My partner planned a surprise for me back when we were still just getting to know each other – he booked a lovely workshop to make a Lamp & Terrarium at Make Your Own because he found out that I love making stuff.

We did this workshop together (i.e. we both worked on one lamp & one terrarium together), and it was a fun date! The workshop was a charming little place (many of these “make your own” stuff places are  tucked away in a nondescript neighbourhood, and their insides are always decorated in a cosy manner), and it was just us and another couple at the session.

We started with the copper lamp, and it was quite a straightforward exercise – parts fitting in here and there. We did have to use a pipe-cutter to cut the metal pipes into the correct length, and I also remember using some sort of drill, possibly to drill some screws in (because my partner commented that I looked quite dangerous brandishing it in front of him in excitement). There was also some work fitting the wires in, but that was relatively simple with the guidance.

Lamp
Completed industrial-looking copper lamp

We moved onto the terrarium next, and as always, one of the toughest part for me was having to decide on the design elements. We got to choose:
– a container (round, angular etc.)
– a cactus (there were many in all shapes – kinda like the tiny pots you see at Ikea)
– coloured sand
– a few design figurines (we were given a “budget” for the workshop price we paid, and if we wanted more, we could top up). This was the most difficult part for me, because even though I decided I wanted a nautical / sea-themed design, there were so many designs to choose from. It was clear my little terrarium didn’t have space for a dolphin, a tortoise, and a duck. Thank goodness he didn’t get annoyed by my indecisiveness :p

We were also taught how to lay the various layers of soil / sand (each layer for a different purpose e.g. drain / retain water), and had to replant the cactus into our terrarium (that involved very meticulously picking and dusting off soil from its original pot).

The resulting design (in my opinion) was quite pretty:

Terrarium
Completed terrarium – I meant for the cactus to represent some giant boulder / rock beside the sea

Details of the workshop

Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Price: SGD89 for both items, and this included all the materials (additional top up if you want extra deco in the terrarium)

Level of “fun”: 3/5

I liked that we made 2 very different types of things – one was more of working with tools, while the other focused more on details with the hands (with a design element as well). Depending on your preference, hopefully there will at least be one element you enjoy! My personal favourite was conceptualising / designing the terrarium.

I enjoyed the other bits too, but the course was designed to be quite straightforward, so the design aspect allowed me to challenge myself a bit more.

Level of difficulty: 2/5

Given the breadth / diversity of skills involved in creating both items, I think one would potentially expect to face difficulty in one/some of the elements (e.g. some people may not be so great at holding a drill straight to ensure screws go in properly, while others may not have nimble enough fingers to “desoil” the cactus from its original pot + arrange the tiny decorations in the pot.

That being said, the course was set up well, with all the steps explained clearly, and the parts coming in as “ready” as possible, while allowing for some intervention just to let you get the feel of it (e.g. allowing us to cut the pipe a little).

Lamp + terrarium

Unfortunately, the cactus in my terrarium has since passed on. I followed the instructions given to me, but I’m not sure if it was due to a lack of sunlight, being stuck in an aircon room, or me just being bad with plants – the cactus didn’t survive beyond a few months 😦 I suppose I don’t really have green fingers – it might just be one other thing to add onto my list of stuff to try with my hands (maybe some gardening workshop or something?)