Let’s be Zen about it

My days consist of either work and school, or keeping a tiny little human alive…sometimes both. With all the chaos and little to no harmony I could use some Feng Shui in my life. But honestly, who has the time to rearrange furniture? Not me…in fact the most I’ve rearranged is that wrapper I stuck under the couch when company was coming over for Thanksgiving and a load of laundry from the dryer to the spare bedroom.
I am not an immaculate homemaker.
My days are also spent begging the cat and baby to stop doing whatever it is they are doing.
Example:

“Kid, please don’t put that in your mouth.”

“Sebastian!(the cat) DROP the lizard! I said drop it! Leave the poor thing alone!”
“WHY the pee pee diaper in the mouth??”
“DUDE.”
“Kid, don’t suck on daddy’s shoes.”
“Leave the kitty alone please.”
It’s a battle, because half the time I’m saying those things and the other half I’m sighing into a cup of coffee debating on how badly I want the cat or baby…or both to stop doing whatever it is they are doing vs. staying where I am and drinking my coffee.
So during one of these moments, I stumbled upon a pin on pinterest or as I like to fondly refer to as the black hole of good intentions and lost recipes.
Diy Zen garden

And I thought YES I NEED that in my life…even though I ended up making it for my husband and his office desk…that’s totally not the point.
The other reason I ended up giving/making it for my husband is because I remember his Dad having a little construction themed Zen garden on his work desk. It was the nostalgic part of me that really made me want to do this.
It was incredibly easy and ended up being super cute, the hardest time I had was trying to find a container I wanted to put it in, but my husband is picky so that’s probably why.

**This post contains Affiliate links**
I got everything except the rock off of Amazon, because If I could, I would literally buy everything off of Amazon.

Novelty Zen Garden Rake Decor Accessories Mini Zen Garden Art Kit Sand Push Pen(This is not a necessity to the project, I just got it because I thought they were fun, you could totally use a pen while sitting at your desk, or your finger.)

WGV Clear Slant Cut Bowl Glass Vase/Glass Terrarium, 6-Inch x 2.7-Inch(a container for your Zen garden, you can get super creative with this)

ACTIVA Scenic Sand, 5-Pound, Harvest (they have so many different colors, so again, you can get creative with this. You could even do a combo of two different colors like the original post suggests. I just went with a brown because it was for my husband.)

Decorations to put inside of your little slice of zen. I picked a little rock I found from my yard and a Dozer ( I think that’s what it’s called, I am for sure not an expert on any construction vehicles) because my husband works in construction.
You could do little cat statues ( totally up my alley) or little miniature pictures with family in it. Or maybe some rocks with what you feel are powerful and positive words. It’s really up to you.

Here’s all the supplies:
zen-garden
Sorry, the cat would NOT leave me alone or get out of my picture. I dont think this cat knows how to do anything but be in the middle of everything I am doing.
And again, this is embarrassingly easy.
Step one: Open bag of sand and pour sand into designated container.
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Step 3: Add decorations

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That’s literally it. I mean…I feel kind of bad…can this even really be labeled a craft project?
Step 4: Achieve ultimate zen…
That’s going to take sooo much more then just pouring some sand into a bowl..and can I just add that this did not make me  Zen? I could not get the sand to move in the shape I wanted and create the perfect lines I wanted..but maybe I’m missing the point here.
It’s probably best it’s going to the husband and his desk at work.
That’s the passive aggressive semi sorta ocd perfectionist in me.

Peace and Zen,
Paper daffodils

If I were an empty container then I would be…..

There’s something you guys should know about me.
I am obsessed with turning garbage into something useful. Or I guess maybe not garbage, but more of things that you would just throw away and not think anything else of.
We could probably write a list of the things I am unhealthily obsessed with…like chocolate…Supernatural…Cat’s…office supplies (seriously you should see my desk drawers they have been re-purposed to contain office supplies and nothing more.)
But that list would take a lot more time then we all have, and Id like you guys to still like me at the end of the day.
I have given in to my obsession of giving purpose to lost and lonely throw a ways. I feel like I am the Andy of Toy Story in the world of garbage, me being Andy and the garbage being my adored toys…and when I reference that I am definitely not talking about Toy story 3. Sorry grown up Andy.
Anyways, my point is, my obsession has led to this blog’s first craft post! YAY!
Little man finished off his bottle the other night, and that bottle was made from the last scoop of formula that I had. And rather then throw away that container I set it to the side thinking there had to be  a use for it (I told you…it’s an obsession)
I’ve been growing lettuce from re-purposed kitchen scraps, something I found on Pinterest, of course and decided that lonely little formula container  would make a perfect planter.
So here’s the supplies you will need:
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Scissors
Mod Podge
Empty Formula container
Pictures/Photo books (I have like 20 thousand groove books so that’s what I used)
Roller thing (Yup)
Potting soil (Not pictured)
Plant(s) (also not pictured)
Brush to apply Mod Podge (I had a ghetto fabulous moment and attempted to use a butter knife…don’t do it…just don’t)

Before starting go ahead and un-click the formula lid from the container and set aside.

First you’re going to want to select photos that you’d like to use, we are just making a collage of them on the container. Keep that in mind while selecting the pictures though, you don’t want huge close ups or super zoomed out pictures. There is a balance here with the picture selection.
My tip is to plan out the pictures, the cutting of them and placement, you could even go as far as using tape to put the pictures on so you can thoroughly plan your layout then glue with the Mod Podge after. Try not to be like me and dive into the project, it doesn’t always end well.
My other tip is to try and not get any of the Mod Podge on your table…it’s kinda of annoying to try and wipe off especially once it’s semi dry.
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Go ahead and cover the front side of the container with Mod Podge and place your cut out photos on the surface, you are going to want to try and smooth them down as much as possible so the pictures don’t get lumpy. That’s actually what that roller thing is for..but I found it kinda useless for this project.
Just place the photos on kind of overlapping. The beauty of this kind of project is that it doesn’t have to be perfect in the slightest. Which makes it right up my alley. No one has time to line things up perfectly. I really just don’t have the patience, let’s be honest.
Let the front side dry then turn over and start the back side (as seen in above picture)
You are again going to apply the Mod Podge and place your photos on the container.
Then let dry.
This project isn’t really hard, it’s kind of just time consuming. Another tip would be to keep a damp cloth on hand, the Mod Podge dry’s on your fingers and the dried Mod Podge sticks to your photos when coming into contact with wet Mod Podge leaving behind ugly gluey fingerprints.
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Once both sides have dried, take your brush after dipping it into the Mod Podge and go over the photos to seal them. Since I used a sponge brush I found it was best to brush the Mod Podge on in one unified direction, so that the brush design that did show was uniform and looked like it belonged.
Now…don’t have a moment like me where I angrily brushed one coat, two coats, three coats, four coats wondering why the hell my pictures weren’t looking all nice and glossy and finished.

20161021_172145
AHEM
Ya….that definitely says MATTE
Basically…if you want a glossy finish don’t get the Matte one.
Next tip? Do not…I repeat do not try and pour the potting soil into the container before the glue has dried….just trust me on this okay?

After that drys you should have something that looks like this: vzm-img_20161021_171913

Now…I have a tendency of killing…I mean over watering my plants so I like them to have drainage holes in their containers and a bottom that catches the water. So I went ahead and took a hammer and nail to the bottom of my container to get a hole…don’t do that…it will just crack the bottom. Remember that whole diving right into things…?…ya.
It wasn’t too badly cracked and actually worked out for being a drainage hole..just wasn’t as pretty as I would have liked it to be.
The next goal found me with a hammer trying to crack the little clips off the formula lid..don’t worry my husband stepped in and saved my fingers…and the table…
He got a set of pliers and snapped them right off for me.
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Then the next step was just to fill it up with soil (while dry…I repeat…while dry) and plant my little lettuces.

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I loved my end result. I squealed…loudly. All the while realizing that I have unapologeticaly  become that mom who pastes pictures of her kid all over everything. But man, doesn’t it make my table look so much better.
Happy crafting!