Would you like more green in your living space? No matter the size of your home, this is a cool project for all of you who feel the need to increase the natural green beauty around you. It’s a DIY multi-planter that allows for vertical growing!
Why is it a smart idea to grow vertical?
1. You save tonnes of space and at the same time, you maximise your green coverage… The more green the better, in our book!
2. You can choose air-purifying plants to minimise indoor air pollution (Sick Building Syndrome is a thing). Here’s an idea! Why don’t you place one of these in your bedroom filled with Sansevierias (Sansevieria trifasciata, more commonly known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’) and create a 24-hour oxygen producing installation?
3. If you make a few, you can place them in a line and create a green divider in an open-plan room. You can do the same outdoors and block your view from neighbouring eyes.
4. You can add a lot of colour and character in a room by getting creative with the colours and materials. a. Do you live in an ultra-modern house? Use coloured rope and contemporary pots.
b. Are you the rustic type? Use all natural, recycled materials and upcycle some old pots. That’s what we did!
c. Crazy about colour? Use colourful pots and rope and paint the wooden bases. Get creative, go nuts!
5. You can show it off to your friends and use it as a conversation piece. We do that!
Point #2 is very important to us, the Naturally Smart Stuff duo. We spend a lot of time in our office and we are concerned about the outgassing of Volatile Organic Compounds, such as formaldehyde and benzene, emitted by the materials found in such a room (furniture, paint, devices etc.). We‘ve been looking into ways of introducing air-purifying plants in an already crowded room. And that’s how the idea came about. We had virtually no floor space for pots and plants, therefore, we had to think ‘naturally smart’; we had to take advantage of wall space. We were going to grow vertically!
We designed, we measured, we gathered tools and materials and did some research and development. Therefore, the version we are giving you has been tried and tested.
Below are the instructions for the size that we made. Feel free to adjust the size to suit your space and the mood that you wish to create.
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: MATERIALS
Some recycled wood
1 Metal ring
Metal bracket or hook to hang the planter and correct screws and ‘wall plugs’ or ‘anchor screw’
There are many different type of ‘wall plugs’ or ‘anchor screws’, commonly known as rawl plugs. If you do not know the right kind for your or wall or ceiling type, do get professional advice so as to avoid damage or injury.
Step 2: TOOLS
Drill and wooden drill bit
Ruler Pencil Compass
Wood paint (optional)
Step 3: HOW TO MAKE 4 WOODEN BASES
1. Take one of the pots and measure its external diameter from the top lip.
2. Take the wood and draw a square. The square’s side should be equal to the pots external diameter + 5cm.
For example, if the pot’s external diameter was 20cm, the square’s side should be equal to 25cm.
3. Clamp the wood to the workbench and wear your safety goggles. It’s time to cut some wood! Cut the square with a jigsaw.
4. Take the pot again and now measure the circumference right below the lip.
Step 4: HOW TO MAKE a CARDBOARD TEMPLATE
5. Make a cardboard template.
- Cut out a square, the same size as the wooden square
- Mark the center
- With the compass draw a circle with a radius equal to the pot’s circumference divided by 2π. For example, if the circumference of the pot around and below the lip was 18cm, Radius= 18÷2π. Therefore, the radius would be 2.86cm.
- Cut out the circle with scissors.
- Find the center of every corner of the square and the cut out circle, mark it and pierce it.
- The template is ready. Fit it through the pot and see if it fits nicely under the pot’s lip.
Step 5: CUT & FINISH THE WOOD
6. Place the template on the wooden square and with a pencil draw the cut out circle and mark the four points at the corners.
7. We are now going to drill the wood, so take the drill and wear your protective goggles. Clamp the wooden square to your workbench. Drill the 4 points on the square’s corners.
8. Drill also a hole on the inside of the line of the marked circle. This will help cutting the circle out.
9. Start cutting out the circle by placing the jigsaw’s blade in the hole and follow the circle’s line all around. Your wooden base should be hollow in the middle. That’s where your pot will sit.
10. Fit the pot through the wooden base. See if it fits nicely under the pot’s lip. You now have 1 wooden base ready. You will need 4, therefore, repeat the above process another three times.
You can totally skip this part, but we do suggest you don’t. By sanding the wood and/or painting it, you will create a finishing look like a pro! Sand the wooden bases for a smoother look (optional). Paint the wooden bases with wood paint. Leave to dry according to paint’s directions (optional).
Step 6: HOW TO THREAD THE ROPE THROUGH THE WOODEN BASES
1. Cut the rope in 2 equal pieces.
2. Take one piece, fold it in 2 and mark the middle with some tape or string.
3. Take the metal ring and thread the rope through the ring until you reach the middle.
4. Take the same rope and thread it through the ring once more. This will create a nice double loop on the ring.
5. Repeat #4 with the second piece of rope you had put aside. You should now have 2 double loops around the metal ring.
Here you can add a beautiful knot right under the metal ring, just because the whole thing will look even more beautiful! Here is the how-to video:
6. Stretch the 4 ropes and measure 80cm from the top. Mark each rope at the 80cm mark with some tape.
7. Thread each rope through each of the 4 holes of one wooden base.
8. Tie a tight knot right under the wooden base on all four corners.
9. Measure again 80cm from the knots down and mark the 4 ropes with tape, thread the second wooden base and tie 4 knots right under it.
10. Repeat with the other 2 wooden bases.
Step 7: INSTALLATION
1. Pot 4 plants of your choice into the pots.
2. Install the rawlplug or the metal bracket by drilling and fitting it on the ceiling or wall.
3. Fit one potted plant into each wooden base.
4. Hang the vertical garden.
5. Add a plate underneath it to catch any falling water.
Step 8: FINISHED!
And there you have it!
It may not seem like a straight-forward DIY project, but it’s not the case. Try it for yourselves and send us pictures or improvements you have made to our model.We have made 2 already and we still believe we can fit another 10!
We better get to work, then, ey? Let’s go!
You can view the how-to video here: