Introduction: Self-Watering Planter

This project aims to provide a household accessory that can be used to automatically water plants when their owners forget to do so.

Step 1: Acquire Materials

You will need:
• A cotton or polyester shirt
• A large pot (this will hold the water, so it should not have any holes in the bottom)
• A small pot (the diameter of the base should be 1-2” smaller than the opening of the larger pot, this pot should have a hole in the bottom)
• Two wire coat hangers
• Wire snips
• Safety glasses
• Scissors or a utility knife
• Pliers
• A plant!

For this project, we purchased the large pot, small pot, and plant for a total of $12.

Step 2: Cut the Wire

Using the wire cutter, clip the hooks off of the two coat hangers, as shown in Figure 1.
WARNING: When cutting wires, make sure you are wearing safety glasses.

Step 3: Straighten the Wire

Using your hands, straighten each coat hanger (Fig. 2).

Step 4: Form a Loop

Form a loop in the center of each straightened wire (Fig. 3). The diameter of the loop needs to match the diameter of the small pot at 1” from the base. Twist the loop to secure its position (Fig. 4). If needed, use a pair of pliers to form a tighter twist.

Step 5: Assemble Wire Frame

Take the ends of the first wire loop structure and feed them through the second loop (Fig. 5). Then, feed the ends of the second loop structure through the first loop (Fig. 6). Finally, pull the structures so that the loops overlap (Fig. 7). Your result should resemble Fig. 8.

Step 6: Assemble Wire Frame and Two Pots

Center the wire frame on the large pot, and insert the base of the small pot into the loop (Fig. 9). Adjust the wire frame so that the wire frame and base of the small pot sit slightly below the lip of the large pot (Fig. 10).

Step 7: Trim and Form Wire Ends

For each end on the wire structure, cut the wire to a length that will securely hook the lip of the large pot. Using pliers, bend the wire to form this hook (Fig.11). Repeat for each wire end (Fig. 12). You will need to work with each wire end individually in order for the finished wire frame to attach securely to the large pot. Start by leaving each wire end a little longer than you think you might need it. Then form and cut as necessary. Both the length and angle of each hook will have to be taken into account. The final result should look like Fig. 13

Step 8: Create the Wick

Use the scissors or utility knife to cut a strip of fabric from the t-shirt. Make sure to cut enough fabric so that the wick snugly fits the diameter of the hole in bottom of the small pot. Divide the top part of the wick into three strips, as seen in Figure 14.

Step 9: Insert Wick and Pot the Plant

Feed the wick through the hole in the bottom of the small pot (Fig. 15), so that the divided portion of the wick is in the pot. Evenly distribute the strips around the inside of the small pot (Fig. 16). Place the plant in the pot (Fig. 17).

Step 10: Assemble the Final Product

Place the potted plant into the wire frame. Pour water in the large pot (Fig. 18). Enjoy your self-watering plant!