Soda Bottle Vertical Garden
Here in Canada, even though it’s Spring, it will be quite a while before our winter blahs turn to green pastures again. It’s a great time of year to introduce a cheap and cheerful hanging system to brighten up your indoor space with plants!
Using empty soda bottles for this project ties in perfectly to my philosophy of sustainable crafting – using what you have – to create a vertical garden. And the best part is that they are free! We’re not soda drinkers, but we found an entire box of empties in our neighbour’s blue bin on pick up day (nicely organized in a Pringles box!) and wisked them away to make our hanging garden.
Along with the soda bottles, you’ll also need 1/8″ galvanized aircraft cable wire, cable ferrules to crimp the wire, a wire cutter and cable swage tool, metal washers ( S-hooks (3/4″), a cork back metal ruler, piece of metal strapping, marker, waterproof caulk or epoxy putty, loop turner (or other long, thin object) masking tape, wood burner with a pointy tip, aquarium gravel, cactus soil and plants of course.
I used a combination of succulents and Himalaya mix potted plants from Ikea. At $3.99 each, they’re a real bargain and I was grateful to be able to find them at this time of year!
I used 5 bottles for my hanging garden, but you could make as many as you like. When the weather gets better outdoors, they would make a great hanging screen on a massive scale too!
To start, remove the lable from the soda bottle. I used the lable to cut out a rectangular piece measuring 5 1/4″ x 3″. I folded the lable in half lengthwise and marked the centre of each side.
I applied the lable back onto the bottle through the middle of where it was glued. I found that with the combination of the glue residue and static cling, my particular lable stuck really well.
Mark the four corners with the black marker and measure out no less than 5/16″ from the centre on each side and place two more dots on the bottle.
Remove the lable. Apply two pieces of masking tape to a metal ruler and place on the bottle lining up two of the dots you marked with the black marker. The metal ruler should be placed on the outside of the line you’re going to cut – it will give you a cleaner line when using the wood burner.
I've reached my limit of 15 pictures, so head to my blog (link below) for step by step photos of the rest of the process (there's plenty more to see)!
While the hanging system is made from two 12″ pieces of aircraft cable. you can substitute twine or I've even used whipper snipper from my lawn mower!
Head to my blog to see more detailed pictures of the process and a video on how to assemble the hanging wires.
If doing this project for outdoors, be sure to add a few more drainage holes in the bottom. For indoor settings, I would suggest adding a drop of waterproof clear caulking or epoxy putty to cover the bottom two holes (from the inside) so you don't get water leaking through and dripping down the wires. The epoxy putty will be easier to work with because you can roll it into a tiny ball and squish it around the holes. If using caulk, to control it from oozing too much onto the wires, you can squeeze some out onto a plastic lid and use something like a coffee stirrer to apply it around the holes on the inside of the bottle. Make sure the wires are sitting tight against the bottom of the bottle (you could tape them as they dry if you have to) and let the caulk or epoxy dry according to the package directions before moving onto planting.
Lay down some plastic on your table surface to catch the mess if doing this indoors! Gather up your plants and planting materials (soil, gravel, scoop). Be sure to purchase a soil suitable for your plants. Here I’m using cactus soil for one of the succulents.
Head to my blog (link below) for planting and installation tips.
I also used a specialty soil for the tropicals too.
It’s hard to get a good picture with the backlight from the window, so I tried closing the binds, but I can attest that the hanging garden looks stunning in the kitchen! You could change the configuration and adapt this idea for any window; just add a few more columns and stagger the plants.
I hope you enjoyed another sustainable crafting project; if you did, please pin and share!
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Our YouTube video shows how easily it all comes together :)
I can't wait to get outdoors to garden again when the weather is better!
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