DIY recycled planter – don’t throw rusty loaf tins away!

DIY recycled planter – don’t throw rusty loaf tins away!

Wondering what to do with your rusty loaf tins? I hate throwing away old rusty baking tins when they reach the end of their baking life. But let’s face it no one wants rust on their cakes!!  This DIY recycled planter is inspired by the storage potential of the old rusty baking tins plus a love of reclaimed wood. It’s perfect for the kitchen making a great DIY herb planter:)


DIY Recycled Planter, DIY Herb planter

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DIY Recycled Planter

To make the DIY recycled planter you will need:-

Equipment needed:-

  • Sand paper
  • Drill
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Chalk Paint Pen

Prepare your baking tins. If they have any flaky rust sand this off. Thoroughly wash to ensure they are completely grease free, I suggest using sugar soap.

Spray the chalk paint over the outside of the baking tins. It is best to spray a light layer, allow this to dry and then spray with a second coat. The beauty of using Novasol Spray is the paint dry’s in fifteen minutes.

Prepare your piece of wood. Saw it to size. Sand to reduce the chance of splinters.

Apply a stain or wax to your wood. This will protect the wood and provide a longer lifespan for the tin shelf unit. Allow to dry. I used Ronseal woodstain satin teak –  the darker stain adds contrast to the white tins. Resand for a rustic look.

Mark on the back of your tins a straight line to use as a guideline. Drill two drill holes in the back of the tins along your pencil line. Use a drill piece suitable for wood and metal.

Measure the plank of wood and your tins. Place your tins in position ensuring they are at right angles to your plank of wood. Using a pencil mark through your drill holes into the wood. Predrill a small hole in the wood at the marked places. Screw the tins into place.

Drill two holes an inch down from the top of your plank of wood. Mark on the wall. Using a masonry drill piece drill two holes for your screws. Add raw plugs into the predrilled holes. Screw the plank of wood to the wall.

Label the tins with chalk paint stickers. Mark the tins with the contents of your shelves with a chalk paint pen, finally fill your tins and admire your handy work!

You DIY recycled planter can store anything you, not just plants!! How about as laundry/cleaning materials or packing supplies such as parcel tapes, string, scissors. I have to admit my herbs were rather quickly replaced by cacti!

This project is linked upwith DIYideacenter a website I have just discovered – its full of great ideas for your home. Why not visit and be inspired?






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DIY Mans Messenger Bag (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

DIY Mans Messenger Bag (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

Fancy creating an alternative mans messenger bag utilising a car seat belt?? Regular readers will be familiar with my passion for bag making and recycling – this bag combines both.


Personally I think this bag is a great gift for a dad with a toddler, beyond the nappy bag stage but still needing to carry endless “stuff” around!


To make you will need:

Main bag fabric
12 1/2″ by 11″ three times
12 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ twice
3 1/2″ by 11″ once

Lining fabric
12 1/2″ by 11″ three times
12 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ twice
3 1/2″ by 11″ once

7 by 61/2″ pocket piece

Fusible fleece:
11 1/2″ by 10″ twice
11 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ twice
2 1/2″ by 10″ once

Iron on interfacing:
11 1/2″ by 10″ three times
11 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ twice
2 1/2″ by 10″ once

Car seat belt 2 metres

Bias binding 1 metre

Fabric glue

Fabric paint

Paint brush

Strap fixtures

To make:-

Paint the car design onto the lining fabric. You could create a print with lino. Or use a cookie cutter to print a line image of the car. Paint the edge of the cookie cutter and simply print onto the fabric. Use the cookie cutter to cut out a car design on a potato then potato print a solid car design on the pocket.

Iron fusible fleece to the back of the main fabric, leaving one piece of the main fabric with no fusible fleece on it (this is the flap of the bag).

Iron the interfacing to the back of the lining fabric.

Body of the bag

Pin the side panels to the front of the bag, right sides together. Stitch from the top of the bag down to the bottom of the fusible fleece. Stopping the seam here helps form the base of the bag easily.


Place the base of the bag along the bottom of the front panel and stitch along the edge of the fusible fleece. Stitch the base of the bag and side panels together along the fusible fleece line.


Pin and stitch the back of the bag panel to the sides and bag base.


Create the slip pocket. Fold over twice the top of the pocket and stitch. Press the sides and base of the pocket in half an inch. Pin centrally on one of the front/back panels of lining.


Double stitch round the sides and bottom of the pocket.


Flap of the bag

Cut seat belt fabric into five strips 12″ long. Using fabric adhesive carefully place down the flap panel, making sure they butt up as closely as possible.


Weight down with a heavy book until the glue is dry.


Once the glue is dry top stitch down the edge of each strap to ensure they are fully secured.


Place the lining of the flap right sides down, place the front of the flap on top right side facing you.

Curve the corners if you wish. Mark with tailors chalk a curve (I used a cup as a template) and trim the layers.


Pin your bias binding round the sides and bottom of the flap. Stitch in place.


Fold the bias binding over to the back, pin from the front ensuring you capture the back neatly, then top stitch in place.


Bag assembly

Strap handles – cut two pieces of strap 71/2″ long. Thread on metal loop. Place the strap in a loop on the side panel. Stitch in place securely, ensuring the join of the loop is beneath the stitches.


Place the flap onto the back of the bag. Work out the central point just in from the bottom of the flap and insert magnetic snap  into the lining. Work out corresponding point on the front of the bag and insert the other half of the magnetic snap.

Pin then baste the flap along the back edge of the bag (right sides together).

Place the main bag inside the lining so the right sides are together. Pin in place.


Stitch around leaving a turning gap along the front of the bag.

Turn right side out. Turn in the raw edges along the turning gap and pin in place. Top stitch right round this seam (this secures the turning gap and provides a little extra strength to the bag)


Lastly add strap 60″ long using a slider for adjustable cross body strap.

I’m loving this fun car themed bag.

 This post is sponsored by Volkswagen – check out other recycled and or car related tutorials by fellow bloggers on the Volkswagen collaborative Pinterest board “DIY Bloggers for Volkswagen“.





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Carving out time for creativity


How to carve out time from your busy schedule for creativity

 Wishing to find time for creativity in your busy life? Find time in your schedule with these five easy steps

Would you love to find time for a creative project?

Super busy? I get it! Running from the morning schedule, everyone out of the house with lunch boxes, work, housework, menu planning, shopping, cleaning, cooking, playing with the children, organising play dates – need I go on? I am with you!!

Time management might not be the first thing that comes to mind when craving creative time but it is ALL about time.

A recent time management course at work started with the trainer advising no-one would do anything different as a result of the course. A depressing thought! I took away some points. Check your emails once a day and deal with them. Do not get lost down the rabbit hole of social media. Can you set your phone so notifications only come from favourite contacts? I have only just done this, of course it doesn’t give me the discipline to stop checking my phone but new habits take time right?!

How to find time for creativity:

  1. Brainstorm creative ideas, keep images from magazines, start a pinterest board for storing ideas, or a sketchbook. There are so many places to start, narrowing down ideas can help you make a start. If you have a project in mind capturing the time is easier, you know what you want to do!
  2. Choose projects you can pick up and put down. This is perfect if you are short of time, Its is amazing what you can achieve. The trick is not to choose a complicated pattern where it will take you time to figure out where you have got to with the instructions. This may be knitting, crochet, hand sewing, patchwork piecing.
  3. Snatch ten minutes when you can. What ten minutes can you find? Having a project on the go which is easy to pick up makes the most of my time. Naturally I would love a while free day for making but that just isn’t realistic at this stage in life. Rather than feeling frustrated, or using this as an excuse not to start I make the most of those precious ten minutes (I am typing this whilst the kids put on their shoes and socks for school!). Break your project down into small tasks which are achieveable. Bite size chinks really do add up.
  4. Take projects with you – can you choose a portable project? If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I regularly post images of knitting or hand stitching. I always take a project to the kids swimming lessons, I may be the only parent with a craft activity but who cares??? I have overcome my concerns about knitting whilst having a cuppa with a friend (I always discuss this the first time, I do not wish to offend a new friend!). Do you commute by public transport? Can you take your current project with you?
  5. Create a space in your home for creative making.  I am fortunate as I have a large desk where I can leave the sewing machine set up. It is my sewing room, the room also holds the laundry, kids games, the freezer and family paper work. Where can you squeeze out a creative space? I know people who have sewing rooms on a small table in the corner of the living room, or the corner of their bedroom. Leaving the sewing machine up means no time is lost setting up.

More time management tips:

Do you start the day early with children? Maximise this time. Or does your partner like watching sport, can you be creative one evening a week whilst they spend time on their interests? Be organized, find your supplies and store them together for your project. Spending time on creativity is good for our mental health, it is part of self care – remember if you are well it benefits everyone in your household:)

Wondering where to start? Try out one of these quick projects:

Fabric scrap flower brooches

Denim Tablet Case

Fabric necklace

Upcycled Bottle Bag

What are your top tips for creating time for creativity? I would love to know,





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I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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