Air Plant Himmeli

In case you haven’t heard, plastic straws are OUT. Metal and reusable straws are totally IN*.

So what do you do when you have bags of straws at home, but you feel like a monster using them to sip on your Fresca, but you also don’t want to throw them out for fear they’ll end up in an innocent turtle’s nose?!

You use them for crafting, duh. More specifically, you use them to make himmeli! And in case merely up-cycling straws is not green enough for you, these himmeli will serve as a perfect outdoor-safe home for your air plants! (Because air plants are totally in too.)

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There are two basic ways to make these himmeli: 1) make all the straws the same size to get a cute chubby symmetrical shape, or 2) use longer straws at the top to make an elongated shape. In the steps below I’ll show you how to make the chubby one, and in the last step I’ll explain how to make the changes to make yourself an elongated himmeli!

So, ready to make some himmeli?!

Himmeli supplies

Materials:

  • Straws. Thickness depends on the style you’re going for or what you have at home. I used smoothie straws from Ikea, because that’s what I had on hand.
  • String. Cotton, nylon, pretty much anything will do. (If you use skinnier straws or thicker string, you may need a tapestry needle.)
  • Scissors.
  •  A ruler. (Very much optional.)

Step 1: Figure out how big you want your himmeli! You want to make it slightly larger than your airplant so it has room to grow, but not too big that it falls out. (You can either use the ruler to get your measurement, or you can eyeball it and use the first straw as the measurement for the others.)

Step 2: Cut out 12 straws segments. Either all the same size, or 3 sizes: 4 for the top, 4 for the middle, 4 for the bottom. (For maximum mischief, only hold one end of the straw while you’re cutting. Kids and pets will LOVE this.) 

Step 3: Cut your string. The math-free way to figure out how much string you need? Line up your longest 4 pieces. Take the string, and measure out that length 4 times. (If you’re using a cotton string or twine, it will help to wrap the ends in tape so they don’t unravel!)

Step 4: Measure out a string length equivalent to 2 straw pieces. (This is going to be your tail, don’t let it go anywhere). Take 3 pieces and string them, then tie a knot at the top (keep that tail in tact!)

 

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Step 6: Next, string 2 more straw pieces, and tie a knot at the bottom this time.

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Step 7: Keep repeating this (string 2, tie, string 2, tie), alternating the side that you’re tying, until you’re left with 1 lonely straw piece on the string.

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Step 8: Grab the 2 tails that are left, and tie them together.

Step 9: You’re going to be left with a pyramid with 2 hanging flaps. Take both of the tails and string them through one of the “straw flaps” so they come out the other end.

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Tie them around the other flap. And that’s it!

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Left: Chubby Himmeli; Right: Elongated Himmeli

Now, to make an elongated himmeli you are going to substitute the 1st 2 straws and the last pair (not the last lonely straw) with longer pieces. Like so….

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And the last few steps are the same!

Finally, place your air plants in their new home….they (and the turtles) will thank you for it!

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*For those who are worried about HOW CAN I DRINK MY BUBBLE TEA WITHOUT BEING A MONSTER, Pretty Candy Pin Co carries some gorgeous Rainbow Stainless Steel Boba Staws! (Edit: Currently sold out, but they should be in stock in a couple of weeks.)

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Dino Planters

I have what one would call a “black thumb”. You know those articles about plants that anyone can keep alive? Yeah, I’ve killed them all.* So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been wanting to get myself an air plant. They’re supposed to be good for indoor air, and they’re impossible to kill.**

The only problem? I’m super cheap. I’ve seen the adorable planters and hanging planters in stores, but I can’t bring myself to spend double digits on them. Plus, I always get the nagging thought “you could totally make that yourself!”

When I finally spotted a couple cute dinosaurs at the Dollar Tree, I knew it was time to make myself a Dino Planter!

Dino Planters - Before

Materials needed:

  • Cute rubber dino. It needs to stand on its own, so no squishy ones. Other figures work too, it doesn’t have to be a dinosaur!
  • Box Cutter (there may be a more elegant/efficient way to do this, but this is what I used.)
  • Spray paint. (any color! make sure it says it’ll adhere to plastic)
  • Pebbles/weights (Optional. to make sure your dino is stable and that your plants won’t drop all the way down)
  • Air Plants. They actually sell these on Amazon and even Target, but if you’re like me and live in South Florida you may be able to find some in the wild. (Might I recomment Matheson Hammock park? It may or may not be where I got mine…)

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Step 1: Cut an air plant sized hole into the top of your dino. Be careful to cut AWAY from yourself and watch where you have your fingers. You don’t want blood on your dino! You want to have your air plants in hand before doing this, to make sure they’re going to fit nicely. (Leave space for the air plants to “breathe”.)

Some tips: If you’re doing this project with kids….please don’t let them do the cutting! Depending on your dino it could be pretty tough. My technique for making the hole started with some gentle stabbing motions, followed by slicing. (Its must easier to slice through the plastic once you have the cutter in there.)

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Step 2: Spray paint your dino. (You know the drill….make sure you’re in a well ventilated area and protect anything in the vicinity that you don’t want painted. Like your grill, for example.) Wait the recommended drying time before handling again.

Step 3: Throw in some of those pebbles/weights into the dino hole. Doesn’t have to be filled all the way, just enough to keep the dino from toppling over.

Step 4: Nestle your air plant into its new home.

Place Air Plant in Dino

And voila! Your dino planter is done!

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*The zizi plant is an excellent suggestion for my fellow black thumbs. I’ve had two that have survived “droughts”, and they even do well in low light situations!

**As I have since learned, air plants need maintenance too….they need to be soaked and then dried every week or so. That sounds manageable, I think…

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