One of my friends is obsessed with air plants and was moving into a new place, so I wanted to make a neat gift to welcome him to the new digs. Having just grabbed a huge box of wine corks left over from a wedding, I was eager to put them to use.
These little hanging air plant baskets feature two types of plants and can be hung in groupings or by themselves. They add a lot of charm indoor or out, and the plants are nearly impossible to kill. They make awesome gifts for your less-than-green-thumbed pals.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Hot Glue Gun
- Small round dish, like a tea light holder. The size of your dish will determine the size of your hanging basket and determine how many wine corks you will need.
- Thread. I used waxed linen thread that I had left over from another project, but any type will work.
- Wine corks. I used ten corks for each planter, but you can easily use more or less depending on how large you want your basket or how large the air plants are.
- Hot glue sticks
- Hemp or yarn (optional)
- Air plants. If you live somewhere that has a lot of airplants, it is likely that many of the branches that fall down during a storm or from squirrel activity have air plants on them that, if not picked up, will go right in the chipper with their fallen branch. I live in Florida and there are air plants littering the ground underneath every tree in my neighborhood, so hopefully you can find some free plants nearby your home. For my air plant hanging baskets I used Spanish Moss and this crazy ball-shaped plant.
Step 2: Ring of Corks
Place your small dish on a table. I am using a cheap tea light holder from the as-is section of ikea.
Place one cork flat-side-down on the table against the dish.
Take a second cork and apply a strip of hot glue, leaving a bit of space on the top and bottom of the cork un-glued. Quickly adhere this cork to the other.
Keep gluing corks around the dish, flat sides down. When you only have space for one more cork, or if there is not space for another cork but your sides aren't touching, remove the cork ring from around the dish. Put hot glue on both exposed corks and nestle your final cork into place.
Once the cork ring is completed, add an extra dollop of hot glue to the inside nook between any corks that feel unstable.
Step 3: Basket Floor
With the flat sides of your corks facing up, tie the end of about three feet of thread around one of the corks. Working in a messy star pattern, wrap the thread around the corks to create a sort of net. Make sure to wrap around each cork one time--this creates a nice line of thread around the outside of your cork ring.
Once your net is completed, tie off the thread and hot glue the thread to the corks at each little in-between-corks cranny.
Step 4: Make It Hang
Cut a length of some hemp cord, yarn, or the same thread you used before. Tie one end of the cord to your thread net right between two corks, and tie the other end between two corks on the exact opposite side of the ring. Nestle the cord in between the two corks and turn the basket right-side-up. Your basket should hang flat from the loop of cord.
Step 5: Add the Plants
The basket is done! Now it's time to add your air plants.
Take the spanish moss and shove a bunch of it up through the bottom of your net so that it is caught up in the threads.
Take the ball-shaped air plant and place it down inside the top of the cork basket so that it sits on top of the spanish moss and spills its weird leaves over the tops of the corks.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Air Plants
Hang your air plants up in a nice spot where you can enjoy the effortless beauty of your little creations. They look lovely grouped together as well. Keep them out of direct rain as this causes the corks to swell and break apart from each other.