Momma Told Me: #DoingThe99 This Valentine's Day: D.I.Y Concrete Planters And Living Herb + Bulb Gifts

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#DoingThe99 This Valentine's Day: D.I.Y Concrete Planters And Living Herb + Bulb Gifts

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 #CollectiveBias
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Momma Told Me: Let's do the 99!

As many of you know we recently moved from a condo, into a house. As magical a time as these past few months have been, there have also been a lot of unexpected expenses and trimming of the budget. The first place we focused our gaze was towards holiday gifting. You know, those 'unnecessary' expenditures that really aren't necessary but just make the entire year a little more pleasant? And, on top of it I'm one of those people- who have to give a little something to just about anyone who crosses their path or impacts their life. Postal workers, neighbors, league-mates, family, and friends- even the kids at the daycare always get a little something from me when the holiday rolls along. Valentine's Day is no exception.
Live plants outside the local 99, great for seasonal gifting. Everything from stunning florals to fresh herbs. #DoingThe99 #99YourValentinesday (AD)
So, when my holiday budget was cut in half this year I had apocalyptic visions of all the people I would disappoint, all the glittered hearts I wouldn't get to play with. Then something magical happened, on a trip to the corner gas station, in the 'new to us' neighborhood I discovered a new to me 99 Cents Only Stores location.

As someone who had quite literally camped out at the grand opening when the 99 had at last come to her old neighborhood I was delighted to see I was now even closer to an even larger store! If you don't know the 99, then this may all sound like blabbering, but it truly was akin to a toddler walking into their first toy store. From the very moment I set foot out of the car in that parking lot I know I was about to enter a playground of amazing brands at amazing prices.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
In fact, we have a little saying in our household, and it's about to be said a lot more often- "Let's do the 99!" Not because it's some day trip, or planned adventure, but rather because it's a shopping experience unlike any other in our area. When we have a $20 bill burning a hole in our pocket we make a beeline for the 99- there's always something new to discover! Whether we're looking to stock up on movie theater snacks, throw together a house warming gift for a new neighbor, explore new ingredients and dinner options with fresh, affordable produce- or just walk around for creative exploration, it's one store Jay and I can both agree on visiting. 99 Cents Only stores have all of our favorite brands at prices that just can't be beat!
So, getting back to me little holiday budgeting dilemma...

We recently did some ordinary repair and upkeep work on the new (to us) home with concrete- and I'd been looking everywhere for something practical to do with all of the leftover mix taking up space in our (new to us) garage. It just so happened, on this particular visit to the 99 that the fresh live herbs and flowers cart was parked right by the entrance. Instant inspiration! This year for Valentine's Day I'd make handmade concrete planters and living (floral) bulb gifts. For just a few dollars a person I could give each individual on my Valentine's Day gift list a meaningful, and living gift.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
It shouldn't surprise you that I got all of my supplies for this project at the 99. The first thing one see's during this time of the year, when you walk into a 99 Cents Only Store is the seasonal/holiday aisle. With all the gorgeous shades of red and pink, I was drawn in and hopelessly lost to all of the potential for serious cute. every great D.I.Y. project needs a little decoration and a lot of style. From heart lined ribbons and stunning pink bows, to gift sized Ghirardelli chocolates and pink paperweights, there was no shortage of seasonal decor to personalize my holiday project.
Of course there were a few practical supplies I needed to stock up on for my project as well. For my poured concrete planters I was going to need a wide range of disposable containers. And by disposable I mean containers that weren't going to break the bank when I had to cut them in half and toss them at the end of my DIY. Thankfully there was an entire wall of options to choose from- whether it was a child's plastic sand bucket or a multi-pack of food storage containers, I found exactly what I needed, and even found a few fun shapes and sizes I could use for molds.

I was also sure to pick up a drop cloth (found near the automotive and house care items), some dish gloves to wear while mixing and pouring, safety goggles and masks, scissors, vegetable oil, a mixing bucket, paper towels, a wooden spoon (for mixing my concrete) and a few pinwheels, potting mix, and flower bulbs from the gardening section.
While this is an incredibly easy D.I.Y, having all the necessary items for yourself and your space are a must. I go through a lot of gloves, masks, goggles, and tarps working on my projects and the bottom line is always a little cheerier thanks to my ability to find these items at the 99.

Start by covering a sturdy, flat surface with your tarp- in a pinch a shower curtain liner, or tablecloth, doubles as a great work surface if tarps aren't available. Decide which containers you will use for your molds. Play around with different shapes and sizes. Ultimately one container needs to fit inside another as to create a cavity large enough to accommodate the root system of whatever you are planting. If you struggle with dimensions, consider using your concrete planters for succulents, air plants, or fake succulents (also found at the 99 from time to time.)

Thoroughly grease the inside of your bottom container, and the outside of your top container with some vegetable oil and a paper towel. This will help the cured pots to release from their mold.
Follow the instructions on your concrete mix's packaging to prepare the mixture for pouring. Keep in mind that this project calls for a concrete mix (not cement) which means the dry product will be a blend of cement and some sort of sand like binder. Feel free to add up to double the packages recommended water to reach a thick, sludge-like consistency. Otherwise your concrete mix will be functional but require additional curing and hard packing for stability.

Pour your wet concrete mix directly into your bottom mold container. You will need to eyeball about how much each mold will require depending on the side of the internal mold and how big you want your posts to be.When possible fill your molds to as accurate a portion as possible (by eyeing it) then place your greased top/inner mold in the center, gently pressing down. The inner mold will instinctively want to pop up over time, so add a little cat sand or some jars inside your top molds to help weigh them down. Give your containers a few quick taps on a hard surface to help expell any air pockets and flatten the top edges.

Your pot's outer walls should be a minimum 1/2"thick for strength. Press any decorative glass gems, rocks, or shells you may have found on your trip to the 99 into the top to add a little extra character.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Depending on the type of concrete used (most home concrete mixes are quick-set and will range on the shorter side) your pots will need 24 hours to 5 days to cure. Once you are satisfied that your concrete has cured remove the outer mold. Your outer mold should pop right off if you slowly tilt it upside down- be sure to support your pot as your turn it so it does not come slamming out!

The inner mold will likely give you a little bit of a fuss. Feel free to cut a slit down the center of this inner mold to help relieve some pressure and allow air into the inner bottom pocket. Gentle twisting and rocking may also be needed. Just be patient, it will release!

***You may wish to carefully drill some drainage holes on the bottom of larger pots, depending on what you are planning to plant in them.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Now for the fun part- decorating and filling your handmade planters-

Keep in mind that you should not disturb the root balls of any living plants, and should take this into consideration before attempting to transplant a plant into a container that is too small. Cutting the root ball will ultimately damage the plant. Thankfully the 99 has plenty of options for living plants***, and decorate plants to accommodate homemade pots of various sizes. For my smaller pots I found fresh living herbs, such as mint and rosemary transplanted perfectly.

***99 Cents Only Stores stock varies by location, region, weather and other factors. Living plants or herbs require specific transport and environment factors so you may not find them always stocked or available. Here in sunny SoCal, we are lucky and see them often. If living plants are note currently in stock at your local 99 visit the gardening department for seeds and bulbs.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
I had fun playing with various ribbons and, bows, and Valentine's decorations from my trip to the 99. I tend to lean more towards pink, rather than traditional red and white, so I was happy to have such a great range of 'cute' Valentine's decor to play with. Sometimes you just don't want to give the mail lady a 'one true love' kinda gift, right?
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
Of course, deciding on Valentine's gifts for the men in one's life isn't much easier. So I was happy yo add a decorative, but masculine touch to this double planter I made for succulents and fresh herbs. I knew my father's girlfriend would appreciate the little "All you need is love"plaque and heart paperweight, while my dad would appreciate the pop of blue in the glass beads. Of course I scored all these accents on my trip to the 99.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
As awesome as my planters turned out, there are still a few people on my Valentine's list it's not quite practical to give a handmade concrete planter to. For those smaller, but still thought of, and typically mobile, people I put together individual bulb kits with some seasonal floral bulbs and adorable Valentine's containers found in the seasonal aisle at the 99.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
I tossed a little potting soil and a bulb, or two (depending on the size) in each and cut out the package growing directions to string onto the containers with curling ribbon. An instant gift for under $3. I even found a few ombre glass candle holders I could sprout some wildflowers in to give as gifts with individual chocolates or a card from the 99.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-4tjJzvAMc9azB6SExKQk1WczA/view?usp=sharing
When all was said and done I made 6 large, decorated and potted, concrete planters and 12 mini individual Valentine's day floral gifts for under $40 spent at my local 99 Cents Only Store. Of course, now that I've inspired you, you'll want to head on over and have your own adventure at the 99 too. Be sure to grab our printable shopping list for this project- you'll find all of these items, and so much more at the 99.
Do Valentine's on a budget. Do the 99. Amazing D.I.Y gift ideas for living Valentine's gifts from mason jar bulb planters to hand poured concrete planters. #99YourValentinesDay #DoingThe99 (AD)
I don't want to say the 99 Cents Only Stores saved our Valentine's Day, but they kinda did. Discover a 99 location near you, and check out all the other amazing project, recipe, and party plan ideas on a budget from other 99er bloggers at the Social Hub. There's also some especially great inspiration for party planners in this Facebook video as well- so be sure to check out all the fun ways you can 99 your next party! Now, for a little fun- tell me about a project or event coming up that you'd like to 99, and I'll tell you how to 99 it!

What Daughter Says: The fun never ends with a little inspiration from the 99- there's always something new to discover, and always favorite brands to enjoy!

11 comments:

  1. These are incredible ideas! I LOVE giving something living, like a potted plant....and you did an amazing job creating them!

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  2. These are definitely some cute ideas! You are definitely a very creative person. And I am glad because I had no idea what I wanted to do for my husband for Valentine's Day. He loves this kind of stuff so I am definitely going to look into it.

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  3. I love these so much and it brightens up a dreary month! I need to make some for my yard.

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  4. This is absolutely adorable!! I am not a crafty person but I feel like I could make this!!

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  5. I love this .99 Cents Store and I have never been. Seriously, amazing looking stuff! I also love your DIY. My husband is into concrete molding.

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  6. Those planters are so cute! I love the fun part of designing your planters. Will try this for sure!

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  7. This is such a cute idea for Valentine's Day. We don't have 99 Cents stores here but we do have a dollar store. I'll have to see if my daughter wants to do this.

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  8. I am in love with all the colours. This is such a great way to gift something or make your home a bit more festive. I LOVE THIS.

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  9. I cannot be more in love with your creations and think they are the absolute perfect Valentine's day gift- truly the gifts that keep on giving and also I am RUNNING to my nearest 99 Cents store thanks to you!

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  10. What a great idea for budget Valentine's Day gifts! I'm always looking for fun ideas for neighbors as well as the teachers at daycare...and I found this year's inspiration here. Thank you for the fun idea! #client

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  11. Wow, your 99 cents store is awesome! I love the 99 and I'm like a kid in a toy store every time I shop there too. There's always something new and I love it!

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