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Get Inspired: 4 Simple Projects for This Summer

Long summer days are perfect for crossing off that long list of projects and adding some new ones you may have never thought of! We have put together a few easy DIY projects to bring the essence of summer into your home.

Drying Herbs

Summer is a great time to grow a wide array of different herbs such as rosemary, basil, and mint.

To enjoy these summer flavors all year long try using a drying technique that can lengthen the usability well beyond peak season.

It is best to harvest on warm, dry mornings after the dew has evaporated. If you are drying large-leaved herbs, such as sage and mint, strip the leaves from their stalks. For herbs, like dill and fennel, leave the leaves on the stalks until drying is complete. To effectively dry your herbs keep them in a well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight.

Hanging Dry

Wrap bunches with the leaves pointed downward. To keep the herbs free of dust and you can place the bunches in muslin or thin paper bags. Depending on the size, allow 7 to 10 days to dry.

They’re completely dry if the leaves sound like crisp cornflakes when crushed.

Rack Drying

To make a drying rack, stretch muslin, cheesecloth or netting over a wooden frame and fix it in place. Place the tray in the warming drawer of an oven or in a warm, airy spot out of direct sunlight. Turn leaves frequently to ensure even drying, which should take 2 or 3 days.

 

Press Plants for Quick Decor

Adding live plants to your home can be challenging to maintain when busy life gets in the way. A great alternative to this is to add pressed greenery or flowers to your walls. Pressed plants are easy to do and add a great personalized touch to everything.

Step 1

A simple way to press leaves and flowers is to press them, individually, between two sheets of tissue paper and placing them in the middle of a large book. Once evenly inside lay the book on its side and stack a few additional books on top. Let the leaves dry for a few days – time will vary depending on the size and type of leaf. You’ll know it’s finished drying once you’re able to remove it with the leaf remaining flat and not curling at the edges.

Step 2

To frame your piece, remove the back piece and position your dried plants to check placement and make sure to clean off any fingerprints once you’re set on the placement. Next, add a couple of small pieces of double-sided tape to the back of your leaf/leaves and place front-side-up on the frame’s back piece. Then, carefully slide in (or position into place) and close the frame.

 

Create a Vertical Planter

A way to bring the gorgeous outdoors inside is with this simple DIY vertical succulent planter. Since succulents are so simple to take care of this planter will be a great addition to your home and will make any space more serene and bring in a sense of life.

Materials

(2) 1x4x8ft boards | (2) 1x2x8ft boards | (1) 2ft. x 4ft sheet of 1/2-inch thick plywood | 1 1/4-inch brad nails | 1 inch staples | Landscape fabric | Poultry wire

Step 1: Build the box

Cut the top, bottom, and side frames using the 1x4x8ft boards. Cut the top/bottom board to 26 inches and the sideboards to 22 1/2 inches. Using the drill and 1/8- inch drill bit, pre-drill two holes per corner from the outside of the side segments into the ends of the top and bottom segments. Use two wood screws per corner to attach the side segments to the top/bottom segments. Attach with 1 1/4-inch brad nails.

Step 2: Insert chicken wire

Roll out chicken wire and use a heavy-duty stapler to staple one end of the chicken wire inside of the frame along the top. Press the wire so that it is flush and taut to the opening of the frame and secure with staples along the inside of the bottom. Use a pair of wire snips to cut the excess chicken wire once secured to both top and bottom.

Step 3: Insert landscaping cloth

Repeat with the landscaping cloth so that it is secured with staples over the chicken wire on the frame. Trim excess cloth with scissors.

Step 4: Fill the frame with soil with the wire side facing down.

Step 5: Add the backing

Cut 1/2″ plywood to 26in x 24″. Attach with 1 1/4-inch brad nails.

Step 6: Add hangers

Depending on how you want to hang this you can either use Dring hangers with a 50 to 100-pound weight capacity or eye hooks to hang the piece.

Step 7: Finally add plants!

Use a spray bottle or lay the box flat to water.

 

Start Composting

Composting is a great way to cut down on waste, but it is also great to enrich your soil, keep chemicals out of your garden, save you money, and lower your carbon footprint. This simple life change is easy to do and the whole family can help contribute

Step 1: Select a bin

A simple way to start composting is to recycle or buy a plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid that is about 24 inches tall or taller

Step 2: Drill holes into the bin

Use a drill to make 8–10 small holes in the bottom of the container to make sure everything can aerate.

Step 3: Create a base and fill the bin

Place shredded newspaper or dry leaves on the bottom of your compost bin, filling it about 1/8–1/4 full. Next, Place dirt on top of the leaves or newspaper until the container is 1/2 full. After this is done place any food scraps or paper products that you’d like to compost. Then stir everything together to make sure any food scraps are covered with dirt.

Step #4: Moisten the compost

Spray with lukewarm water until moist, but not soaking wet.

Step #5: Drill holes into the top of the bin

Use a drill to make 8–10 small holes in the lid and place it securely on top of the bin.

Step #6: Find a spot for your compost bin

Place the bin in a shady area away from the house. Be sure that it’s not in full sun or your compost will dry out.

 

These fun DIY projects are fun for the whole family, and a great way to spend Summer daysspent at home! For larger renovation projects in and around your home, we encourage you to reach out to one of the many home improvement experts located in San Luis Obispo County. For more information on local experts in the home improvement industry, visit inspiredexpos.com

 

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