Friday, 10 February 2012

Recycle Metal Cans into Hanging Flower Baskets

Do not waste your empty metal cans. Transform them into flower baskets with the tutorial of Craft stylish.

All you need to get started are clean, empty metal cans, some potting soil, galvanized wire, and trailing plants of your choice. I added a few beads to each wire for fun, but the possibilities for embellishing these are endless—my husband liked the look of the plain metal cans, so we kept the outsides simple, but you could also paint them or add rows of sturdy lace or ribbon, glued-down cabochons, stripes of beads on elastic or wire, or anything else that catches your eye.

What you'll need:
  • Large, empty metal cans
  • Drill or hammer and nail to make holes (I used both)
  • 20-gauge galvanized wire
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Beads or other embellishments (optional)
  • Pebbles and potting soil
  • Trailing plants (I used ivy geranium starts in three shades of pink, but petunias, begonias, spider plants, or others you like could be lovely)
1. Use a drill or hammer a nail to make several small holes in the bottom of each can. Make holes spaced all around the bottom of the can.

2. Next, drill three holes near the upper rim of the can, spaced evenly around the perimeter, where you'll attach the wires to hang your planter.
The holes I drilled were about an inch below the rim.

3. Cut a generous length of wire (mine was about 2 feet long), slip it through the first hole you drilled in step 2, and form a wrapped loop, clipping off the end after you've coiled it three times. (If you'd like a wrapped loop 101, I have a short video showing how I make them here.) Repeat with the other two holes so that you have three wire tails to form a hanger later on. Wrap your wire three times or so before cutting the tail off.

4. If you'd like, slip a few durable beads you like onto each wire strand. I alternated clear and pink on each one. I used cheerful acrylic beads that won't mind rain or dirt at all.

5. Now add a thin layer of pebbles for good drainage at the bottom of the can. The pebbles should just cover the bottom of the can but don't have to be thickly layered.

6. Add potting soil over the pebbles, leaving space at the top for your plants. Now that your hanging basket has some weight to it, hold the three wires tautly above the can so that they hang evenly. Choose about how long you'd like the wire section to be, and make a large loop with all three wires there. Form a simple loop with all three strands of wire, large enough to slip easily over a hook or peg.

7. Using your fingers or a set of pliers, wrap the three wire tails around to form a coil below this large loop. Wrap them two or three times total, and clip the ends neatly once they're secured. Wrapping the coil at least two or three times with all three strands makes a strong bond.

8. Add your plants in the configuration you like! I mixed three different colors of ivy geranium starts I got for 50¢ each so that they peeked through each space between the wires and the beads caught the light. These ivy geraniums will continue trailing downward and to the sides to fill the hanging planter!

9. Make as many as you'd like, and hang your new planters on hooks or pegs along a fence or patio!

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