Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Recycled Indoor Hanging Planters

If you have a miniscule kitchen like I do, you don't have counter space or a windowsill for fresh herbs in the winter. But you can hang them! Make your own hanging planters out of recycled materials, and you can have kitchen herbs at the ready but not in the way.

Amycake and the Dude: Recycled Hanging Planters

Full disclosure: Everything I post here was inspired by something I saw on another blog or Pinterest first. These planters are only slightly adapted from Sheryl and Karla's on Oh So Very Pretty.

So, first of all, who remembers my kitchen?

Oh So Very Tiny. I'm unwilling to relinquish any counter space to herbs, yet I would still like access to fresh herbs in the winter. When I came across the idea of hanging planters, I knew I had my answer. Made from milk cartons, duct tape, spare fabric, and hot glue? My kind of project.

1. I started by rooting the herbs I wanted to grow through the winter. Some rooted easily in a glass of water, and some needed the help of a little rooting powder. I finally had to dig up a hunk of my parsley to get some roots.

2. Cut your milk cartons at the height you'd like your planters to be. I used a bread knife. And I did this over a few weeks and kind of forgot where I had cut before so mine ended up slightly different heights. No big deal.

3. Cover the entire outside (and a bit of top inside) with duct tape to provide a bit more support. Wrinkles are OK here.

4. Cut some spare fabric into strips. Use hot glue to affix the strips to each duct taped carton. I started with covering the center of the bottom.

Then I wound the strips around the sides until I reached the top. I left the edges ragged because I like that look.

I lapped the fabric over at the top so the inside of the containers would not show just duct tape. I found it helpful to cut the corners of the excess fabric to the level of the milk carton and then fold them in.

5. Fill the planters with potting soil and the plants of your choice!

6. Use a utility knife and a screwdriver to dig holes at each corner. I was slightly suspicious of Sheryl and Karla's suggestion that this could be done with only a utility knife. I found I was able to dig a small hole with that tool, but then I used a Philips head screwdriver to make it rounder and used the screwdriver again to help force the rope or ribbon through the hole. 

7. Once you have the rope or ribbon through at each corner, even out the sides and tie them in a knot near the top of the milk carton at each corner.

8. Then, taking one piece of rope or ribbon from each knot, knot it with the closest piece of rope or ribbon from the next knot over. Continue this knotting pattern all the way around and then again if you have enough material.

A word to the wise: I used a yard of this narrow rope at each corner, and it was just barely enough (as you will see). I bought only enough for two containers (8 yards) and when I returned the craft store for more, I decided it was more cost-effective and colorful to choose grosgrain ribbon. And, let me tell you, the ribbon was way easier to work with and gave more bang for the buck. I bought two rolls and had four and a half feet for each corner which yielded plenty of excess ribbon.

9. If you don't already have some kind of support, purchase one and affix it above the window at which you plan to hang your containers. I bought the cheapest curtain rod I could find and, while not especially attractive, it is completely effective. 

10. Connect your planters to the support. I had so much extra ribbon, I easily knotted them to the curtain rod. Four ribbons in front, four behind, and then knot. 

The rope was much skimpier so I used clear plastic hair bands to secure the eight ropes together above the rod. 


I am so excited about this storage solution! I didn't hang the planters very low because I wanted allow plenty of light into the kitchen, and I didn't want them to swing too much when the door opens and closes. So far, so good!

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