DIY: Hanging Planter
I was attempting to organize the kitchen closet the other day and realized I currently have way too many Trader Joe’s bags saved. Instead of just throwing them into the recycling bin (to be re-recycled), I decided to craft them into something cool (as a crafter does). What resulted was this pretty two-tiered hanging planter, which made for a great home for some spare heartleaf philodendron plants. With just a bit of mod podge and a few materials, you can upcycle your plethora of grocery store bags into a hanging planter too – follow along below for the how to.
- Recycled paper bags (i.e. grocery store bags)
- Mod podge + Water (or your preferred papier-mâché mixture)
- Paint brush
- 2 (or more) nesting bowls
- Plastic wrap
- Soil and plants
- Hole punch, String + Circle ring (to hang)
- Optional: Rocks, Moss, Waterproof sealer
First, rip your recycled paper bags into thin strips. Make sure each edge is ripped by hand (this will help the fibers mold to each other better during the papier-mâché process). Prep your papier-mâché mixture – mine consists of 1:3 ratio of water: mod podge. Use a brush to combine the mixture.
Line your nesting bowls with plastic wrap. Dip each strip of paper into the mixture, use the brush to wipe off any excess glue, and line the interior of the plastic-wrapped nesting bowl with the paper. If there are any graphics on your recycled bags, make sure those are positioned face-side up. Continue to work along the interior of the bowl until you have lined all the way to the top of the bowl. Set aside (preferably outside) to dry for 30 minutes. Once dry, go ahead and add a second layer of papier-mâché lining, this time use the back (the plain) side of the paper bag. If you’ll be adding heavy plants, go ahead and repeat this process a third time. Once you’ve added your last layer, set aside to dry outside for 1-2 hours, or overnight if inside.
Once the interior of your bowl is dry, pull out the plastic wrap and your new bowl from each nesting bowl. Trim around the edge of the bowls to make the edges level. Flip the bowls onto a flat surface (they should sit level when upside down; if not, you’ll need to trim the edge some more), remove the plastic wrap and allow additional time for the exterior of the bowls to dry.
Once your bowl is dry (it should be hard when you knock on it), it’s time to line each of the bowls for your plants. You’re going to line them one of two ways dependent on your filling. If you will be using plants that require a significant amount of water, you’re going to want to spray a waterproof sealer on to the inside of your bowl first. If you’re going to be using plants that require little water (i.e. succulents), no need to add a sealer. Once your bowls are prepped, add your filling. For succulents, line with a light layer of rocks, then soil. Once you’ve potted your succulents, add moss to ensure the soil doesn’t spill out easily. For plants that need more root room, just use soil for the filler.
Since I was going to be potting individual heartleaf philodendron plants in my bowl, I laid a section of the plants into the bowl to estimate the space I would need, filled the bowls with soil, and then added my plants.
Once you’ve potted your plants, it’s time to assemble and hang your new planter. Using a hole punch, make 3 holes equidistant around the rim of each bowl, making sure to punch about 1/2-inch down from the top of the bowl. There’s a number of ways to string the bowls. For mine, I took 3 equal pieces of string and knotted them onto a circular ring (to hang from). I then looped one piece of string through each one of the holes, added a double knot, and then made sure my bowl was level. I then looped the string through the holes of the larger bowl, again double knotting the ends, while making sure to leave space between each bowl. Once I confirmed that my second bowl was level, I tied the 3 pieces of string together at the bottom of the bowl. If your bowls aren’t level, continue playing with the position of your knots until they are.
Whichever way you assemble the hanger, once you’ve finished, go ahead and hang that beauty! Make sure to hang in a well-lit room and water accordingly!