DIY Project: Self-watering Planters from Reused Materials
Are you ready for spring? Jump start the season with this do-it-yourself gardening idea. This project uses reused soda bottles and household materials to create beautiful, self-watering planters. They are economical, decorative, eco-friendly, and fun to make! Use them to grow herbs, display ornamental houseplants, or beautify your patio. The self-watering system allows you to tend to them less frequently, and eliminates the need for a tray to catch drainage. What could be easier?
“Finished Planters”—Decorated planters with herb starts hang in the window.
- 2 liter soda bottle
- Strong tape (e.g., duct tape or packing tape)
- Paper towel
- Elmer’s glue
- Potting soil
- Seeds or small plants
- OPTIONAL: Decorating material (e.g., paint, tape, glitter, stickers, etc.)
- OPTIONAL: Chain or string to hang your planter
“Planters under construction”—The lower area contains the water reservoir, while the upper area houses the plant.
- Thoroughly clean your soda bottle. Scrape off label, allow to air dry.
- Draw a line around the circumference of the bottle, about 5 inches from the bottom.
- Cut along line to remove the top of the bottle. The top of the bottle is your planting pot; the bottom will be the water reservoir.
- Make a thin line of glue along the inner edge of the top of the water reservoir. Invert the top of the bottle and place inside the reservoir. Secure the two pieces from the outside with tape.
- OPTIONAL: At this point, you may want to decorate the outside of your planter. See our examples for ideas!
- OPTIONAL: To hang your planter, puncture a hole on each side, about half an inch from the top. Attach chain or string to the openings.
- Feed the end of your paper towel into your planter so it passes through the mouth of the bottle and touches the bottom of the reservoir. Spread out the upper end of the towel so that it lines the planting pot. This is the wick that draws water from the reservoir.
- Plant seeds or seedlings in the top of your planter.
- Water your plants when the reservoir is low and/or the soil feels dry.
“Decorated Planters”—These planters have been decorated using paint, tape, and collage.