A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Trends: How to make a green wall, or living wall

How to create a living wall

Are you stuck for space to garden or hold houseplants but feeling ambitious and hungry for green? A living or green wall might be what you need.

When we went to Amsterdam earlier this year we stayed in this amazing eco hotel with the living wall you see above. I was amazed by it each morning and would stand there with my tea pondering it’s construction, the textures and colours were amazing and it really did make a difference having a green wall indoors – everyone seemed to want to stop and stay for longer in this hotel reception.

I’m not the only one who has been pondering, for my friends living in London it was the first thing they suggested when we were chatting about interior and garden trends. With less space than other areas of the country and more and more living walls popping up in communal spaces to bring a much need breath of fresh oxygen and a carbon dioxide, living walls are taking cities by storm.


How to make a Living Wall

Here’s a quick guide to getting started, from easy kits you simply buy plant and hang, to creating your own green wall from a palette.

What does a living wall do?

A living wall acts as a natural air filter, purifying the polluted air whilst releasing clean oxygen. There are health benefits galore from having clean air, it can also boost concentration.

Why have a living wall?

Green walls are healthy, make us closer to nature and make great homes for insects. They also look great and make spaces immediately more appealing and inviting. Green walls balance humidity levels and can also act as insulation in winter and keep homes cooler in summer. They also absorb noise. I had no idea there were so many different benefits.

A Quick and Easy Green Wall

For a simple start Veg Truck have a wall mounted planter system which comes in lots of fab colours.  Start with one or hang a few together to cover a larger area. This is a really quick and hassle free way to start your green wall. The pockets make it easy to move plants around. There are more elaborate systems you can buy, or professionals can design one for you, but this is a great place to start.


How to DIY a Living Wall


Another DIY method is to construct a large frame, attach a plastic sheet to the frame to protect the wall from leaks. Next attach a felt landscape membrane to the frame. Larger frames will need a hose above to water them.

How to make a Palette Living Wall


There are lot of useful tutorials out there to upcycle a palette into a living wall, this one really caught my eye.

Which plants work well in living walls?

The Royal Horticultural Society list the tops five plants for green walls: Heuchera, Thyme, Sedum, Carex and Ajuga. There are lots more ideas on their site. Introducing plants as plugs is likely to be most successful.

Would you or have you considered a green wall? Have you seen a cool living wall on your travels that has inspired you? 

Images Shutterstock: Grass and Flower Wall, Green Wall Exterior, Green Wall Tree Wall, Green Wall with Flora

Easy peasy Autumn Crafts, just add kids and nature!

Easy peasy Autumn Crafts, just add kids and nature!

This week I’m so excited that gardening expert Catherine, from Growing Family, is sharing her favourite Autumn crafts, gorgeous ideas inspired by being outdoors.

Summer may be traditionally the time to get outside with the kids, but I always find Autumn to be the most laid-back season for outdoor adventures and crafting.  The weather is still mild but the sun is gentle, the back to school vibe spurs us on to make the most of family time, and all around us nature is providing so much inspiration.

A trip outdoors in Autumn is the perfect opportunity for a spot of creative crafting, allowing you to bring some of that wonderful natural inspiration back home with you.  Here are some ideas for easy Autumn crafts that make the most of what nature has to offer. Continue reading

How to Make a Quick and Easy DIY Macrame-Style Wallhanging

Quick and Easy DIY Macrame-Style Wallhanging

Last week Elizabeth shared how to create a healthier home for a healthier mind, it reminded me how crafting something yourself for your home can be so satisfying and it has been a while since we had a craft post! So this week I invited Victoria from Owl and Accordion, whose crafts always seem so bang on trend and beautiful, to share her tutorial for a macrame style wallhanging. 

If you’ve got a plain wall that needs a bit of colour or pattern but you just can’t find that perfect print, don’t worry – there are plenty of great DIY options around for brightening things up. Wallhangings are hugely popular at the moment, and there are so many different styles to choose from; woven yarn, printed fabric with fringing, crocheted, knitted…. and if you’re into crafting, you can easily make your own. Today, we’ve got a tutorial for a super simple DIY macrame style version that you could easily make one rainy afternoon. Continue reading

Home, Craft, Play and Garden Inspiration from Camp Bestival

Home, Craft, Play and Garden Inspiration from Camp Bestival

We’re back from an amazing time at Camp Bestival! Today, I wanted to share some little inspirations for your home, garden and crafting fun, from the festival.  It’s such beautifully rich source of inspiration and I was snapping wildly so I would remember things to make and do.

For those who haven’t been or heard of Camp Bestival, it is the sister festival to Bestival, and is curated completely for families. The setting is stunning Lulworth Castle, Dorset, it’s a great site for a family festival, a beautiful castle and gardens and elevated with sandy soil which drains quickly, although the weather over the last five years has been sunny and dry, I’ve never ever seen those muddy scenes we’ve come to associate with other festivals.

I love that although there is always a gloriously retro music line up, there is also so much creative inspiration, my two always want to spend the whole time making things and I love joining them.

Continue reading

How to Make Simple Lavender Bottles

Weaving with Lavender - Make Simple Lavender Bottles

I am really honoured to have a beautifully fragrant guest post today, from the ever so creative and nature loving Becky Goddard Hill from Simple Parenting Blog.

Oh I just adore lavender.

I like its rather wild dancing stems, its bright purple headed flowers and the sea of colour it creates as it grows in abundance. And the fragrance is just beautiful, a clean sweet scented fragrance that reminds me of lace handkerchiefs and fields and lovely spas, all at the same time.

I have longed to craft with lavender for a while but my sewing skills are rather limited and I never seem to have in what is need for bath salts and soaps. Continue reading

Happy and Home: The Miniature Garden

Making a miniature garden using succulents and an old flower pot

While tidying the garden a little I made another discovery. My daughter made this miniature garden a few months ago, it made my heart sing to see her do it, because it took me right back to the joy it brought me. Over the last few months the succulent cut offs I gave her have taken root and kept growing. It’s weathered the storms, and the washing line is still intact.

I love the way an old plastic plant pot became a castle shaped house, she simply cut open the door and drew on windows with a silver marker. The house also features a shell pond and shell rockery.

Get Inspired: 14 Amazing Spray Paint Ideas and Projects

Get Inspired: 14 Amazing Spray Paint Ideas and Projects

Spray paint is such a quick and easy way to transform your home. If I get an upcycling idea in my head I want to make it happen fast, before the next idea comes along and I lose interest. I know, I’m a Gemini, too many ideas going on at once! Spray paint effects and colours have exploded recently, making spray paint a brilliant alternative to slaving over a tin of paint. I’ve asked some of my favourite interiors bloggers to share their projects today, I’m betting they are going to inspire you to spray paint something…but what? Continue reading

A splash of happy colours #HappyAndHome

Happy and Home Week Two


Thank you so much to all of you lovely people who are joining in with Happy And Home, I’ve loved finding other people’s posts to share and picked up some lovely inspiration for our home too. Spring is in the air, and with it dashes of happy colours. I have lots more happy home inspiration, and info on joining the linky below. Do come and join this lovely community of happy home enthusiasts.

One of my goals this year is to make our home a happier place, I realised setting goals around banishing clutter didn’t inspire me, because of the negative focus, so instead I want to ‘make more room for the happy stuff in our home‘. So of course that means clearing out some of the stuff that doesn’t work, but it also means making more room to put happier things on the walls, and more room to do the things that make us happy as a family.


Continue reading

40 Things to Do At Half Term

I’ve joined in with a things to do at half term blog carnival this week. This means as well as my three suggestions for what to do this half term, you can also check out all the other wonderful ideas from lots of fab blogger friends too.

Three Things to Do At Half Term

I’ve chosen three things to make that can fill part of the morning or afternoon. Your creations can also be used to fire their imaginations for a bigger activity, I love it when one thing leads to another, and so do my kids. Continue reading

 At Home: Pinterest Christmas Craft Ideas Tested

Christmas Craft Ideas for all the family. From Christmas nature garlands to button Christmas trees and chocolate wreaths. Something festive for everyone, pass me a mince pie!

There is nothing that makes me feel more festive than an afternoon spent crafting with my kids, fuelled by a pot of tea and some mince pies. I decided last month to get ahead so I could spend some time this month enjoying the little treats December brings. We tested out Christmas craft ideas we spotted online and on Pinterest, things we made up, and some things I remembered doing as a kid.

Still two weekends and lots of evenings before the big day. We’ve tested these for fun and difficulty and included some tips, have fun with whatever you are creating and hope they inspire you to spend some quality crafting time!


Orange and Cinnamon Raffia mobiles

Christmas Craft Ideas for all the family. From Christmas nature garlands to button Christmas trees and chocolate wreaths. Something festive for everyone, pass me a mince pie!

I love the way these orange slices catch the light. We bought them, but Chris at Thinly Spread has a tutorial to make your own.

You need – oranges, raffia, beads, cinnamon sticks, glue.

Directions – Simply thread the beads, knot the cinnamon sticks and glue the oranges into place.

Difficulty – 2/5

Mess – 1/5

They make lovely tree decorations too.

Cinnamon and Orange Christmas decorations

Natural Christmas Garlands


These are my favourite this year and they are so simple.

You need – raffia, sprigs of leaves, berries, dried seed heads, pine cones – whatever you find

Directions – i did a post on making these here.

Difficulty – 2/5

Mess – 1/5


Button Christmas Trees

Button Trees

We stumbled on the right pack of buttons with a great range of sizes,  but multicoloured could be just as magical as red white and blue. Baker Ross have a button multi pack.

You need – buttons, string, cotton or embroidery thread, bead for the top, needles.

Directions – We managed without a needle, but it is probably easier with.

Collect your buttons and spend a few minutes organising them into a tree shape.  Cut a long string/thread and thread both ends with a needle. Starting at the bottom of the tree shape, thread both ends of the string bottom button of the tree trunk onto both ends of the string. If the button has two holes this is easy, if it has four use diagonal corners to keep the shape.

Add each button in turn until you reach the top of the tree. Finish with a small bead, then knot the thread, leaving a loop, and trim.

Difficulty – 3/5. With the right buttons and thread this is easy.

Mess – 1/5


Chocolate Wreath


I have always wanted to make one of these, since a friend at running group mentioned how much her girls love doing this each year.  It took a while to find the best way to arrange the chocolates, but apart from that – and having to make a second trip out for more chocolates – simple.

You need: 2 x 695g circular tubs of Heros (we had to go back for a second tin), or your chosen sweet, glue gun, polystyrene wreath ring (try a florist or Hobbycraft)

Directions – we arranged our sweets lengthways around the circular ring in a series of rows with the aim of covering all the white bits of the frame, we then glued chocolates in random directions over the top to fill gaps and make it look more appealing to the eye. Tie on a small ribbon and you are done.

Difficulty rating – 3/5

Mess rating – 1/5


Paper baubles

These are a pretty way to upcycle old baubles, but you can also buy decoupage ones from Baker Ross.

You need: paper baubles, craft paper with a Christmas theme, old books if you can bear to cut them or scan and print an old book or something Christmassy, modge podge decoupage glue

Directions – cut lots of thin strips of paper to half the diameter of the ball. Using the glue stick and varnish them.

Difficulty rating – 4/5 Looks easy but requires more patience and neatness than you would think. Expect to be peeling glue off your fingers for hours.

Mess rating – 3/5


Glitter Christmas Trees

My daughter loved decorating these Christmas trees from Baker Ross, glitter never fails to amuse.

You need: Christmas tree shapes, glitter, PVA glue.

Directions – cover the tree in PVA in glue, dip in glitter, decorate with a small image or cut out words

Difficulty rating – 1/5

Mess rating – 4/5


Woven Stick ‘Snowflakes’

These take me back to my childhood. We used artistic licence with ours, so they are red not white, but with white or silver wool they could look really snowflake like. You can add sequins, buttons or beads for decoration.

You need: twigs or cinnamon sticks, wool, button or beads optional.

Directions – I work anti clockwise, as I am right handed, stick to one direction and you can’t go wrong! Cross two sticks, wrap the wool over one stick, round it once then over the top of the next stick, round it once, over the next stick, wrap round. Keep working anti-clockwise and make sure the strings form neatish rows rather than overlapping.

Difficulty rating – 3/5 Easy once you have mastered the weaving.

Mess – 1/5


Walnut babies – (minus the walnut)

My daughter was influenced by reviewing Maggy Woodley’s Red Ted Art craft book, and has made lots of Walnussbaby with half walnut shells as the baby’s bed, sadly the day we were crafting we had no walnuts in the house.

You need: wooden beads, Christmas string or thin ribbon, material scraps, walnut shells, felt tip, pva/glue gun

Directions – Maggy’s directions are here, otherwise we just made this up as we went along.

Difficulty rating – 3/5 bit of fiddling to get tiny things in the right place and to stick, the glue gun was helpful here.

Mess – 1/5


Snowman scene

Sometimes you just need to let kids have free reign…

You need: Carboard box, felt, cotton wool balls, goggly eyes, pva glue, pom poms

Directions – none, other than have fun making a snow scene!

Difficulty rating – 1/5 grown up help needed with felt scarfs and hat cutting

Mess – 4/5- free reign is always messy, but worth it!


What have you been crafting? Do you have any Christmas craft ideas to share?

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