Contadina's Blog

Living the contadini life among the olive groves

The Blue Peter Garden July 24, 2010

Filed under: diy,Garden — contadina @ 11:21 am

Today I’m going to show you how to make a lampshade from a ball of string, a balloon and glue and show you something interesting to do with a big old bucket and some worms. To make your very own groovy rustic lampshade, blow up a balloon to the required size/shape and tie a knot. Then cover the balloon in some petroleum jelly (that’s Vaseline in case you hadn’t guessed), although I’m not sure this is necessary, I just figured it would stop the glue from sticking to it.

Rustic lampshades made from string

Rustic lampshades made from string

Next, in true Blue Peter style, rub some clear, water-resistant glue to a ball of twine, wool or whatever you decide to use and randomly wrap it around the balloon to create the shape you want. We left gaps at the top (for the light fitting and one at the bottom for light to shine though) but you could cover the bottom for a more spherical looking shade. We hung our balloon on the washing line to dry but brought it in overnight. By morning the lampshade had hardened so we burst the balloon and created a hanger with some old wire, to which we hung the light fitting and a low energy light bulb.

We’ve hung a couple in an olive tree and they provide a rather romantic evening dining ambience. Jeremy’s currently building a pergola, and I think we’ll make several of these shades to hang inside it as they are both cheap, around €3 each for string and light fittings, and rather beautiful.

And now for something quite different: by adding a tap to an old bucket we made a not terribly stylish but completely functional wormery. Jeremy’s patented design includes a few inches of gravel at the bottom and a disc of rubber matting

A big bucket of worms
The DIY wormery

with holes drilled though to ensure good drainage. This is then covered in some rotted compost and some kitchen scraps, a generous handful of brandling/tiger worms from our neighbour Herman’s wormery, a layer of straw and a lid.

Depsite hanging it under the shade of a nespola tree, owing to the heat we need to splash a little water on the straw every other day to keep everything moist, and we’ll add kitchen waste under the straw, whenever the worms have finished eating previous scraps.

Soon the worms will provide us with a concentrated liquid feed and after a few months they will have turned the bin’s compost into vermicompost, or black gold, which is very high in nutrients. The worms will also reproduce, so we can hopefully build a bigger wormery in the future and Jeremy’s looking forward to taking some of them fishing.

Tune in next week to see what we can make with sticky-backed plastic and liquid bottles ☺

Can I have my Blue Peter badge now?


4 Responses to “The Blue Peter Garden”

  1. Heiko Says:

    Do worms like going fishing? Thanks for popping by my blog again, I had forgotten about you. I shall visit more often.

  2. contadina Says:

    You are always welcome to visit Heiko. I love popping over to your blog. Contadino assures worms love fishing, although with no rivers in Puglia, I’m not sure what he intends to catch off rocks in the sea.

  3. Kristina Says:

    Oh, I love those lampshades!! How lovely they would look, scattered through the trees at my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary party next summer!!! thank you for sharing this!

  4. contadina Says:

    Sounds divine Kristina. Remember to use low energy bulbs so everything is safe.

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