The following 101, on making your own hanging record planter, comes from Farm Aid’s ace program assistant and frequent HOMEGROWN contributor, Toni Tiemann. (Check out her Etched Glasses 101 and her list of six things you might not be composting—but could.) Thanks so much, Toni, and please keep the good ideas turning!
Coming off of a recent baking binge, I dove into a crafting and planting frenzy. I have all sorts of plants in my house right now (gutter garden 101 coming soon!) and about a million unfinished crafts I’m working on. So, when someone told me it was possible to make bowls out of vinyl records, I had to give it a try.
The whole project took only about ten minutes and cost about a buck, using old records from thrift stores. But what to do with my finished bowls? I considered sealing the hole in the bottom (where the spindle would go) with polyurethane and using the records as food bowls, which you could do by following the first four steps of this 101.
But then one of my friends made an offhand joke that, given my spring gardening craze, I should put a plant in it—and voilà! The hanging vinyl planter was hatched! Here’s how to make your own.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
» Vinyl records (one for every hanging planter you want to make)
» Can of food
» Baking sheet
» Large bowl that can withstand heat (I used Pyrex, which worked fine.)
» Medium-sized bowl (This is your mold; your finished planter will be slightly larger.)
» 3 S-hooks for each hanging planter
» String, rope, or chain (I used twine and really like the look!)
» 1 eyehook for each hanging planter
» Power drill
» Soil and seeds or transplantable potted plant
WHAT TO DO
1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.
2. Place the large bowl right-side-up on top of the baking sheet. Put a record on top of the bowl, aligning the center of the record with the center of the bowl. Center the canned good on top of the record then put the whole thing in the oven.
3. Remove the record as soon as it starts to drop into the bowl. This happens fast—maybe five minutes, max—so you’ll want to check its progress after the first couple of minutes.
4. Remove your tower from the oven and let it cool a smidge. Wearing gloves to protect yourself from the heat, mold the record around the outside of the medium-sized bowl into whatever shape you want. It’s easier than it sounds! Once it looks nice, set your planter aside to cool.
5. When the record is completely cooled, use the drill to create three holes near the top edge of the record, equidistant from one another. If you drill too close to the edge of the record it will crack, but you need the hole close enough to the rim to fit in the S-hook. About half an inch from the rim is ideal.
6. I hung my planters just inside my living room windows, but they would work outside, as well. (Keep in mind that these planters weigh less than clay pots, especially before you add plants and dirt, so if you hang them outside, pick a spot somewhat protected from the wind.) Screw in the eyehook wherever you want to hang the planter.
7. Measure the string or chain to the length you want the planter to hang then cut three pieces each to that length.
8. Cut a small piece of sponge and stuff it into the hole in the center of the record. If the planter is hanging inside, you want this to be a tight fit so it doesn’t leak soil or water.
9. Put the soil and seeds (or potted plant, as I used) into the planter.
10. Attach one end of each string or chain to an S-hook and tie the other ends together into a loop. Hang from the eyehook.
11. Nourish with sunshine, water, and love. Enjoy!
Got a question for Toni or another DIY project involving upcycled records? Post it below and keep the conversation rolling! You might also be interested in 101s on making your own wind chimes from wine bottles, tote bags from t-shirts, and tabletop fire bowls—and don't miss Toni's 101 on etched drinking glasses. You can always find more things to make, craft, cook, preserve, plant, grow, and drill in the HOMEGROWN 101 Library.
PHOTOS: TONI TIEMANN