DIY: How to make an enchanting terrarium necklace to keep or give as a gift

December 17, 2019 by  
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Highlight life, nature, plants and the planet all in a tiny, encapsulated terrarium. Even better, turn it into a necklace for a unique piece of jewelry that is sure to be a conversation-starter. Since natural gifts are always en vogue, consider making extras for co-workers and family. This fast and easy nature craft is also fun to make with kids. Supplies: 1 glass vial with a cork — you can select the size of your choice, but don’t make it too bulky or so tiny that it is difficult to fill. Make sure it has a hook at the top for the chain, or get a small eye-hook to screw into the cork . 1 necklace chain — keep preferred length in mind Sand or fine gravel Soil Tiny succulents Tweezers Clothespin (optional) Instructions: 1. Create support Depending on your vial, it might need support. You can use a clothespin if your vial is unable to stand up straight. Simply open the clothespin, lower the vial into place and release the clothespin around the vial. Because the bottle is small and light, the clothespin will keep it from tipping over while you work. Related: How to make your own green terrarium to keep or give away for the holidays 2. Layer Once things are secure, begin layering materials into the vial. You can do this using a toothpick, tweezers or a skewer. You can also partially roll a small piece of paper to create a tube to pour materials in. Start with your sand or fine gravel . Depending on the size of your vial or miniature glass bottle, it might take ¼ teaspoon or so. This will help with air flow and drainage. Next, add soil; any enriched soil will work. Don’t worry about these materials collecting on the sides of the glass at this point. You can clean it up to make it pretty in a later step. 3. Add creativity Part of the fun of this process is being creative with your art. Play with different living plants to create the look you want. Moss can be your centerpiece, or you can add small pieces of succulents as a focal point. Just make sure your vessel offers enough space for any greenery you add. If you choose to add succulents, select baby shoots from the base of the plant or even those that have fallen off the plant. Then, allow the stem to dry out for several days before planting it in the terrarium . This keeps it from bringing too much moisture into the terrarium. Although the vessel is small, it still needs to remain balanced for the plant to survive, meaning it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. If you find your terrarium misting up on the sides, release the cork to let some of the moisture out. 4. Attach chain Now, attach your necklace chain to your hook. Depending on the materials you selected, this can be done by simply sliding the chain through the eye of the hook or by using a small circle to attach the eye-hook to the chain using jewelry pliers or tweezers to pinch it closed. Make sure the chain is securely attached. Test your necklace for your desired length. 5. Cork it Add a drop of water to your terrarium. If this doesn’t clean up any debris that may have collected on the sides during layering, use a damp cotton swab to wipe the sides. Use tweezers to rearrange items as desired. Look at your terrarium from all angles to ensure things are just the way you want them. Then, insert your cork into the vial, and make sure it is firmly in place. 6. Care Your plant can survive in your terrarium for a long time with proper care. Add a tiny amount of water to your terrarium every few days as needed, and be sure to avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, which can dry out your plants. If it does dry out or die, you can easily replace the living plant with another without needing to replace the other materials. Speaking of materials, you will likely have enough to make several terrarium necklaces . Consider introducing the idea to a science classroom, a senior center or as a follow-up for a field trip. Images via Inhabitat

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DIY: How to make an enchanting terrarium necklace to keep or give as a gift

World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

December 17, 2019 by  
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Quickly gaining popularity as an affordable and sustainable way to build, 3D printing is becoming a go-to construction choice for architects around the world. In fact, one Boston-based company, Apis Cor , well-known for its 3D-printed architecture, has just completed construction on the world’s largest 3D printed building. Located in Dubai, the 6,998-square-foot building was completed in just two weeks. Working under its motto, “we print buildings,” Apis Cor has become a prominent leader in the world of 3D-printed architecture. From a tiny home in Moscow to affordable housing developments in California and Louisiana, its state-of-the-art techniques have been used for various types of projects. Related: New 3D house printer cranks out 1,000 square feet a day Although the company is accustomed to building in various parts of the world, Dubai ‘s harsh conditions put its standard methods of printing to the test. Dubai is known for its severe climate, in which the temperatures rise and drop suddenly. As such, the materials used in the printing process for this particular building had to be able to withstand extreme heat and cold . “The Dubai climate is very harsh — temperature and humidity change significantly even within a day,” said Nikita Cheniuntai, founder and CEO of Apis Cor. “The material has to behave the same way all the time, despite the changing environmental conditions.” Working on such a large project presented additional challenges. The construction site spanned approximately 7,000 square feet, which, under normal building circumstances, would require assembly of ample scaffolding. However, because the company’s custom, car-sized 3D printer is mobile, the building was constructed directly onsite faster and more efficiently than a traditional construction project. Along with three workers and a single construction crane, the machine printed out the structure section by section using Apis Cor’s gypsum-based mixture. Later, traditional constructions methods were used to install the windows and roof, and rebar supports were added to reinforce the walls. The resulting building, which will house administrative offices for the Dubai Municipality, has a white facade that reflects the sun rays. The concrete and gypsum printing materials created by Apis Cor also provide the building with a naturally insulated envelope, keeping the interior at a pleasant temperature year-round. + Apis Cor Via Dwell Images via Apis Cor

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World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

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