Vertical Gardening With Tetra Paks P1. Making Baskets

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Introduction: Vertical Gardening With Tetra Paks P1. Making Baskets

About: Generaly confused. Secretly inspired.

After finishing my Bicycle Baggage Net From Old Inner Tube I started to think with what other materials I can use this technique of making continuous sheets (also shapes, if needed) of material by interlinking individual rings cut from tube shaped objects. Soon enough I thought of tetra paks. They are basically tubes, so I could use them. And while the material, from which this packaging is made being combined with this particular technique is perfect for making these baskets for vertical gardening, I'm demonstrating here, it still can be used for a variety of of different other porpouses and designs, so do not hurry to walk away.

Tetra Pak carton material is made from layers of cardboard and aluminium foil, laminated between layers of polyethylene film. It means, the whole structure of the basket is strong enough structurally to hold the weight of the soil within and the plants; it's water resistant to withstand regular watering; reflective surface seves the soil from overheating and layers of plastic from decomposing. The type of structure, this weave provides, create those openings, positioned in checker pattern, that can be conveniently used for placing a plants in equall distance. So, here's the reasoning, why I decidec that these baskets are the most optimal way to use given material.

This instructable covers only the process of making baskets. Part two, in which I'm planning to show the process of filling the baskets with soil and planting the plants and other stuff, will have to wait till Spring.

Step 1:

I took the inspiration for the design from those ceramic pots, that are often used for growing strawbwrrys. They have openings on the sides in checkes pattern for placing the plants.

The more DIY version, made from plastic water jug represents the same idea. There's a lot of other similar projects on Pinterest, so, you can make your own research.

Step 2:

But first, I want to mention, that this project is project is approved by Regirilla.

- Regorilla approves.

- Thanks, Regorilla!

- Regorilla approves.

- Yeah, Thanks.

- Regorilla approves.

- Uhm... Uh...

- Regorilla approves.

- ...

Step 3:

Uhm, anyway... For this project you'll need to collect a bunch of tetra paks. The all a bit different and have various measyrements, so? you vant to have atleast 5 of one type for one basket. I spread mine into two bathes of 8 of one kind, and the third batch of 9 of those of different type. One batch for one basket.

Step 4:

The first thing to do is to gently remove the caps. It's not very hard and, most cerainly, you can do it with your bare heand.

Those caps are made from HDPE plastic and can be remelted into all sorts of things, so it's a reasonable thing to keep them.

Step 5:

Flatten the package.

Step 6:

Cut the top off. Make a cut right at the line, where the two layers are fused to save the most of the material.

Step 7:

Rince the packages

Step 8:

Crease the edges of the pack. I'm using this roller? but you can do it with your fingers or other tool.

Step 9:

Before starting cutting the rings, we have to determine the width of those. To do so, easure the widts of flatten pack first. Devide it in four and substract a couple of millimiters, My pack was 14cm wide, and I made the width of the ring 3,2cm. If you use the same type of package I do, use these measurements.

After we figure out the measurement, we can make a cutting template from the ruler. Take a piece of cardboard anf cut a strip of required width. Glue it temporalily to the back of the ruler with doublesided tape, aligning flush with one edge.

Step 10:

Now, with this tool, we can cut multiple uniform sections of the pack. Just align the cardboard edge with the edge of the pack and use the other side of the ruler as a straight edge for cutting.

Start cutting from the side that we have already cut. As you can see with this width of the section we can get 8 rings from one pack/ leaving little to no waste.

The rings with the opening for the cap are usable too, although, obviously, not that strong. I collect them separately and use as a spares if needed.

Step 11:

When you've cut all the rings, start turning them inside out to bring the foiled side to the surface. Wipe the leftover water drips with dry rug, and rub dirty pieces with wet rug if they need cleaning.

Step 12:

With that being done, you can start interlinking the rings.

On the photo> you can see how to make the simple module.

Step 13:

By adding rings to the module/ you can enlarge your structure.

I'm showing the sequence on the photos. I'm using an awl just to make it clearer on the photos, how exactly those sections overlay each other.

Keep adding pieces, untill you get the detail? shown on the last photo. This is the bottom.

Step 14:

From the bottom now, we have to make a transition for starting grow up.

It starts at the corners. I'm demonstrating the sequence on the photos, and the whole piece from top and bottom, after all four corners are done.

Step 15:

I tryed to make the process as clear as possible by presenting it through the photos, synce would be really hard for me to describe it with my limited knowledge of English. Although, it may seam to be quiet complicated right now, it all comes out much clearer, when working directly on the piece. After some time you'll be able to do it almost intuitively.

After passing the corners stage, keep growing up building walls.

Step 16:

And here I'm showing, how you finish the last row.

Four loops that remain are meant for pulling the rope through for hanging the basket. You can double the those particular ring to meke loops stronger.

I had 4 whole rings left.

Step 17:

After processing two batches of packs I've made two baskets. I added the leftowers and "hollowed" rings to my prototype basked, so now it matches those two in size, and it will be used with them.

Step 18:

With the third batch I decided to try different design. There's a lot of variation can be done with this technique.

The whole process may be a bit tedious at some parts (like cutting rings) but the weaving itself can be quiet enjoyable, if it's yours type of thing, and since, you're dealing with relatively large rings, you're creating big objects in reasonable amount of time.

All four baskets are now going to wait till next year's gardening season, as well as the part two of this instructable. So, thank you for your attention, This is it for now. And have a nice...

Step 19:

- Regorilla ap...

- Please stop!

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    3 Comments

    Great idea, especially as Tetra Pak are not widely recycled (not sure if recyclable at all)

    2 replies

    They are shredded and soaked in water to separate materials. Sort of like that. But as far as I'm aware, yes, not very widely. Thanks for the comment.

    Tetra paks are mostly made of cardboard with a very thin layer of plastic to make it waterproof as I know. They are not %100 environmental friendly but i am pretty sure they are better than PET water bottles. Wonderful project btw.