a pair & a spare http://apairandasparediy.com DIY Fashion Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 DIY PRINTABLE GIFT TAGS (THEY’RE FREE!) http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-printable-gift-tags-theyre-free.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-printable-gift-tags-theyre-free.html#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:00:22 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13322 The holiday season is well and truly upon us – I can’t believe it’s only three weeks til I head back to Aus for a steamy holiday season! Bearing in mind the importance of generosity and charity during this time, and moreover, our general love of free sh*t, Jasmine and I have once again come together to create some printables for you. We know how much you liked our Valentines Cards so we thought why not splash out and make some more? First up, these gift tags are oh so easy to make at home and cute as pie.

Download the tags here.

Make sure to pop over the Jasmine’s store if you’re in the market for some of her beautiful designs, perfect for the holiday season!

Free printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tagsFree printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tags Free printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tags Free printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tags Free printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tags Free printable a pair & a spare and Jasmine Dowling gift tags

Oh and don’t forget, snag yourself 20% off everything in the A Pair & A Spare shop until Tuesday Dec 2nd – perfect if you’re looking for gifts for friends (or yourself!). Simply use ‘holiday20′ at the checkout.

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INTRODUCING A PAIR & A SPARE – THE SHOP http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/introducing-a-pair-a-spare-the-shop.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/introducing-a-pair-a-spare-the-shop.html#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:29:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13341 Happy thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate! Over the last twelve or so months I’m sure you noticed that I’ve been working closely with the team at Wander & Hunt – creating kits and sourcing supplies. Recently, we took complete creative control and have decided to combine both companies under the A Pair & A Spare banner. As such, Wander & Hunt will be renamed the A Pair & A Spare Shop. The store will continue to be your online destination for hard to find craft supplies, and we’re also looking forward to moving towards hand made pieces designed by us in the studio. #excitement

Over the past few years I’ve taken quite a few enquiries about making items for readers, but sadly never had the capacity to do it. However, now that we’re in the studio and have the space to really roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, we’re excited to be able to create special designs for you to welcome into your home – or wear on your body. As always, I am so incredibly grateful for your ongoing support, and am looking forward to sharing our further adventures with you!

xx Geneva

New storedd

To celebrate the launch of the store and the holiday season, we’re offering 20% off all orders between now and next Tuesday. So get in quick! To get the 20% off, simply add the code ‘holiday20′ at checkout. Get shopping now!

Ps… Have you seen our new studio? This is where the magic (and mess!) happens.

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DIY TUBE TOP http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-tube-top.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-tube-top.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:45:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13259 In what must be episode #7450234 of the series entitled ‘Geneva makes something out of neoprene’, today I’m going to show you how to create a simple crop top. Clearly another nod to the current 90’s mood, I’ve been seeing these everywhere recently – Josh Goot did a to-die-for knitted version – and knew that when I got a spare moment I would have to make one of my own. And guess what? It turned out to be my easiest neoprene project yet! I know I always say it’ll only take you ten minutes to make, but honestly, that couldn’t be more true for this piece.

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.comCraft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: DIY Top, Vintage Palazzo Trousers, Kookai Trench Coat, Dylan Kain clutch, Daniel Wellington Watch.

You need:

  • A piece of neoprene
  • Ribbon or elastic
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread and a sewing machine

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

How to

1. Start by cutting two pieces of neoprene, ensuring that the width measures an inch above and below your bust. Make sure the two pieces in total go around your bust properly – adding a few inches to allow for the seam allowance.

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Place the pieces on top of each other and sew them together down the short sides.

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

3. You’ll now have a tube. Easy right? I liked a more boxy style, but you can always shape the side seams to your body more if you want a more fitted style.

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Add ribbon straps by cutting and then hang sewing to the inside of your top.

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! Because this top is quite tight and made of neoprene, I’ll be wearing it with some light palazzo trousers or a fitted maxi skirt. Bring on party outfit season!

Craft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.comCraft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.comCraft a quick tube top www.apairandasparediy.com

Ps if you’re on the lookout for something to wear with this crop top, I think it would go so well with my DIY sequin skirt!

Outfit photos by Nicola Lemmon

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TRAVEL: HONG KONG’S BEST MARKETS http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/travel-hong-kongs-best-markets.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/travel-hong-kongs-best-markets.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:14:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13293 If there’s one thing you must do when you visit Hong Kong it’s visit the markets. Although the city is most well known for glittering sky scrapers and the harbour, it’s the tiny stalls and people going about their everyday lives that always interests me the most. If you like colour and vitality, don’t confine your trip to the malls – explore a bit to see the parts of Hong Kong you’ll remember the most.

It would totally be possible to spend a week visiting every market in the city, and trust me you wouldn’t get bored. But if you’re short on time and want see the best of the best in a day, then this is the itinerary for you. Conveniently located around the Prince Edward and Yau Mae Tei in Kowloon, start in the morning and keep walking til your feet fall off – or you hail a cab!

Hong Kong's best markets in one day

The perfect market day…

10 am Flower Markets

Start at Prince Edward station and head over to the Flower Markets. If you arrive in the late morning you’ll be able to watch the sellers set up.  Walk the whole block, and enjoy the hectic nature of the street, the succulents (this is where I get mine!) and the gorgeous hanging plants. Grab a coffee at Cafe Hay Fever if you’re in need of a pick me up.  Flower Market Road, Prince Edward Station Exit B1.

11 am Yuen Po Bird Garden

At the end of Flower Market Road, you’ll find the Yuen Po Bird Garden – a market slash garden where people come to buy pet birds as well as feed, cages, live insects and all manner of other bird related paraphernalia. The Chinese style cages make this garden feel like a throw back to a bygone era, and the men that bring their cages down from their houses to talk birds will keep you entertained for hours.  Yuen Po Street, Prince Edward (the end of Flower Market Road)

12.30 pm Goldfish Street

Once you’ve finished at the Bird Garden, head back towards the station and take a left onto Tung Choi St, otherwise known as Goldfish Street. This street isn’t quite a market but makes the cut – shop after shop selling pet goldfish in bags, and boxes full of turtles. Naturally it smells strongly of fish food but I’m sure you can handle it.  Tung Choi Street North, Mong Kong

1.30 Cafe Mido

Jump into a taxi and head to this very atmospheric Hong Kong style tea house. I love this place! Wes Anderson would be proud of the throwback 50’s tiles and furniture, and the gorgeous green antique windows that look down onto the local temple. The menu is Hong Kong cafe food which can be a tad odd for the uninitiated – noodles and condensed milk on toast anyone? – but don’t let that stop you. 63 Temple St, Yau Ma Tei

2.30pm Jade Markets

Jade has long been associated with long life and prosperity in China, so you can understand why there’s whole markets dedicated to the stone. I love this market for its colour and stall holders, and for jewellery lovers – there are lots of other stones as well as Jade and it’s a great place to pick up presents.  Junction of Kansu Street and Battery Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Top off your day with either a pit stop at the Ladies Markets if you’re in the mood for a few fake handbags clothes, or nip into Din Tai Fung in TST to weigh yourself down with Dim Sum!

Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's Markets markets of Hong Kong10Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.commarkets of Hong Kong9 New for use3 Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.com markets of Hong Kong14Hong Kong's Marketsmarkets of Hong Kong13 Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.com

We took these photos over the course of a few days, but you only need one day to do it!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

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LINK FAVES #7 http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/links-7.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/links-7.html#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 02:35:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13305 Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Cambodia for a few days – a quick stop in Phnom Penh and then a few days in the serene and beautiful seaside village of Kep. It was amazing to get some downtime and do a bit of island hopping.. Particualy given winter is beginning to arrive in Hong Kong and swimming is (almost) out of the question now. It was so laid back that I got to forget about work and deadlines for a few hours – just what I needed prior to the crazy holiday season. I’m looking forward to sharing a few of my favourite things to do there with you, and also getting back there next year to check out Siem Reap!

Taking a dip in Cambodia
Swimsuit by Her The Label – on that note this is my first foray into high waisted bikinis and surprisingly I like them! What are your thoughts on the high waisted?

A few links I enjoyed over the weekend and wanted to share with you:

‘Not wearing a bra is my favourite pastime’. True that! NY women drawn their boobs.

Globe makers (insert love heart face emojis here).

Garza Marfa – I want everything now.

I love staying in people’s houses when I travel, here’s a few perfect ones for when you visit London.

The new Ace Hotel in LA is on my hit list, could it beeeee more pretty?

On friendship breakups

Ps… I’ve joined the Conde Nast Traveller team, head over to read my first guide about Shopping in Hanoi.

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BEFORE & AFTER: OUR STUDIO http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/before-after-our-studio.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/before-after-our-studio.html#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 04:00:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=12931 You’ll probably remember that a while ago we moved into our new studio, and in that time so much has happened that I can’t believe it’s only been a bit more than 6 months! The days when I used to work (with my boyfriend) in our tiny spare room seem like a millennium ago, now that we’ve got space to stretch out and (for me) experiment with crafts and projects. Paying rent every month is the obvious downside to this scenario, but because we’ve been able to share the space it’s worked out well for us (for now anyway).

Being an interior designer ( I’m so proud of all the projects he’s done since we’ve been in HK!), it was pretty straight forward for Ben to put together the designs before we first moved in – working with a few surly contractors to turn it from a warehouse into something you would want to work in. Although we wanted to keep it as raw as possible with the original, imperfect walls and the bare cement floors, in true Hong Kong fashion the contractors took it upon themselves to perfect the walls with plaster and paint. You can’t always get what you want (but you get what you need :)).

The studio is divided into two rooms, which works perfectly for us, as Ben and his team sit on one side, and we sit on the other side  – free to be as messy and chatty as we like! I’ve really enjoyed the hands on nature of creating shelves, tables and all the bits and pieces that went into the space – plenty more to come believe me.

Geneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

Check out the studio in more depth in the video below! And see just how much of a disaster the construction site was…

a pair and a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.comGeneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.comGeneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

The nook is my favourite place in the studio!

Geneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

We made the desks out of bricks and plywood, we’re all about saving the $$$. :)

Geneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

Ben came up with the idea of a floating shelf above the main desks which we’ve stacked with plants and vines – in  chaotic and built up city like Hong Kong, this green feature really made all the difference to the space.

Geneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

Over on the other side of the office, we decided to make the space a little more girly, and naturally we needed a big table to do our projects on. We’ve got a series of background we use to get different effects, so it’s made the space quite versatile.

a pair and a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.coma pair and a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

Naturally we’ve got a few quotes from lovely Jasmine Dowling to remind us of what’s important.

a pair and a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.coma pair and a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.comGeneva Vanderzeil a pair & a spare studio www.apairandasparediy.com

You can find all the DIYs shown in the office below:

DIY Hanging Rope Shelves

DIY Rolling Note Board

DIY Round Hanging Shelves

DIY Net Inspiration Board

DIY Easy Throw Cushions

DIY Hanging Basket Mirror

DIY Hanging Baskets

 Studio Design: Charlie & Rose

Furniture Design: Charlie & Rose

Colourful rug via Mister Zimi, Black and White Rug via Kahoko

Video credits: Luke Casey & Kai Von Carnap

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WARDROBE ESSENTIALS: THE SILK TANK http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/wardrobe-essentials-the-silk-tank.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/wardrobe-essentials-the-silk-tank.html#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 03:00:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13156 Over the last few years, a focus on collecting the perfect wardrobe staples has helped me to create a closet that’s adaptable, flexible, and never (ok… rarely) leaves me wracking my brain about what to wear in the morning. It’s only natural that I’m drawn to companies that understand the concept of timeless basics, and how important they are as a foundation for any wardrobe. New start up Grana has totally nailed this for me, with their ethos of sourcing the best possible fabrics to create simple, long lasting pieces that you’ll wear and wear (and wear). Did I mention that they’re affordable? ‘Disruptive’ is, let’s be honest, an often used word these days but in relation to Grana’s prices, it’s not far off the mark.

Over a couple of days last week I had the fun job of showing Nicola around my favourite markets in Hong Kong, as part of a road test of their new Chinese silk tanks –  and also as a way to slack off and hang out in my favourite places. Road test scores, in the event that you’re interest? In the face of humidity, rain, angry taxi drivers and the 1000 different odours we experienced during the week (think of the olfactory variety at the flowers, bird and gold fish markets!), these tanks passed with flying colours. One thing to mention is that it’s perhaps a good idea to size down on this particular style.

I thought I would share with you a few sneak photos of our week, but you’ll have to wait a few days for the more details travel guide – utter chaos proved to be oh so photogenic!

Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comHong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comSilk top Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.com Hong Kong's markets www.apairandasparediy.comThe wardrobe essential

Wearing: Grana silk tanks in Light Blue, Black and Off White (in X-small in case you’re working out what to buy).

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

This post is in collaboration with Grana

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DIY LACE UP BALLET FLATS http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-lace-up-ballet-flats.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-lace-up-ballet-flats.html#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=13037 Having always been a bit of a Francophile, you can probably guess that I’m already sold on the simplicity and clean lines of a pair of ballet flats. But what if you want to take that classic perfection to another level? I’ve been seeing embellished flats here and there (so DIYable – be still my beating heart!), but when I stumbled upon a pair of lace up ones I knew they would be the next DIY. So easy to make, I’d take these over a pair of heels most days!

How to make a pair of lace up ballet flats How to make lace up ballet flats

Wearing: DIY flats, DIY cut off vintage shorts, Zara coat, MLM tshirt, Lack of Color hat.

How to make lace up ballet flats

You need: 

  • A pair of ballet flats
  • 14 D rings
  • E6000 glue
  • Leather
  • Scissors
  • Leather cord

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Cut your leather into strips 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Cut those pieces in half, and then insert the leather through the D rings.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Fold the leather over and glue down. Do this for all 14 and let dry.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

4.  Put more glue onto one leather piece.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Press down there you want them to sit on the shoes, starting at the back.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Attach them down the front, measuring a thumb sized gap between.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

7. The finished product should look like this.

How to make lace up ballet flats www.apairandasparediy.com

8. Finally, add your leather cord, crossing over the foot through the D rings and tying at the back.

How to make lace up ballet flats

Voila!

How to make lace up ballet flats

Super excited to be working with photographer Nicola Lemmon (a fellow Brisbane girl transplanted to Hong Kong), taking photos, doing projects, and generally much having a great time. Welcome Nicola! You can follow her HK adventures on instagram too.

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TRAVEL: CHECKLIST FOR A STRESS-FREE ARRIVAL http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/travel-checklist-for-a-stress-free-arrival.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/travel-checklist-for-a-stress-free-arrival.html#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=12925 Stepping off the plane at your destination can sometimes be the most daunting part of the trip, particularly if you’re arriving in a place you’ve never been before and when you’re travelling solo. Arriving at Kyoto airport recently on my own, being confronted with a million signs in Japanese and not really able to get my hands on someone who spoke English could have been a scary disaster, but with a few steps before leaving Hong Kong I was able to make sure that everything went smoothly and to plan – even when it didn’t go to plan at first!

Preparing for a stress free arrival

DO YOU HAVE?

1. Currency of your destination

About 5 years ago when I was living in London I went to meet friends in New York, and after arriving at a deserted JFK airport at 2am, I realised I didn’t have any US dollars, and when I tried to get money out of the ATM my cards all got blocked by the bank, and when I tried to use my phone I found it wasn’t on the right band and it didn’t work either. If it wasn’t for the kindness of a shuttle bus driver who let me get on and pay him when I got to my hotel (lucky my friends were there!) it would have been one cold, creepy night on the steps of the arrivals hall. Needless to say since then I always always get the currency of my destination out at home, and fair amount so I have options in case on an emergency. I also always carry a few hundred US dollars in my passport wallet, as most people recognise that currency if you’re really in a bind.

2. Printed Hotel information

Ok so this is probably an obviously one to but printing your hotel/accommodation information (address, phone etc) prior to leaving home is key to piece of mind, and you’ll use it way more than you think. Don’t rely on your phone to show you the way, phones get lost/lose battery/stop working.

3. Options for getting to your accommodation

Naturally most of us take a look at the best way to get from the airport to our accommodation, but researching for a few different options, such as which shuttle, train, or car to take in case your first choice isn’t available. Even though hotel transfers can be expensive, if you’re particularly concerned about the place you’re going or how you will handle getting to the hotel, they’re not a bad thing to splurge on. You can always cut costs later on  in the trip once you have your bearings.

4. Charged Devices

Arriving with a phone that works (and with a good amount of charge) is key in the event something happens and you need to check in with your hotel, friends or family (hopefully not but, the emergency services). One way is to keep your phone/laptop charger in your bag instead of your luggage, as some planes have plugs you can use (but you’ll need an adaptor if the airline isn’t based in your region). If not, make sure your phone is turned off completely while you’re on the plane. I also like to make sure my laptop is fully charged and then switch off when I get on the plane, because worst comes to worst I can charge my phone using my laptop.

5. The right Visas

There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination only to find that you’ve forgotten to get the right Visa. Sometimes you’ll be able to get a visa on arrival, however this is rarely an efficient undertaking when it comes to time. Always make sure to check what Visas you need before you travel!

6. Let your bank know you’re travelling

Ok so this can be annoying and tedious,  but everytime I don’t let my bank know I’m travelling they inevitably block all my cards, so that I’m stuck in the middle of a city without access to money. Not such a major issue when you’re travelling with friends, but if you’re on your own you really can’t risk it. Once quick call has saved me mountains of time in the past!

Anything else you guys think is essential to a stress free (and safe) flight arrival?

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DIY LEATHER HANGING PLANTER (MAKES THE PERFECT GIFT!) http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-leather-hanging-planter-makes-the-perfect-gift.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2014/11/diy-leather-hanging-planter-makes-the-perfect-gift.html#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=12980 If you’ve been following for a while you’ll be all over the fact that my current approach to decoration is, technically speaking, ‘put a plant on it’. I’ve applied the concept at the studio, and at home (to a lesser degree) and I can honestly say that it works. Who doesn’t want to live in a jungle (or a desert – depending on what type of plants you’re into)? We recently got crafty with some leather we had in the studio and created this planter with our friends over at Free People. If you plan ahead a little this planter could be the perfect gift for your bestie or plant addicted hipster boyfriend. Naturally you’ll be wanting to use a substitute for leather if said boyfriend is a vegan. :)

How to make a leather hanging planter www.apairandasparediy.comHow to make a leather planter www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A piece of leather or vegan leather
  • A metal Ring
  • 2 x long screws and bolts
  • Scissors
  • Multi hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Plant Pot

Start experimenting with leather now using this DIY Leather Making Kit.

Leather Planter  2

How to: 

1. On the back of your leather, mark out 4 pieces of 1.5cm wide x 65cm long pieces of leather strips and then cut into strips.

Leather Planter  5

2. Take your hole punch and punch a hole over the points you have marked.

Leather Planter  6

3. With the back side of the leather facing up, lay the pieces out in a cross so that the holes match up and add the screw underneath.

Leather Planter  8

4. Cut a piece of leather 1.5cm wide x 8cm long and then mark 1cm from the edge on both ends.

Leather Planter  10

5. Hole punch over the 2 marked positions and then take your piece of leather and fit it though the metal hoop

Leather Planter  12

6. Create the same cross section on the other end of the strips of leather and insert the screw through the holes.

Leather Planter  16

7. This is what the top section should look like.

Leather Planter  17

8. Hold the top section in one hand and lay out the base of the planter like so.

Leather Planter  18\

Place your plant pot into place. And you’re done.

How to make a leather planter www.apairandasparediy.com

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