Sunday, 11 May 2014

#PlayInMay - Make a Thing

Hey y'all!

This weekend the Axis of Ineptitude brings you more THINGS!  Last weekend we cooked Things, and this weekend we are making Things.  I have two Things that were made in the Faff household, one by me and one by Mr. Faff.

Image courtesy of xedos4 -

What I made:

Because I am a lazy person (and this IS the Axis of Ineptitude), I'm showing you a thing I made many months ago - it's the lightbox I use to take my blog photos.  I researched many different kinds of DIY light tents and made choices based on the materials I had available.

homemade diy light tent box

As you can see, this is not a fancy contraption.  Essentially, Mr. Faff brought home a paper box, and I cut panels out of the top and each side.  I taped parchment paper over those panels (though I could've used muslin, cheesecloth, or any other semi-sheer material).  My backdrop is attached with velcro which is glued along the top of the back wall.  I also made backdrops in red and cream that have velcro attachments as well, but I've honestly never bothered changing them out to date, because I like the black background and it doesn't block any of my light.

homemade diy light tent box

I use three lamps with my lightbox, all of which sit on my workspace permanently and provide additional lighting when I'm painting my nails or doing another craft.  The lightbox lives on top of my wardrobe when not in use, and it's easy enough for me to take it down and put it back up because it's lightweight.  The two side lamps have the "warm white" candle bulbs, and the overhead lamp has a daylight bulb in it for days when the sun doesn't want to come out (I live in England, afterall).  It took me less than an hour to make the lightbox and less than £10 in supplies (most of which was for the backdrop materials).  The three lamps were all purchased separately and total about $20, and the bulbs have cost less than £10 (with the daylight bulb being the most expensive, obviously).

What Mr. Faff Made

I've mentioned before that Mr. Faff has a green thumb which I lack.  It's a hobby that keeps him occupied on the weekends when I'm painting my nails or playing couch monkey.  One night last weekend we were having a conversation about his succulents in front of the house when he mentioned that some people grow them in jars.  The following day while browsing Pinterest, I came across an article about just that very thing, and I sent the link to him.  Next thing I know, he's cleaning out a big jar he had sitting outside,unused, and hopping off to the garden center to buy things for his new terrarium garden.

terrarium jar garden

He put this pretty together in the course of an afternoon with pretty much zero forethought into how to do it or what to put in it.  I cannot even begin to tell you how he did it because I know nothing about these things, but I know that he has some broken terra cotta pieces in the bottom for drainage, the soil is especially for cactii, and the two plants on the bottom are supposed to spread eventually.

terrarium jar garden

The two pieces of terra cotta in the middle actually help create a shelf.  The succulents on the back row are actually about an inch higher in the jar than the front level.

terrarium jar garden

I think he did such an awesome job with this project, and he's very pleased with it.  Kudos on him!


As I was writing this post, Mr. Faff came into my office and said, "I've been thinking..."  Because that sentence rarely ends well for whoever is on the receiving end of the conversation, I did not have high hopes.  However, what he proceeded to tell me was actually funny enough that I thought it made a fitting postscript for this entry.

He said, "If we were physicists, I would be Leonard, and you would be Sheldon." 

I looked at him, puzzled and instantly intrigued.   Leonard and Sheldon are, of course, characters from The Big Bang Theory.

"When you do things you put a lot of thought and planning into them before you do them.  You always know what you're going to paint on your nails before you start.  When I did your nails, I thought Ooh, red nails! and then painted them red, and then I thought I wonder what dots would look like, and then I added dots.  If you had made that jar garden, you would have done loads of research into what to put into it and how to put it together and you would've known exactly what you wanted to use, even if it had taken several trips to different garden centers, and you would've had a plan for how you wanted it to look,"

"My brain doesn't work like that.  When I want to do something, I just experiment and see what happens.  So I'm like Leonard, the experimental physicist, and you're like Sheldon because you figure it all out in your head first."

I had to agree with him.  After all, Leonard ends up with the hot girl, and Sheldon ends up with the socially awkward hornball. 

With that thought, I bid you all a great weekend, and I'll see you soon!

If you loved this post and want to see more people make more things, check out the rest of the Come Play in May challengers in the linkup below. 

Axis of Ineptitude
Looking for the whole list of prompts? They are in text form and image so you can Come Play In May!


  1. That is such a neat terrarium. I never thought about making a lightbox for taking blog pictures. Considering I have little natural light, I probably should!

    1. Thank you! It's taking off really well now - I'll have to do some update pictures as the plants all grow. As for the lightbox, if you're taking pics of products for your blog, they're invaluable!

  2. Love these tiny terrariums! I saw one that was all succulents and I really want to make it.

    1. I have seen some adorable ones. Apparently, it's fairly easy if you're a plant-type person!

  3. Both projects are fantastic. :)

    The lightbox is so simple yet effective. I need to make one, too.

    I really like the big jar he made the terrarium in. I'd love to find one like it. My daughter and I made a terrarium for a school project in a small salsa jar. We only used moss, but added a tiny toy tiger and glitter (her idea.) She said the moss should shine. lol Unfortunately, she dropped it at school and it broke. :(
    I bet they had fun cleaning up all that glitter. :P

    1. Oh dear... First off, thank you, and second I'm sorry about your jar terrarium. I bet it was beautiful, and I bet the custodian cursed a LOT.


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