Disco Ball Hanging Planter

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Introduction: Disco Ball Hanging Planter

About: I used to work for instructables.com, now I just make stuff. // follow me to see what I'm up to: https://www.echoechostudio.com

Do you love the plant life? Got to boogie? (🎶 on the garden grounds, oh yeah🎶) If you're looking for a New Year's Eve decoration you can keep up all year long, this tutorial shows you how to take a simple hanging ceramic planter and transform it into a disco ball hanging planter that reflects light in your garden or home in fun and mesmerizing ways.

In researching for this project, I found out that the disco ball was patented in 1916!! Long before it's hay day in the 1970s, you could see a 'myriad reflector' hanging in in jazz night clubs during the 1910s and 1920s. (Source)

Lastly, If you know me, you know I'm...kind of a raver. I've been listening to electronic music since I was a teenager and have traveled around the world in pursuit of dance parties. With this uncertain time, I'm not sure I'll be able to dance with my friends any time soon, but that won't stop me from dancing in the garden with the help of this jolly planter. Are you kind of a raver too? 🕺💃 You can subscribe to my curated monthly playlists here. It's a genre-hopping mix of electronica, rock, folk, R&B, and of course, disco.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here are all the tools and materials I used for this build. Consumables

Tools

  • gemsetter tool
  • It's nice to have a couple different kinds of pliers on hand for being wire and splitting chain, some strong cutters also are helpful.

I do use some affiliate links, but know that every referral I get goes straight back into me making more projects on Instructables. (I didn't used to be able to make instructional videos and now I can from your support - thank you!)

Step 2: Testing Glue

For what it's worth, I tried a lot of different glues for this project, and found that the 527 adhesive from Beacon had the quickest tack time and dried with the fewest air-bubbles and most flexible hold - perfect for days in the sun.

Step 3: Loading a Glue Syringe

You should never use glue straight from the tube or bottle, you should always use some kind of applicator like a syringe, brush or stick.

When loading the syringe, it's important to wear gloves to prevent getting any glue drips on your skin. I've seen crafters even use paint tube squeezers on their glue tubes to help be one step removed from the tubes.

Step 4: Prepping Glazed Ceramic

Gluing anything to glazed ceramic isn't going to go well unless you sand it first.

To prep this planter, I used 120 grit and 220 grit sand paper to rough up the glaze to create more nooks and crannies for the adhesive to bond to the planter and mirror tile.

It's a good idea to wipe the planter off with rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth to remove any grit or residue before you begin gluing.

Step 5: Setting the Mirror Tiles

Depending on the surface area of the tiles you're working with, I would either apply glue the back of the gem or the surface of the planter - but not both.

If you take on this project, just get a feel for the glue - other industrial glues may have a slightly different consistency and flow, just another reason for testing adhesives before applying. (I have heard some unfortunate stories of things being glued together that CANNOT be undone :( Worst.).

Waiting for the glue to set before moving on to the next area to work on is important. The tiles start holding their place after about a minute, but you don't want to do any inversions or move it around too much.

Remember, WORK WITH GRAVITY - science is your friend.

The glue takes 10 minutes to really set - if it is too cold or damp where you are trying to use glues, you can use a hair dryer on low to speed up the setting process.

After the glue has set for a full 24 hours, you can pull off any remaining masking tape or pesky glue strings quite easily with a pair of tweezers.

Want even more tips for how to work with this kind of glue? Check out this page.

Step 6: Keep Going

Strap in, it took a super long time to set all these tiles.

May I suggest this disco playlist?

Step 7: Keep Setting Tiles in the Round

I found it looked best when I staggered the seams of the glass tiles, starting at a new point on each row that was glued on to the form.

Not to sound like the Bob Ross of adhesives, but it's your disco ball planter, play with it - there are no mistakes.

Step 8: Almost Done

Working in the round for many rows can be very meditative, but don't zen out so much that you cover up the holes where the hardware is supposed to go with mirror tiles.

You may have to play with the spacing around the holes so wait for the row below it to be completely dried first.

Step 9: Adding Hanging Hardware

In the future I hope to figure out a more refined hanging hardware solution, but in the interim, I looked around my studio and had a boatload of copper magnet wire whcih is both very easy to shape and cut while being very strong.

Using a wire cutter, I cut 4x 10" lengths of magnet wire and 4x 2' long sections of stainless steel chain. I later shortened the chain a few inches before hanging the planter.

Step 10: Create Hanging Points

Working one mounting point at a time, I inserted the the magnet wire into through the hole in the top of the ceramic pot and looped it back on itself using a pair of jewelry pliers to create a few securing loops, then trimmed the excess.

Step 11: Hang in the Garden or in Your Home.

I connected the chain by opening the bottom link of each chain length with pliers and securing it around the magnet wire. The top of each chain length meets at the clip on swivel hardware listed in the tools and materials step.

Since making this project about a year ago, I've found a faster way to make this project with more power tools - I hope to share that version soon, but it's available in my DIY product shop now. :)

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    21 Comments

    0
    mowersden
    mowersden

    9 months ago on Step 11

    Wohhhh! It amazing. I am gonna try this soon. From where you get the idea. it is so beautiful and looking dope.

    0
    terrefirmax2
    terrefirmax2

    Tip 11 months ago

    I wonder if you considered making the pot yourself out of concrete or even another lighter mixture which would allow setting the tiles while still wet. Or use an existing pot that you covered with thin-set and just press into it.

    0
    Seamus_OR
    Seamus_OR

    11 months ago

    Great looking project. We have many plants that could use this retro styling. My concern is the total cost. If you could please help me with any misunderstandings that I may have.

    1000 mirror tiles are needed. The link is to a 200pc package, pkgs are ~$10 each; 1000/200 = 5 pkg; 5x$10= $50. Have I errored or has the link been rerouted?

    Again, cool idea.

    2
    Liz Langdon
    Liz Langdon

    Tip 11 months ago

    I love this project, but I am wondering if you should be using an adhesive specifically designed for mirrors. I use adhesives designed for mirrors in my projects that don't interact chemically with the silver backing for longer life.

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Reply 11 months ago

    Oh! I didn't know that was even a thing! I'll have to do some research!

    0
    Liz Langdon
    Liz Langdon

    Reply 11 months ago

    Yes. when you put all that work into a handcrafted piece, it makes sense to use a long lasting mirror adhesive. Otherwise there can be a chemical interaction with the silver mirror backing.

    1
    Rae1929
    Rae1929

    11 months ago

    I love the looks of this! I’m just wondering if it wouldn’t get to hot for the plant?

    1
    batorok
    batorok

    11 months ago

    Very creative project. This cries out for a small solar powered (or maybe wind powered) motor to rotate the ball.

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Reply 11 months ago

    I would love to see someone mod something like this!

    3
    bpark1000
    bpark1000

    Tip 11 months ago

    I would use clear silicone rubber rather then construction adhesive. It adheres well to both glass and ceramic. If you get new tube and trim tip to small hole, you can dispense right out of the tube. Get the type of silicone ("silicone 1", or "acetoxy silicone). This type smells like vinegar (look for warning about acid fumes, not ammonia). I used small hose connected to vacuum cleaner for the pickup probe. I did a 10" diameter ball.
    If mirror gets damaged or broken, it can be pulled off and a new one glued in with silicone.

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thanks for the tip!

    0
    snakewoman
    snakewoman

    Question 11 months ago on Step 11

    Hello! First I want to say that I love, love, love your project! I do have a question, though... I know you didn't mention or show any tiles on the bottom, I am just wondering if you had put some mirrors on the bottom later-on? and if not, is there a reason for not putting them there? (do they fall off, or is that for just in case you don't hang it that the pot sits flatly, etc)? I want to make this project myself, so since it would most likely be hanging, i was wondering if I can put mirrors on the bottom? or is that just a bad idea on my part? Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful idea with us disco queens, and/or plant lovers who love beautiful things. :)

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Answer 11 months ago

    I have to pull it down for watering sometimes, so I left the bottom untiled so I could set it down and work on it and swap out plants when it gets overgrown - but it's your planter and if you want to tile the bottom, go for it!

    0
    MichaelL628
    MichaelL628

    11 months ago on Introduction

    Brilliantly thought of .Spider plants in the house might get a new look ..and catch and reflect the sun's rays.Thanks for sharing

    1
    Libby61
    Libby61

    11 months ago

    Ok, Imma gonna say it ... Happy little disco ball planter!

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Reply 11 months ago

    Eeee! Thanks! It's been so fun to have around.

    0
    ProfGenki
    ProfGenki

    11 months ago

    This is so cute ! Thanks for sharing :D

    0
    audreyobscura
    audreyobscura

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank you! I just ordered more mirror tiles to keep disco-ing things around the house!

    0
    pkirkey
    pkirkey

    11 months ago

    Your glue in a syringe tip is the best. Thanks for that. Is the gem setter tool the same as is used for diamond art? The link provided came up with all kinds of electric contraptions so now I’m a bit confused.