Getting Crafty in the Garden with Outspiration

Sooo, we don’t have a big garden, but we do have a much loved garden. With two young children, you can imagine – that a garden is hugely important. About a year ago, we converted what was a wonderful little “secret garden”, great for lazy Sunday afternoon BBQs and a glass of Pimms, into a child friendly, decking and fake grass (ahem yes!) garden with a climbing house come shed for the kids. It has maximum space for the kids to play in and has minimum maintenance needs. All we need to do is varnish the decking and our “pub” bench once a year, trim the plants a little and plant some beans, tomatoes and sunflowers with the kids come Spring. Easy.

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Although we don’t have “much” to do in our garden, I do like this nifty little smartphone App: Outspiration… your “inspiration” for the Outdoors. It has some quirky little features that help you plan the things you want to achieve. And it certainly Outspired us to get crafty in the garden!

First up – the “Weather Feature”

A simple feature that lets you check the weather – after all, if you are planning to varnish your decking, you don’t want to get rained on half way through. I checked it earlier today, having planned a little “garden craft” with the kids for Sunday… only to realise that we have rain forecast for the day.  Eeek, painting Flower Pots in the rain isn’t going to work. And to be honest I don’t want the “mess in the house”. So I think we will bring it forward to Saturday – no rain! Yay.

Next we have the Outspiration Visualiser

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This is most probably the most fun part of the app – it lets upload a photo from your garden – say an old garden bench and you can quickly overlay different colours to see if you want to go duck egg blue or go for a plain varnish and compare what colours look good together;  a clever little feature. I showed it to my neighbour, who has a LOT of work to do in her garden (a bench, a wire shelf AND her shed) and she got rather excited about it. About time too eye say.. I have to look at her shed on a daily basis!! About time she snazzed it up!

It also rather cleverly lets you know what products are out there to meet your painting need (e.g. Cuprinol colours or Dulux, etc. etc.).

The only “but”… is that this feature was a little temperamental at first, and I can’t always get it to upload my images. But these problems have been ironed out now and (a few technical quirks are to be expected). Also, the resulting image, is quite a “rough” image of what your final bench would look like, but it gives you a feel for colour combinations.

Tips and Trends

This is a bit like a “blog” feature of the App – with latest articles and videos being uploaded regularly. It is a fun way to browse DIY tips and trends and also provides you with some quirky ideas (I do LOVE the Sarah Beeny’s “Shed Pub” – brilliant, I want one!).

Finally (in terms of the bits I like) the PROJECTS feature

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There are two parts to this – one, is saving your own projects (which you can then access in store) and two, you can access other user’s projects. A great way to get ideas and tips from other DIY-ers (love the snowboarding bench someone posted up there).

This is where I have located my neighbour’s projects for her and we will be accessing in the info at our next trip to Homebase!

I also added my little child friendly project to it: decorating Flower Pots. After all, you want your garden to suit you and your family! And my garden is a child focussed one.

Here we go:

garden crafts for kids - flower pots

What you will need:

* Old flower pots

* Enamel paint (or acrylic paint + a waterproof varnish) – make sure to use “child friendly paints” that are suitable for us with young children!

What we did:

Garden crafts - flower pot painting

1. We made use of the good weather and first gave our pots a good clean.. get all those mud pieces off, so your enamel paint can go on smoothly. Let them dry.

Flower Pot painting

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2. Put newspaper down or an art sheet and get painting.

3. Let dry fully and enjoy!!

garden crafts for kids - flower pots

These make the garden so bright and colourful. The kids adore them!!

We have certainly had fun getting crafty in the garden with the Outspiration App.. it will be launching at the end of April and the to celebrate the launch there is a GREAT competition coming up.

 App developers and owner AkzoNobel is giving away a beautiful barbecue to get you outdoors and begin your Outspiration journey. To participate in the draw all you need to do is download the app and enter your details in the WIN section of the app. The competition begins today; Monday 28th April 2014.

Be sure to look out for it!!

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