My Mother’s Day Present Adventure!

So, now that it is past Mother’s Day and I can safely post about my Mother’s Day Present, here are some pictures/instructions/laughable moments of my adventure to make my Mom a cool present without spending tons of money.   My Mom was really good and although she read the post, the first thing she said when we talked next was “I didn’t click the link, I love surprises!” I love my Mom!

  This was the teaser picture I put up last week when I was talking about being inspired..     and it was the only hint my Mom had at all as to what her present could have been.

I picked up the book I used at Old Goat’s Books in Uptown Waterloo — unfortunately I did decimate them, but i reused the pages that I cut out, so never fear book lovers!  I also picked books that were under 10$. This book cost me 5$

Total cost breakdown so far: 5$

Then my best friend and I went on a mission to find plants. The plants in the website I got the idea from call for Succulents. Well, me and my black thumb have absolutely no idea what succulents are.

The lady at Canadian Tire was absolutely no help on this matter.

However, a lady (note: not an employee) at Home Depot helped us pick out multitudes of plants. In hindsight, I bought way too many — but you can see what I did with the extras down below.  I really only needed maybe 2 plants which would have cost me less than ten dollars.

Total Cost Breakdown: 13$ (if you were only making one) 23$ (if you are an over-eager plant-achiever).

The next step was to cut the hole in the book using an exacto knife which took me forever and I’m not going to lie, aggravated me! You should definitely draw lines in the book (which I failed to do) to keep the hole the certain size.  I only made it down about 3/4 of an inch before giving up but it still worked out.  The original instructions suggest 1-2 inches.

Total Cost Breakdown: 13$ or 23$

See how many plants I got?  And there were more in the basement still.  I modgepodged the book pages together very messily and outdoors (it smells!). I’m not a modgepodge expert by any means, but it worked. I then lined the garden hole with saran wrap and added lots of rocks that my five year old neighbour helped me gather! The rocks, in case you are a black thumb like me, are to help with drainage because succulents are plants that retain water, and if you over water them they will die.. but there is no drainage hole from the book so the rocks act as little drainers.

Next, add your plants.  Try not to break off too many of the roots or separate plants where they shouldn’t be separated. I’m trusting my Mom’s green thumb to fix this one for me 🙂


So I added more plants, cleaned up the walk outside, and brought it inside.  I then added fabric flowers (3.99 from michaels) and fake moss (5.99 from michaels) in strategic places and voila, it was done!

Total cost without excessive amounts of flowers: 20$

Total cost with excessive amounts of flowers: 35-40$

So my Mom LOVED it.. and I loved giving it to her. Two of her favourite things are literature and plants, and last year I built her a hand-built herb garden which has a proud space in her backyard — and I’m really proud that I managed to build it all on my own! And now she has an inside table centrepiece for those days that are gloomy.  Succulents are indoor plants, and don’t need to be watered very often but need sun — so don’t use them if you’re going to be putting them outside.

What to do with the leftovers??

 I had a bunch of old tea tins lying around from work and I collected a few more from my friends who are avid tea drinkers and made three little terrariums for my two grandmas and my friend who has children and I live with.

I added rocks at the bottom again of each tin for drainage and then used the potting soil that came with the plants and added soil and plants for each one. A  few fabric flowers and some moss and they looked really cute!

To top everything off and make sure that I got use out of the book that I cut up, I glued the pages to the outside of the tin and wrote personalized messages. Its really cool going upstairs every day and seeing the one I made my upstairs neighbour/landlord/most of all friend sitting on the windowsill.  They should last a long time, and I’m really proud of them!

My original posts about this can be found here and here

The original idea came from Green Wedding Shoes here

Enjoy! I hope you all had wonderful Mother’s Day’s!



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