Trash To Treasure: How To Make A Planter from An Old Pair Of BluejeansBy Melody Rose (melody)
April 11, 2008
These cheerful planters are easy to make, and will bring a smile wherever they are hung. Sewing skills are not necessary, and all you will need are a few common materials.
One pair of old blue jeans. Small sizes work best and can be found at a thrift store for a couple of dollars if you don't happen to have something appropriate. Scruffier is better than newer, but we can work around that if all that you can find look ‘nice'
Jute rope, pair of scissors, craft wire, wire cutters, 80 grit sandpaper, two flexible plastic flowerpots, coffee filters, potting mix, assorted transplants, small metal craft ring, and a bandanna will complete the material list.
First cut the legs off of your jeans, leaving enough leg to make nice ‘shorts' and longer than the depth of your plastic pots.
Now, if your jeans do not have a worn look, and you want to give them that ‘lived in' patina, unravel about an inch of the legs. Next, take your sandpaper and wrap it around a piece of broom handle or even PVC pipe. This will give you a hard sandpaper tube that you can use to distress the pockets and edges of your jeans. Note to those with teenage daughters: this process works well to create the look that they pay so much for in department stores too! (at a fraction of the cost)
When you've scuffed and unraveled as much as you like, it's time to It's time to make your planter now. Fit the two flowerpots snugly into the legs of your jeans. You may have to carry the shorts with you when you purchase the pots, to make sure that they fit snugly. The pots need to fit tightly, and the rims need to mash together. The pots that I've used are the two gallon size black nursery pots. They were left over from a shrub purchase, so they were free. They fit perfectly in the size 9 jeans. They fit tight, and give the look of an actual pair of hips in the jeans. A single, regular flowerpot can be used, but it does not give the same effect as the two pots. The area where the "hips" should be just hangs loose when a single pot is used. If you have any of those 1 gallon black nursery pots, use kid's jeans. They make a very cute smaller version of this planter.
Poke a few small holes around the edges of the jeans and through the plastic pots. Wire the pots to the jeans to keep them from becoming unbalanced. Wire the two pots together in several places where they meet in the center. This adds to stability of the planter too. Always trim the loose edges of your wires, and tuck the sharp points in, so that you don't scratch yourself later.
Now it's time to make the hanging straps. Cut three lengths of jute twice as long as the length you want the finished planter to hang. Thread a metal craft ring through the ropes and bring it to the middle of the ropes. Tuck the ends of one rope through the back belt loop, and the ends of the other two ropes through the two front belt loops, and wire them together to attach the hanger to the jeans. If you use the ends of the same piece of rope to thread through the belt loops, the planter will hang straighter when you level it. You can take a length of rope to make a decorative "belt" similar to the one Ellie Mae Clampett wore on the Beverly Hillbillies TV series. Just thread it through all of the belt loops and tie in the front.
The best way to level this planter is to actually hang it up in an area where you can reach it easily. Grasp the six ropes near the top along with a piece around 18" long. Leave a ‘tail' sticking up. You will need this later. Now, make a loop with the short cord, bringing the remaining end up next to the first one. You will then use this piece to wrap down the length of the six cords about three inches. Thread the cord you are wrapping with through the loop at the bottom, and then pull up on the cord at the top. Pull it tight, until the bottom loop is no longer visible. You have now created what is known as a Hangman's Knot. Trim the two tails and your hanging loop is complete.
Put some coffee filters in the bottom to keep the soil from washing out of the drain holes and fill with potting mix. Plant the containers with transplants of your choice. Be creative. This planter will get more than a passing glance from visitors!
Use a hook to hang on a tree branch, or simply loop the ring over a decorative hook.
A colorful bandanna in the pocket completes the ensemble. Don't worry about water getting on this planter, let it rain, and don't be shy with the water hose. It will only add to the worn look to the container.
These unique planters will certainly draw lots of attention in your garden, but as with all organic creations, they have a lifespan. As the season goes on , they will weather and age. Depending upon the condition and quality of the jeans, you may get a couple of seasons out of your planter before it deteriorates beyond repair. The belt loops will go first, but if you are handy with a needle and thread, you can simply tack the loop back in a more sturdy location.
Use various plants to achieve a harmonious look. A softer, more organic feel can be achieved with slightly trailing forms. Violas, petunias, coleus and impatiens all work nicely too. Use you imagination and let your creativity shine. The result is a unique planter that you've made with re-cycled materials!