Introduction: Make Robo-planters Re-using Home Junk

Picture of Make Robo-planters Re-using Home Junk

(UPDATE: Check out for my new robo-planters pictures:

Tired of simple or sissy planters? Do you want more attitude flowerpots? Well, it's your lucky day, because today's instructable is about how to make planters using cheap stuff.

Due to the extremist group "Sons of the Atari" protests (see "Rob Zombie" comments), I won't use joysticks (just kidding, boys!) but a damaged coffee machine funnel, a feet deodorant cap and a Cologne cap for these "three amigos".

What about the green? I will plant cactus, because they will look beautiful in the smaller pots, don't need so much water and will be awesome as the "robo-planters" pilots! (and my friends of Cyclus Ecodesign want to buy my planters with cactus especifically, so my daffodils have to wait).

Well... LET'S GET GREEN!!!

Step 1: As Always, the Initial and Useful Blablabla:

Picture of As Always, the Initial and Useful Blablabla:

First, remember M.C. Langer building rules:

1. If you don't have it, replace it!
2. Use protective equipment (dust mask and goggles)
3. Beware of drilled and soldered hot surfaces
4. Work in a good ventilated area.
5. Always have junk in stock
6. Enjoy!
(7. Don't put your thumb on the way of a high speed drill bit. It hurts... a lot!!!)


Dremel Rotary Tool

And don't forget instant glue for fix the joints.

Step 2: Planter Man

Picture of Planter Man

Do you remember those Mega Man's classic enemies? Well, I always wanted to do something like that. So, meet Planter Man, Master of the Garden Stage!!!


1 damaged coffee machine funnel
2 Oven knobs
8 iron pieces for picture frame
2 small iron angles
1 roll-on deodorant balls
screws and nuts
Copper wire
Rubber hose (for the wire)
1 Heat gun nozzle (What I did with the rest of my damaged heat gun? Wait for my next instructable!)
1 plastic cap (for the hand)
2 plastic cylinders that fit with the nozzle and the cap.

Step 3: Bobby Da Crab!

Picture of Bobby Da Crab!

My first planter is an angry crab. Don't mess with him, because has powerful nippers for... well, for put important notes. It will look awesome with a cactus.


1 Cylindric deodorant cap
2 small iron angles
16 iron small pieces for picture frame
2 black vents (from a joystick)
2 roll-on deodorant balls
Copper wire
Rubber hose (for the wire)
2 alligator clips
screws and nuts
2 black plastic pieces for the eyebrows

Step 4: Globule

Picture of Globule

I can't resist any metallic half sphere. I love to make "Batteries Not Included" like robots. But this time, I turned up the sphere, and made the ideal vehicle for those cactus who like to walking around the streets.


1 half metallic sphere (You can find it in some Cologne caps, like "Boss in Motion" by Hugo Boss and its cheap imitations, like this case)
2 iron pieces for picture frame
2 electric sockets
2 metallic clips form car lighter plugs
4 small iron angles
2 Oven knobs
A damaged camera lens
screws and nuts

Step 5: More Ideas?

Picture of More Ideas?

This is an example of how replacing stuff when you don't have it. I went to the junkyard and I found a black cylindrical aluminum case. Use two clock bells and one parfum cap, and you can make another caracter in the same way of Globule.

With the other half of the Cologne sphere, I made a Globule 2.0, using a damaged circuit as eye.

Now, it's up to you!!!


ptimleigh made it! (author)2015-07-15

This was a fun project to do with my 5 yr old, and a great gift idea.

Gartholameau (author)2015-04-07

These remind me of the droids in the movie "Silent Running". They too were gardener droids. Very well done. I'm looking at some old stepper motors and wondering if I could merge them with your idea, maybe planters that walk over to the window with the most sun. Kudos to your imagination. :-)

M.C. Langer (author)Gartholameau2015-04-15

Thanks Gartholameau!!!! :-)

SpicyPandaCreations (author)2013-09-20

i dont have a green thumb, but these totally make me want to start

Awesome!!! Thanks Panda!!!

modernmasters (author)2013-08-08


Thanks Modernmasters!

FORD1972 (author)2011-10-04

I love these little guys!! i want to build some for my house, where do you get the small iron angle peices with the holes in them? I tried home Depot but all they had were big ones.

DIY-Guy (author)FORD19722013-02-04

I see a lot of "picture hangar" pieces here, the iron strips with a hole on each end and teeth in the middle. Those pieces are for mounting on the back of a picture frame and are used to hand pictures on single nails on a wall. Maybe you could use those or bend them into "iron angle pieces" for your projects.

HollyMann (author)2013-01-28

i love the one on the very right with the eyebrows!

M.C. Langer (author)HollyMann2013-01-28

Thanks Holly! :-)

Kawthar Xoubi (author)2012-09-27

wow masterful creations...i love them all!! i am actually obssessed with recycling and upcycling things and i did make my little robot of spider and kida ET face... but i would definately try to make robot like urs that have contaier for plants...awesome ideas, thnx a miollion for the inspiration <3

Thanks to you, Kawthar!!!! :-) And good luck with your creations!! Your spider is a great idea!

shazni (author)2012-08-15 are a robot addict...your stuff is really amazing!

M.C. Langer (author)shazni2012-08-15

Thanks Shazni!!

emilyvanleemput (author)2012-05-17

I love this!
And, my dad always has some junk lying around so... :)

Would he notice if his junk is disapearing?

Thanks Emily!!! :-)

phyllismcdaniel (author)2012-03-11

these are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! been on here looking for something that i can do with my 5 year old grandson, whom the doctors say, is on a genius level, i can't wait to try one of these on him. he is constantly trying to invent something. wish ME luck, I'LL need it, he probably won't.

Thanks! And... Good luck!!!! :-)

hamed.bamdad (author)2011-12-19

Great. Very Crative!!!!!!!!!

M.C. Langer (author)hamed.bamdad2011-12-19

Thanks Hamed! :-)

gunman15 (author)2011-10-29

how did you plant the cacti cause i dont wanna hurt myself lol

M.C. Langer (author)gunman152011-10-31

using gloves! :-)

Sabinbp (author)2011-10-13

I cant quite get it but what is the difference with a dish garden and a terrarium is this project considered to be a dish garden? Well this project is very unique I have not yet seen any kind of these in our part of the world thanks for sharing it here

M.C. Langer (author)Sabinbp2011-10-13

Hi Sabinbp! My pleasure! Thanks for your comment :-)

chosenangelx (author)2011-08-24

Its soo cute =) great ideas!

M.C. Langer (author)chosenangelx2011-08-25

Thanks Chosenagelx!! :-)

chosenangelx (author)M.C. Langer2011-08-26

You hould make a planter... That gives birth to little baby planterss tht can fly :) (batteries not included) i dont even remember what the story line was... Watched it when i was 8 :/

M.C. Langer (author)chosenangelx2011-08-28

I love Batteries not Included!!!! I have build some BNI inspired junbots! :-)

Disturbedguy (author)2011-08-24

Thank you so much, I am going to make one but my own design! Good job by the way!

M.C. Langer (author)Disturbedguy2011-08-25

Thanks Disturbedguy!!! :-)

jackhg (author)2011-08-12

Hi MC,

just love your POT'' family, very creative

M.C. Langer (author)jackhg2011-08-15

Thanks Jack!!!

porcupinemamma (author)2011-08-11

Like it!!! :0)

Thanks!!!! :-)

prohorova_85 (author)2011-07-20


M.C. Langer (author)prohorova_852011-07-20

Thanks!!! :-)

mrincon gutierrez (author)2011-06-25

wow...very creative and useful. i like this.

Gracias Mrincon! Yo también soy de Bogotá!

thorbeck (author)2011-06-15

Plantbert, office mascot.

M.C. Langer (author)thorbeck2011-06-19

WOW!!!! LOOKS AWESOME!!! God job Thorbeck!!!!

Sekiha_tenkyoken (author)2011-02-28

Are those christmas cacti in the first picture?

I think so. :-)

jefrimonday (author)2011-01-05

very creative
i wanna...

M.C. Langer (author)jefrimonday2011-01-05

Thanks Jefri!!!

LobosSolos (author)2010-06-06

So, how many times did it take before rule 7 stuck? I ask this because from your comment it seem like you know and also, rules are made after someone has done what the rule is against.

M.C. Langer (author)LobosSolos2010-06-06

Well, when I was in the Navy, there was a saying: "Seguridad mató Confianza" ["Security (or safety) kills confidence"]. The meaning is that when a man get too much confidente, he can make mistakes because he thinks he's an expert, and lose the healthy fear. When I was making the Globule, I hurt my thumb with the drill because of this. Well, lesson learned!!

Pe-ads (author)M.C. Langer2010-12-16

I assume you mean "Confidence kills safety", not the other way round :-)

Still, good maxim. Sounds like something you should frame in your workshop :D

M.C. Langer (author)Pe-ads2010-12-16

Thanks! :-)

Goodhart (author)LobosSolos2010-07-22

Normally it only takes ONE running a drill bit through one's appendage to "drive the message home", you might say :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia, former Navy officer and BSc in Naval Sciences. Right now I'm Technical Director and Technology Lead Teacher ... More »
More by M.C. Langer:WARBOSEWARBOSERoboto, the Wobbling Toy Robot (evolution of Randofo's "Wobbler")
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