Tired of Leaky Coconut Liners? Try This Hanging Planter Hack!

8 Materials
30 Minutes
Everytime I water my hanging flower baskets with coconut liners, I end up with a flooded mess! I don't even think half of the water saturates the roots before it all leaks out onto my front steps. This hack keeps the water in and your planters with the perfect amount of moisture to keep them growing strong! All you need is some burlap and a diaper! Kick those expensive coconut liners to the curb.
Tired of this leaky coconut liner everytime you water your plants? Me too!
Step 1) Measure the diameter of your basket hanger.

Step 2) Cut a circle about 2" larger than the diameter of your basket frame out of burlap.
Step 3) Pin burlap ribbon (with a finished edge) to the outside edge of your burlap circle.

Be sure not to use ribbon with wire in it! It could break your sewing machine.
Step 4) Sew along the edge to attach the ribbon to your burlap circle.

Step 5) When you are finished attaching the entire ribbon, it will look something like this. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect! Don't forget to close your edge of the ribbon.
Step 6) Place the burlap liner into the hanging basket frame. Fold the ribbon edge over the frame nicely.

It may be bulky, but you want it to be a little loose to ensure your planter fits perfectly and the liner isn't too tight.
Step 7) Now the fun part! Using an expensive diaper, cut the tabs off and place it right side up into the center of your planter.

The gel in the diaper will create the perfect amount of moisture and prevent heavy water leakage throughout the planter.
Step 8) Re-attach hardware pieces through the burlap.
Water your planter and enjoy a leak-proof basket liner. All of the water stays right where it should be an evenly distributes throughout the soil of your beautiful flower basket. No more leaky mess!

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  14 questions
  • JoDene Bancroft JoDene Bancroft on May 01, 2017
    Is the ribbon needed?
  • Rosemary Rosemary on May 18, 2017
    Do you then plant with your soil and plants directly into the burlap, or are you putting them in already in a pot?
    • Cmw16916895 Cmw16916895 on May 18, 2017
      I actually put a coffee filter on top of the diaper first, then soil, then plants, or just take out of an existing pot and transfer to the burlap planter (also used coffee filter underneath)
  • Judy Thurston Judy Thurston on May 18, 2017
    I would love to try this but i have a few questions before trying this, Do i have to use burlap? All i have is adult underwear can i use those instead of diapers? And what do i do if i don't have a sewing machine? Please Reply back! Thank-You!
    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on May 18, 2017
      Use a needle and thread and hand sew it. It doesn't have to be burlap, but it has to be something that doesn't show water stains. I'm assuming adult diapers are the same as baby diapers, but bigger, so why not?
    • Gail Morey Gail Morey on May 18, 2017
      Pampers are the best. Many years ago my car was soaking wet due to a hurricane. I used Pampers to soak up all the water inside the car. You would not believe how much water they held. I should have sent them a pictur.
    • WILLOW WILLOW on May 18, 2017
      There were no disposables when I had my kids, are there chemicals in the diapers and how would that affect the plants?

    • Susan Susan on May 19, 2017
      I wouldn't use them in herb pots or anything edible, but green plants or flowers would be ok.
    • Vernice Darnley Vernice Darnley on May 19, 2017
      I would have thought if the disposable nappies were good enough for a baby's bottom they would be good enough for plants.
  • Donna Berman Donna Berman on May 18, 2017
  • Denise Denise on May 19, 2017
    what about water draining away will it get root rot ?
  • Cathy Wolf Cathy Wolf on May 24, 2017
    could you just use a diaper with the cocoa liner?
  • Lisa Lisa on Jun 11, 2017
    Is this safe for vegetable and herb pots? I'm wondering if there are chemicals in the burlap or diaper gel that would seep into the soil?
    • Carmen Carmen on Feb 14, 2018
      If the diaper is safe enough for an infant's bottom, I would guess it would be OK for plants.
    • Ronnego Ronnego on Feb 14, 2018
      The diaper is probably save enough for flowers but I would not use it for vegetables.
    • Jacquienina Jacquienina on Feb 14, 2018
      Paper diapers do have some chemicals. Don't know how much might leach into soil, tho. Also, this implies that they are reusable. Do the gel beads ultimately become useless, or do they refresh after they dry out??
    • GG GG on Feb 15, 2018
      I don't know, just because we use diapers on the south end of our mini mes', doesn't inspire me at all to use them in a pot that might hold edibles. Just sayin. The weight of the pot after the diaper is full of H2O brings questions to mind as well, but of course one cannot deny that the dripping is annoying and this idea would do well to stop it.
    • April April on Feb 15, 2018
      The gel in the diapers will continue to hold water probably through the whole season. The gel in the diapers makes an amazing fire suppression system too. They are flame retardant when wet and when full of water will put out a fire incredibly well. Just another helpful usage!!
  • Nancy dennis Nancy dennis on Jun 15, 2017
    Could you use a puppy pad cut in 1/4 or 1/2?
    • Pat Long Pat Long on Feb 14, 2018
      I would say No. I don't think the dog pads have the gel beads in them. The purpose of the gel beads is they absorbs the water, than the plant root absorb the water in the from the gel beads.

    • I have used puppy pads, they do help, think I the diapers work better.
    • Gail Gail on Feb 15, 2018
      Any adult incontinent pad will work & holds more water for plants that need more water than a baby diaper. Pkgs of these are pretty cheap & ate often found at thrift stores for about $3 or less for a pkg. On these pads, no tabs to trim. Just put the pad in place & there you go. I use these a lot even in regular pots to hold moisture for plants that tend to dry out quickly. It's especially good when you're going to be away for a few days & unable to water them.

      Thanks for posting the diaper tip so that everyone can take advantage of the tip with spring & planting just around the corner.
  • Dahliaqueen Dahliaqueen on Feb 14, 2018
    It is suggested “expensive” disposable diaper....how expensive? Smallest package would have to be for me don’t have any babies to try one
    • Lwilliams Lwilliams on Feb 14, 2018
      Try Goodwill. Some of the racks in the linen section, above the hanging sheets and stuff, is a catch-all for diapers and hanging organizers and fabric bins. Super cheap and half price once a month.

    • Amber Bailey Amber Bailey on Feb 25, 2018

      You can get sample diapers from most manufacturers. I have a drawer full from a parents newsletter I joined. 4 years later I still get diapers !? Lol. So I throw them in a drawer for plants Packing material etc.

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Feb 25, 2018

      Usually you can get about 3 for a$ at a dollar tree store

    • Heidi-Marie Braade Heidi-Marie Braade on Feb 25, 2018

      Instead of a diaper you could possibly use a sanitary pad or a dog training pad (make sure they don’t have a leak through back). Check your local Dollar stores.

    • Terri Terri on Apr 26, 2019

      I believe that’s a typo. I think she meant to put “inexpensive” diapers. They all work about the same. The name brand is what makes them expensive.

  • Ttr30262188 Ttr30262188 on Feb 15, 2018
    Once the diaper is in the pot, how often does the plant need to watered?
    • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Feb 16, 2018
      Each plant's needs are different as are the environments. Do as always - stick your fingers in the soil. If the top 2" are dry, water thoroughly.
    • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on May 10, 2018

      Robyn, wouldn't you get a false reading since the diaper may still be saturated? I like this idea but the concern is for the roots and whether they will rot if the diaper is still holding on to water and I continue to water because it appears by touch or even a wooden skewer to indicate dry soil? Help,I recently purchased a raised bed box and am looking for a way to line it and this sounds great in theory but don't want root rot. Thanks

    • Margaret Winnie Margaret Winnie on Jul 08, 2018

      I lined my raised beds with used coffee filters from resturants. also use the coffee grounds. I have been told that Starbucks gives away old coffee grounds. Also break up egg shells to use as fertilizer. GOOD LUCK!!!

    • Margaret Winnie Margaret Winnie on Jul 08, 2018

      If you have a paper shredder you can use the paper as it holds moisture

      veri well.

    • Katz215 Katz215 on Jul 20, 2018

      Ladies, you have great ideas and I will try this vs buying baby diaper. I have grandchildren and all but one is out of diapers.

    • Tawny Kennedy Bohannon Tawny Kennedy Bohannon on Feb 03, 2021

      Not any more . Because of Bacteria from mold and mildew . Some customers getting sick . I’m in Al. Close to Montgomery and have been to every Starbucks in the town . But local restaurants will give you all you want .

    • Tawny Kennedy Bohannon Tawny Kennedy Bohannon on Feb 03, 2021

      Thrift stores , yard sales , flea markets and on FB YOUR Buy , sale and trade sites are good placed to search along with disposable Hospital pads !

  • Jody Chance Jody Chance on Feb 16, 2018
    Isn’t the purpose of a diaper to lock fluid in? How can it redistribute to the plant? Do you cut the diaper? You can buy moisture crystals for that purpose that will “cover” multiple pots for less than $7.
    • Cha4153363 Cha4153363 on Jul 24, 2018

      The crystals you can buy and the diaper stuff are basically the same except they are different sizes. The smaller the size the larger the surface area the faster it absorbs and releases water. And vice versa. The diaper crystals are tiny and so work super fast. But they also release it fast. Necessary in hanging baskets unless you want to use drip irrigation. The larger crystals work fine where there is rain, drip irrigation, a water table, sprinklers, etc that can provide water applications in smaller amounts over longer times. Not as good in hanging and vertical applications.

    • Debra Chappell Bell Debra Chappell Bell on Apr 19, 2019

      The plastic diaper cover also keeps the water from running through when watering and forms a barrier to keep the water in the pot.

  • Barb Barb on Jun 23, 2018

    Where is burlap sold?

    • Katz215 Katz215 on Jul 20, 2018

      Try Hobby Lobby or a fabric or craft store.

    • Cha4153363 Cha4153363 on Jul 24, 2018

      Walmart, Joann, Michael, about anywhere that sells fabrics or crafts

    • Janice Janice on Apr 19, 2019

      It is sold by the yard at any store that sells fabric. It even comes in various colors.

    • Barb Barb on Apr 19, 2019

      Thanks for the information. I still remember when certain seeds and feeds were so in burlap sacks. For some reason they were called tow sacks. Anyone else remember that name for them? 🐱🐸😌

    • Barbara Keanum-Snow Barbara Keanum-Snow on Apr 26, 2019

      Pretty much anywhere Fabric can be bought

    • Rhonda Rhonda on May 30, 2019

      Rural King has burlap coffee bags for $1.50 where I live. They are about 2' x 4' each side of the bag. Remove the thread that holds the sides together and you get approximately 2' x 8' piece of burlap. It will have printing on the outside but the inside does not

  • Barb Johnson-Giese Barb Johnson-Giese on Apr 19, 2019

    Why not just use the diaper in the coconut liner? It would save time and possibly cost. Just a thought...

    • Skip Foy Skip Foy on Apr 19, 2019

    • CC CC on Apr 19, 2019

      My thought too, so much easier.

    • Sher Sher on Apr 26, 2019

      Great idea! However if you don’t get the water directly on the diaper, you still may have leaks.

    • The Snarky Princess The Snarky Princess on Apr 26, 2019

      I’m with you! If anything plop two diapers in crossing each other. Less chance of the water draining. I personally would only do this with flowers not vegetables though.

    • Sharon K Coker Sharon K Coker on Apr 30, 2019

      After awhile they will mold

    • Carey Carey on May 17, 2019

      That was my frustration with the coconut liners as well, so I have avoided using them. Then I thought, why not put the plastic that they sell to put your flower pot on to protect surfaces. It works like a charm. My plants are not dripping all over the place, the water stays in the pot long enough to actually moisten the soil and my flowers are very happy so I am too!

    • Rhonda Rhonda on May 30, 2019

      The cost is in the coconut liner.

    • Debby Whiteside Debby Whiteside on Jun 01, 2019

      Same for the burlap

    • Patty Patty on Jan 08, 2021

      Use an adult diaper. Thrift store sometimes have donated packages.

  • Kate Kate on Apr 19, 2019

    Why not line with plastic inside the burlap?

    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Apr 25, 2019

      I cut the corner out of a large black trash bag and line the planter with that, then put the coconut mat on top of the bag liner. I cut a couple of little slits in the bag liner so there will still be some drainage. Works great for me!

    • Diana Wassom Diana Wassom on Apr 26, 2019

      So the black plastic bag is on the bottom and is what you see in the basket?

      Her problem is with the drainage onto her steps. Having the reservoir material holds the possible drainage so it is reabsorbed.

    • Linda Linda on May 18, 2019

      I like the idea and I believe Julien likes the idea of making her own creation--which is what Hometalk is all about, right?

    • Tawny Kennedy Bohannon Tawny Kennedy Bohannon on Feb 03, 2021

      I reuse the coconut liner then tare up a black commercial garbage bag ( thicker and bigger ) I can get 6 to 8 hanging pots out of one 55 gallon bag or more , then I go to dollar stores or dollar trees and buy a lot of dish sponges for cheap and put two small ones on top of your garbage bag then fill with dirt . Never tots and can wash it out and reuse it ! Sponges are my hero’s ! They absorb a lot of water ! If you do not have a shop vac and have to replace you toilet and have drained all the water out you can , just throw sponges in it and no mess .

    • Leslie Leslie on Jun 14, 2021

      Kate I do that. I put the coconut liner in then line the coconut fiber with a piece of heavy duty garbage bag. I do not cut until the soil and plants are in then I trim. I am wondering though how long the diaper lasts I would think that the gel inside will eventually have no more room for water and drip OR does the water the diaper holds wick back into the soil?


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2 of 50 comments
  • Dianne Cox Ballinger Dianne Cox Ballinger on May 16, 2019

    I've been doing this for some time. I buy a small pkg. of cheap diapers, cut down the sides and remove the plastic liner, lay the insides in the planter on your coconut or burlap. This will soak up the extra water and wick it back into the soil as it dries. Less frequent


  • Julie Julie on Jun 14, 2021

    I used a diaper once and it took up so much room in the planter that ther wasn't enough room for the soil. So if you use it remove the insides and mix in with the soil. I also used a old drop cloth for painting. It works great for keeping the water in.