What can I reuse/recycle to make hanging baskets/wall planters?

We’ve got more patio than decent bed space in our garden at the moment so we’re going for lots of pots this year while we get the beds properly sorted out.

I thought it might be nice to have some herbs in hanging baskets and/or (semi-circular) wall planters too – but then saw the price of the wall planters — cor lumme, kerching! kerching! There are some cheaper rattan ones (which fall apart after a couple of years) and some formed plastic ones (ugh) but aside from those, decent sized ones are bordering on cost-prohibitive when buying more than one or two. (Am I looking in the wrong places? I’ve looked everywhere from cheap hardware chain to garden centres – wire frame hanging baskets are pretty cheap but I can’t find the comparative ones for wall planters, even though I’m sure I’ve seen them in the past.)

Anyway, I’m on the look out for people getting rid of old ones locally but as usual, I wondered how I could go about making some of my own out of scrap wire, wood, metal or other “waste” items (or adapt existing tubs/containers, such as plastic food buckets or clay/terracotta plant pots).

Anyone given it a go in previous years? Any hints/tips? Would it be easier to make plant pot holders/shelves than wall planters? Any ideas or suggestions would be great!

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10 Responses to “What can I reuse/recycle to make hanging baskets/wall planters?”

  1. Alice says:

    OK they do get thrown out a fair bit and it’s easier to repair old ones than make new ones, so keep yer eyes peeled – actually most of the ones I’ve found weren’t even broken…

    Then there’s this kind of thing http://www.tucsongardener.com/Year03/Spring2003/springphotos/plantedbags.JPG probably best done with cloth (e.g. a pillowcase?) ‘cos most plastic will go brittle and break in less than one season outside.

    Shelves sound like a good idea, and would be versitile too (somewhere to rest a gin & tonic is useful in the garden, I always find…) but best make sure they’re really strong as pots are heavy when full of wet soil, and cats are quite heavy too.

    Climbing beans and other nice things could be trained up walls with wires stretched across them like this http://www.s3i.co.uk/image/Balcony%20Green%20Wall.jpg

    And then there’s these types of wall pot holders http://www.selections.com/images/products/picture1zoom/GF971.jpg which work well, and which you might possibly be able to make yourself somehow? Let me know if you work out how!

  2. Oraxia says:

    Apparently you can do this with tin cans, like so: http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2008/06/tin_can_wall_garden.html

    Also, like this: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/46760/recycle-metal-cans-into-hanging-flower-baskets-for-a-spring-party

    Chances are you have some cans around that might work, or like the person from the first link, you could ask at restaurants where they go through multiple large industrial-sized cans per day.

  3. BrendaSue says:

    I have seen people take the hanger part of clothes hangers (the part that hooks onto the bar in your closet) and make coat hangers out of it, perhaps there is a way of using them for the hook part of a plant hanger as well?

    For the metal baskets, it would be easy enough to get some copper wiring and make your own. I don’t know where you would get this in the UK, but there are lots of scrap metal recycling companies in the States that get stuff like that sent to them all the time. A few friends of mine just got some this past year and made an arbor with it for their wedding.

  4. Esther says:

    Old collanders will do nicely. Some stainless steel ones have nice flower patterned holes. You can get them at flea markets and such. They come in all sizes, and you can make a nice composition.
    Hats from past Halloween/carnival costumes are an original touch. Just make sure you provide proper drainage if the hats are fabric covered plastic.
    Old Easter baskets will provide a nice springy feel until your plants grow and cover them.

    • louisa says:

      Colanders – fab idea!

      Another idea I had which I forgot to mention on here – old shower caddies/shelves. I’m on the lookout for one to paint in a pretty retro enamel colour to match some plant pots I’ve got – then I’ll be able to have a multi-layer herb display in our porch.

  5. handyhelper says:

    im not sure i reuse my baskets every year but i do know that the stuff that comes with the baskets when you first get them i use in the fall to line my plants after ive cut them and stuff so if its frosts early they wont get hurt. then in the spring when i take them off along with any leaves that ive put around them i take them and put them into the compost pile but if you wanted to you can simple reuse them put them up for use later on the next year in a dry area and if they have broken down put a plastic container or better yet some newspaper in the bottoms of them and voila there ya go good as new after there life has left them put them in the compost pile:)

  6. gardenbeet says:

    sometimes paying a bit more can pay off – woolly pockets at garden beet are £35 – but they last, are made from a felted fabric created from recycled plastic bottles, they allow a plant’s root system to breath – so there is no need to repot and they can be used indoors and outdoors – pretty good

  7. Squilly says:

    I have always recycled things in my garden and allotment, for instance my fellas old steelcap work boots planted up with semperverems his old A ladder is brilliant for my President clematis. Old wellies have been planted with sweet peas and are going to smell fab,I would much rather have old things than new much more fun! Up at our allotment we have a corner bath with stawberries, a bath with winter cabbage coming on a treat SKIPS are a alladins cave get looking get REUSING x

  8. june says:


  9. Kathleen says:

    You can still use the ugly formed plastic ones….I just paint them with leftover paint to look like ‘aged’ copper or just ‘chippy paint’ planters. I use piano wire to hang them….almost invisible.

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