Here's an easy way to give new life to old terra-cotta pots you have around the shed: Paint them to create coordinating stripes. Using masking tape in various widths, mark a simple striped design on the pot. In a well-ventilated area, spray the exterior and the rim (and any accompanying saucers) with weatherproof spray paint; let dry completely. Peel off tape.
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Steel utility boxes from the hardware store make sleek, modern pots. Choose a range of shapes and sizes. Turn so that the side with holes is at the bottom, and plant with low-growing succulents, such as Echeveria 'Black Prince' (left) and Sempervivum; top with gravel. (We used no. 2 grade grit.) For an exotic centerpiece, arrange several in a tray filled with grit.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2006
For best results, launder bath towels every three to four days using the following guidelines:
- Non-chlorine bleach can be used safely on white towels when they start to look a bit dingy, but avoid chlorine bleach, which eats up towels.
- Do not use fabric softener, which actually stiffens towels.
- Wash white towels on the hottest setting.
- When drying towels, use one scent-free dryer sheet.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, May 2007
Use bungee cords to keep items from tumbling off freestanding shelves. The cords are especially helpful in high-traffic areas, such as the garage, where shelves might get jostled. Hook a cord across the front of a shelf, or use an extra-long one to wrap around the sides as well. If the cord isn't taut, wrap slack around the leg, then hook the cord to itself.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2006
Tall-growing orchids need a little extra support to stay upright, but the stakes they lean on are usually an eyesore. For ones that won't detract from the beauty of the blooms, purchase precut 16- to 18-gauge floral-stem wire from a crafts store. Bend into a 90-degree angle 4 inches from the top. Curve the top portion to form a U. Plant the stake next to the orchid, and hook the U around the stem.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
Sometimes small houseplants get lost among larger ones. Elevating smaller plants increases their visibility. And placing your pots at different levels will add a new dimension to the display. Simply turn a few small flowerpots upside down, and stack plants in pots of the same size on top. Intermingle these plants with larger ones. Use pots of the same material -- terra-cotta, for example -- to create a uniform look. (Place plants on a waterproof tray or drain before setting them in the desired location, so water leakage won't damage your surfaces.)
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2009
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