Floppy disk planters are a great way to use old floppy disks that you may have lying around. They are made simply from floppies glued together to form a cube and adding a liner on the inside.
Step 1: Materials:
- Six floppy disks per planter
- Plastic bottle or yogurt container (this will be the inside liner)
- Gravel (optional)
- Activated charcoal (optional)
- Duct tape
- Adhesive remover (if necessary)
Step 2: Prepare disks
Gather together your floppy disks, you might want to check if there are any important files saved on them. Mine where backup disks from a 386 that I had years ago.
Remove the labels. I found that the labels came off easily but the adhesive left behind proved to be more difficult, this is not surprising considering that the labels where probably affixed some time in the 90's. Adhesive remover is useful here.
If you have floppies in different colours arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way to form a cube. I only had blues, greys and blacks and a couple of pretty green ones, so this is what I came up with. I suppose it would be possible to paint them too to make the planter more colourful.
Step 3: Glue disks to form a box
Apply glue to one edge of a disk and place against the edge of second disk perpendicularly forming a corner. Repeat with the other disks creating a box. Make sure that the corners are aligned and form ninety degree angles. Then glue on the bottom piece and allow to dry.
If you follow the way I glued the disks (see images below) the box will have a longer length than width. This will allow the bottom and top pieces of the cube to fit better since floppy disks are not perfectly square.
Step 4: Reinforce with duct tape
I reinforced the inside edges with duct tape to ensure the cube holds together. Take a strip of tape and fold it in half along the length and apply to each of the inside edges of the cube. The glue is probably enough to hold the cube together, I am just being cautious.
Step 5: Prepare the liner
Remove the labels from your bottle/container and place it inside the cube. Cut it down in size so that it is about a centimetre or more above the top edge of the cube. Use the open end of the bottle to trace its shape onto a floppy disk with a pencil. Make sure it is centred.
Step 6: Cut the opening
Using a knife, scissors or power tool, cut out the shape from the floppy disk that you traced in the previous step. I cut part of the metal shutter too rather than removing it altogether so that retains its floppy disk gestalt. Check to make sure that the liner fits snugly through the opening. I had to spend a fair bit of time shaving the inside edge of the floppy to get it to fit properly.
Take your time when doing this since the plastic can crack in the wrong places when your cutting it.
Step 7: Cut the liner to size
Insert the liner into the floppy disk with the hole and place it on top of the cube. Make sure that the liner is pushed all of the way through so that it is sitting on the bottom of the cube. Mark the height where the upper edge of the cube reaches the liner. Cut along this line. The liner should now be flush with the top of the cube.
Step 8: Glue it all together
Apply glue along the inside edge of the floppy disk with the hole, the top edge of the cube and the bottom of the liner. Stick the liner through the hole in the floppy, place the floppy on the cube and press down firmly. You could use clothespins or clips to hold it together. Allow to dry.
Step 9: Add a plant
Since there are no drainage holes in the planter I added a layer of gravel and some activated charcoal on the bottom. I then transplanted a small houseplant into the planter.
In hindsight, I could have added drainage holes to the bottom of the liner and put a small saucer underneath to collect excess water, since plants grow better with proper drainage.