Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Upcycled Hanging Planters

Earth Day is right around the corner and I had seen some adorable mini hanging planters that I wanted to test out. The ones I was inspired by were made of clay and looked like little boxes. Unfortunately, I could not make the clay do what I wanted it to so I gave up on that idea, but some little vintage dishes caught my eye when I was in the basement one day that I knew would work just perfectly instead.

Small containers - I used glass FireKing butter dishes
Hemp or twine

My mom has always been a collector of cute, retro cookware, so seeing these in the basement was no surprise. They all had glass lids and looked to be butter dishes (or at least that's what we've used them for in the past) and lucky for me, my mom has always been very generous and let me use these for the project.

So I was going for the macrame style hanging planter look, but I had the black hemp leftover from the chandelier project and decided that the more delicate threads would complement the smaller containers. To start, I knotted eight strands worth of the hemp onto a washer. 

Then I separated the eight strands into four pairs.

Here I just winged it on the length - in the end it was probably a little more than a foot worth of length from the top where I made my first four knots. 

Again, I had no clue how far down to do any knots, I just knew they should be even. So here you can see I have separated the original pairs and knotted new pairs down about two inches from the first knots. I swear it's not nearly as confusing as it sounds, and I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference on where the knots are.

Now here is the tricky part. You need to be able to hang the strings so you can place your container inside to figure out where you want the final knot. I used a clothes hanger and strung the washer onto the top and then hung the clothes hanger onto my nightstand. Another set of hands would do just fine as well. 

Here you can see that I just knotted all eight strands back together to create the basket to hold the container. These look almost precarious but I tested them out and it is much sturdier than it seems.

This is where you get to decide how you want to hang the little plants. I had initially thought I would just use some eyehooks and attach them to my ceiling, but I got a bit lazy and didn't feel like making sure they wouldn't give out. 

Luckily, my Nana was a big crafter in her day(that was actually her house you can see out the window) and left us with tons of adorable vintage ribbon like the one shown above, so I hung these right from the curtain rod already in place. You can see that I left the extra bit of hemp hanging down - I am curious to see how long it takes my cats to find this, so it may not last but I liked the way it looked. I've also seen the ends braided or beaded, which can make it look more polished. 

Overall, the only money I spent on this project was on plants, which could easily have been swapped out for seeds, or transplants from your own yard. I was just antsy and wanted to see these in their full glory! These would be great for a mini herb garden in the kitchen or a little greenery in the bathroom without giving up that precious counter space!  



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