but if you have a leather punch – use that.

  4. Now all you have to do is slip your new cover back onto the spiral binding and you’re done.

If you happen to have (or need an excuse to buy) a leather embossing kit, you can personalize the front cover with anything you think the gift recipient would like. You could emboss their initials or simply stamp “Gardening Journal” onto it.

DIY Wood Conditioner

DIY Wood Conditioner

I don’t know what it is about vegetable gardening and natural wood, but I feel like the two are always hand-in-hand. Wooden spoons for stirring those tomatoes you grew, bowls for your salad or even vintage, wooden-handled gardening tools. To keep all of them in great shape, you need to condition them. And in this case, you need to condition them with something: a beeswax rub.

This DIY board butter has only two ingredients – beeswax and mineral oil. Shave 2.5 ounces of beeswax (either from leftover candles or new beeswax) and melt it in a double boiler over low heat. After it’s melted, add 1.5 ounces of mineral oil. Heat and stir for about 5 minutes. Pour into small containers for giving. Plain glass jars wrapped with twine and a sprig of pine look great for a gift. If you’re giving this to someone who loves anything vintage, pouring the board butter into small old tobacco tins makes a really fantastic gift they’ll love.

Karen Bertelsen

Karen Bertelsen is a Gemini Award nominated television host who has appeared on some of Canada's major networks including HGTV, W Network, Slice and MuchMoreMusic. She started the blog The Art of Doing Stuff ( as a creative outlet for her writing and endless home projects. The Art of Doing Stuff now receives over half a million views per month and has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Style at Home and Canadian Gardening magazines.

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