Introduction: Plastic Interlocking Toy Brick Air Plant Pot (or PITBAPP for Short)

About: Howdy! I like to create and build stuff in my free time.

When I recently visited my local plant nursery, I noticed that they had some air plants for sale. I was tempted to get one, but I couldn't think of a creative way to display it. So I continued browsing and saw a diorama-type display using LEGO brand bricks. Suddenly, inspiration struck; I could use plastic interlocking toy bricks to display an air plant! The benefit of this, I realized, was that I could change the colors used to match the season or occasion.

Due to the fact that "LEGO" is a brand name and a registered trademark, I will refer in this Instructable to "plastic interlocking toy bricks" as I couldn't find out what would be a generic term. This is because while LEGO bricks are the most well-known, other brands are available.

Step 1: A Brief Introduction to Air Plants (aka Tillandsia)

What Are Air Plants?

Air plants are epiphytic bromeliads from the genus Tillandsia. An epiphyte is a type of plant that does not require soil; instead, it typically grows harmlessly on another plant and gets its nutrients from the air and rain. Bromeliads are a type of flowering plant. Pineapples are an example of a bromeliad (and a tasty example at that).

Neat! Now, How Do I Grow Them?

Air plants are a relatively easy plant to grow. They are commonly keep as a houseplant but can be kept outdoors in some places. (My personal interest started when I visited my Grandmother in Florida and saw them growing in her trees outside.) When kept indoors, they require regular watering by spray misting and the occasional "bath" (soaking in a bowl of water for a few hours or so). There is a plethora of more detailed information on their care available online.

Where Can I Get One (Or Two, Or Three)?

Air plants can be ordered online; from the garden center at a large retail store such as Home Depot or Lowes; or your helpful, friendly neighborhood plant nursery.

Step 2: The Supplies Needed

Required Supplies:

This project uses plastic interlocking toy bricks (more commonly referred to as "LEGO bricks"). You do not need to use LEGO brand bricks. In fact, I used a cheaper brand that I found at the discount store. The types/sizes and color of bricks used are listed below in order of appearance:

For the base:

-Two (2) flat square base pieces (4 pegs by 4 pegs), pink

- Four (4) single peg bricks, purple

For the part that holds the air plant:

- Six (6) small rectangle bricks (2 pegs by 1 peg), pink

- One (1) flat rectangle base piece (2 pegs by 4 pegs), green

- One (1) flat smooth-top rectangle capping piece (4 pegs by 1 peg), pink

Note: You may substitute this for a normal brick or non-smooth top piece of the same dimensions, or omit if gluing the bricks together as this piece is used to provide extra support.

Optional Supplies:

This Instructable is meant for construction without gluing. If, unlike me, you feel that change is a bad thing and want to permanently keep the colors used, you may glue the bricks together. I have provided adjustments and special concerns in the construction steps for those that want to glue, although the photos are from construction without gluing. HOWEVER, be forewarned that I accept no responsibility for any consequences this may have, including but not limited to;

- Fingers stuck to other fingers, to bricks, to the table, or all three;

- Tantrums from your younger sibling when they realize you used the last yellow brick that the need for their school project;

- Admonishment from your parents for using the "expensive LEGO bricks" instead of the "cheaper knock-off brand bricks";


Step 3: Assemble the Base!

If You ARE NOT Gluing:

To assemble the base of the plastic interlocking toy brick air plant pot (PITBAPP):

1) Attach each of the single peg bricks to the corner of one of the flat square base pieces, then;

2) Attach the second flat square base piece on top of the single peg bricks.

Look at the photos if you are confused by the written instructions. The top view photo is of part 1 while the side view photo is of part 2.

If You ARE Gluing:

Follow the steps as above, but with these important considerations:

- In step 1, MAKE SURE that the single peg blocks are SQUARED! This is because before proceeding to step 2, the glue needs to dry. Thus, if the singe peg bricks are not squared, the second flat base piece WILL NOT attach properly! Look at the top view photo for an example of a not squared piece.

Step 4: Some More Assembly Required...

If You ARE NOT Gluing:

To assembly of the first part of the PITBAPP that holds the air plant:

1) Attach four (4) of the small rectangle bricks along the sides of the base to resemble a picture frame. This forms layer A.

2) Attach the flat rectangle piece across layer A. Attach the two (2) remaining small rectangle bricks to the edge of layer A across from the flat rectangle piece. These small rectangle bricks form layer B.

3) Attach the flat smooth-top capping piece over the small rectangle bricks that form layer B.

Look at the photos if you are confused by the written instructions. The top view photo is of step 2 while the side view photo is of step 3.

If You ARE Gluing:

Again, follow the steps above while letting the glue dry between each step. Additionally, step 3 can be omitted if gluing as the capping piece is used for extra stability. This is not needed if the pieces are glued together.

Step 5: Add the Air Plant

If You ARE NOT Gluing:

Place the air plant into the PITBAPP, then take good care of it!

If You ARE Gluing:

MAKE SURE that there is NO wet glue where you will place the plant! This is because you need to be able to remove the plant to periodically soak it.

Step 6: Optional Improvement


If you did glue the bricks together, you may also glue a magnet to the back of the PITBAPP to make it into a decorative refrigerator magnet.

Step 7: Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed making this project. This is my first Instructable, so any helpful comments are appreciated. Also, as a shameless plug, I am entering this into the 2016 Indoor Gardening Contest. If you would like to vote for this, that would be appreciated.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy your newly made PITBAPP!

Step 8: Works Cited


Air Plant Care. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

Epiphyte. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

It is important to maintain Tillandsias properly The key factors are Light, Water, and Air Circulation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

Wiley, D. (n.d.). How to Grow Air Plants. Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

Indoor Gardening Contest 2015

Participated in the
Indoor Gardening Contest 2015