Introduction: Recycled Plastic - Pot Holder

About: A born artist. I love knitting, hand embroidery, cooking and arts and crafts in any form.

Recycling has so many options these days. Using plastic bags makes me feel very guilty of not saving our dear planet 'Earth'. I try my best to use cloth bags and avoid plastics to the extent possible. Personally, this is a very satisfying and inspiring project. This Summer, I bought 2 medium size pots for planting. As these pots weight >10 lbs, it was not a good idea to place these on the patio. Typically pots are not allowed to be placed on the patio. I didn't want to spend too much on buying expensive setup to grow something in these pots. With the Recycle contest, I thought of making something cool and useful right at home.

I normally collect and keep the groceries bag for reuse. At times I even carry these clean bags for groceries pick-up. Which means reducing the use of few plastic bags a few times. So, I decided to work on this project assuming this pot holder will be able to carry the weight for heavy pots. It did. I kept this pot hung for two days before adding the potting mix. I added a small cactus to experiment with. I was looking for options such that I could easily bring the pots indoors.

You will learn all of the steps from 'Recyclable plastic bags' -> 'Strips' -> 'Rope' -> 'Pot Holder'.

Hope you enjoy spending some time with nature!


1. Groceries plastic bags (20 total). Depends on the size and thickness of the plastic bags.

2. Scissors

3. Pot(s)

4. Nails

5. Hammer

6. Potting mix

7. Plant of your choice

Step 1: Collect All the Plastic Bags

This is the first step in which I decided to gather all the good quality and clean groceries bags I had at home. I made sure to pick and choose the right choice of plastic bags. I then ironed out (with hands only. Do not use iron here :-) Then, neatly placed all these plastic bags together as shown in pics 2 & 3.

Step 2: Cutting Into Strips

This is the second step in which I cut the sealed side of the plastic bags. Opened up the plastic bag to make sure it looks good. Then folded it along the length (see pic 2). As the plastic bag was of a good quality, I decided to cut strips of width 2 inches approximately. Then, folded the plastic bag into half and again into half of that. Cut it along the length as shown in pic 3. As we would need to fold these strips anyways, exact measurement and perfection is not needed in here. A rough measure works fine. I then collected all these strips and bundled these together.

Step 3: Braiding and Joining the Strips

In this step, I decided the braid these strips of plastics. This increases the strength and sturdiness of these strips when compared to just using plain strips as is. So, I took 3 strands of the strips for braiding. Now, the joining was the most crucial step. It is important to know that this is not a regular project with a straight one strip to work on. There are small strips to be joint to make sense of it. I then decided to place the next strip just on top of the first one towards its tail end and continue to braid. This might be a little tricky and needs attention and concentration to do it nicely. In this way, I continue to add the strips as they ended until I made a complete length of approximately 24 feet in length. See pic 4 & 5.

Step 4: Prepare the Rope for the Pot Holder

The length of this plastic rope depends on the pot size and shape. I measured 8 strips of length 3 ft each out work best for me. This would be high enough to hang comfortably on my patio. As I was progressing on the rope, I tried to see the length and it measured a total of 24-25 ft approximately. Then, I folder it into 8 small strings as seen in the image.

Step 5: Cut the Rope

Now, the plastic rope is cute into 8 smaller ropes as shown in the image. These ropes are now ready for knotting together to make the actual pot holder.

Step 6: Get the Pot Holder Ready

In this step, I laid all the 8 ropes in 4 pairs on the ground as shown in the image 1. Then, tied a knot on one side together as you can see in the image 1. Then, at approximately 9-10 inches length, I tied a knot with the 2nd rope from the first pair with the first rope from the next pair. Refer image 3 for this step. This made 4 knots with 4 pairs of ropes. Then, I tied the next two in similar fashion with the first from one pair and the second from the next one. Now, knots at the second level were ready too. See image 4 & 5. The final step here is to tie a knot on the other end of the ropes. All the eight ropes should be tied together back with just one knot which is clearly seen in the image 6. The pot holder is ready.

Step 7: Add the Nails

Well, I had existing nails on my patio which were added a few days ago, as I have been thinking of hanging these two pots on my patio.

Step 8: Testing Time

This was the step I feared the most. As the pot weight more than 10 lbs, I was not very confident if this pot holder would be able to withstand the weight. So, I decided to carefully place the pot in the centre of the second knot on the end of the ropes. Finally hung it on the nail in the patio. My only fear was that the rope might fall down and the pot may break into pieces. So, I let it sit there for nearly 2 days.

Step 9: Adding the Plant

In this step, I loosely added the potting mix and then added a small cactus. I really like indoor plants and so decided to start with this plant as it look appealing in every place and doesn't need much watering. With more groceries bags in my collection and if this pot stays intact, I plan on making another similar pot holder and hang it as a pair.

Did you enjoy the journey with me?

Try it yourself and enjoy your time with nature.

Recycled Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Recycled Speed Challenge