Save those empty CD drums from the landfill or recycling plant. With just a few holes for drainage and evaporation they can be stacked to become a stylish new planter.
Step 1: Collect Everything You Need
This project is so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier. Of course you can recycle your CD spindles but even recycling causes pollution (transporting the recyclables and reprocessing them generally isn't clean). It's much better to re-use than to recycle. This project is great because not only do you find a new use for a waste product but you get to grow a plant which cleans your air. Its the project that keeps on giving!
What you need:
-Potting soil or dirt
-2 empty CD packages (the top drum part that goes over the spindle of CD's)
-Something to poke holes
***Safety Warning*** The first time I used a punch tool from a leatherman but that can be dangerous since you will be poking holes in a slippery rounded surface. I would recommend a drill or Dremel type rotary tool. You could also melt holes into the plastic with a hot nail or soldering iron. Kids get your parents permission!
- Paint, fabric, glitter, glue, or anything else you might want to decorate it with.
Cost: Hopefully Free!
Use your old CD packaging. If you don't have any, check your workplace. If they don't have any think about places where they burn a lot of CDs and DVDs. Ask at your local PC repair shop, internet cafe, or photocopy store.
Step 2: Make Holes in the Top Pot
Make several holes (at least 6) in the bottom of the top pot. This will be the pot that holds your plant. I used a Dremel with a 1/8" drill bit. The holes allow the excess water to drain out of the bottom so you don't get root rot.
Step 3: Make Holes in the Lower Pot
The excess water from the top pot has to go somewhere and you probably don't want it on the floor. Turn the CD drum upside down so it is like a bowl. Make 4 holes in the lower pot on the sides about a half inch (2cm for the rest of the world) from the bottom. Space them out around the circumference.
Step 4: Put the Pots Together
Stick the top pot (the one with the holes in the bottom) into the lower pot (the one with the holes on the sides. They should stick together fairly well without any glue or adhesive. In fact I've made several that I can't pull apart. Make sure you leave about and inch of space in the bottom for the water to drain into. Now you have a top pot that will drain into the lower pot. The water in the lower pot will evaporate up through the plant and out of the holes on the sides.
Step 5: Optional: Decorate Your Pot
I prefer the "au naturale" look for my pots. I like to see how they work and people always comment on how cool it is that I re-used the CD Cases. It's cool to be green these days. Of course, it is easy to paint or otherwise decorate. In this case I spruced up the pot with our recycling robot buddy. If you make a pot and decorate it, please post a picture in the comments. I'd love to see it!
Step 6: Pot Your Plant
Fill your pot with soil and make a hole in the center with your finger. Push your plant into the hole and press the dirt around it to secure your plant.
Step 7: Water and Enjoy!
Water your plant. If you left your planter nude like I usually do then you should see water dripping into your lower container. If the lower container fills up and water leaks out the side holes then you are over-watering you plant. Try giving it less water but often enough to keep the soil moist. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork.