So today’s craft project wasn’t really intended for the blog (it was more of an experiment) but I took some step by step photos just in case it turned out ok. I’ve been wanting to make another hanging planter for ages and had thought about trying my hand at macrame but I got all over ambitious and decided to make my own planter instead.
I’ve been wanting to try out air dry clay since I saw this project a few years ago so I suppose this was my inspiration along with my love of a hanging planter (see my other planters here and here).
Anyhoo, I learnt a lot from this first project and although the planter did turn out ok, there are things I could improve next time – I’ll tell you about them as I go along. These are brilliant to make to brighten a corner, for herbs in the kitchen or even for lovely homemade gifts (Christmas gifts – yup, I said it).
You will need:
FYI, I have no ‘proper’ equipment i.e. moulding knife.
– Air dry clay (I used about 500g for my pot, which is £2’s worth)
– Rolling pin
– Template (I used a plant pot)
– Protection for the surface you work on (parchment paper worked well)
– Bowl of water
– Kebab stick
– Sand paper
– Paint ( I used white gloss spray paint but you can use any paint you have at home or just a small sample pot), decorator’s tape, cardboard box – if decorating
Step by step
Step 1 – Roll out all of your clay evenly to about 70mm thickness. Cut out a disc for the bottom of the planter using a template. I had a plant in mind for my planter so I used the top of its pot as a template, which measured 9cm in diameter.
Step 2 – Cut out a rectangular collar, which will form the sides of the pot. Mine measured 9 x 27cm. Make sure there is o.5cm overlap where the collar will join together.
Step 3 – Using your hands roll out a ‘snake’ of clay the same length as your collar and about 70mm thick.
Step 4 – Place the disc on a flat surface and wrap your collar around it (don’t place it on top of the disc).
Step 5 – Using your fingers smooth the collar together and use some water to make it stick.
Step 6 – Place the ‘snake’ of clay around the inside of the pot where the disc and collar meet.
Step 7 – Using your fingers and water (you’ll need to have short nails – this is where better crafters than I would use a moulding knife) smooth the ‘snake’ into the join. At this point the sharp, crisp lines of my pot quickly disappeared as I had to manhandle it so much – hence the need for a proper moulding knife. I should have trimmed the top of my pot at this point as they became a bit wonky, but I’ll know for next time.
Step 8 – Stick a kebab stick, or anything similar, through the four sides of the planter to create holes for the cords that it will hang from. Wiggle the stick around so that the hole is big enough for your cord.
Leave your pot to dry for 2-3 days. There really is no point rushing this stage if you want it to last.
You can leave your pot undecorated or you can varnish it, which is advised if it is going to come into contact with water. I decided to spray paint mine with some white gloss paint that I bought for another project. I have so many beautiful half glazed pots, cups and vases so I decided to try to achieve anywhere close to that look. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out actually, although it is pretty difficult to see in theses pics – I really like the idea of using a pastel blue, pink, green or grey, too.
Step 9 – Lightly sand your pot once it is dry to remove any bumpy edges. If you want to try the half glazed look use decorator’s tape to cover the bottom half of the bottom.
Step 10 – Place your pot in a cardboard box, if you are using spray paint, and take it outside to spray. Do many thin layers, allowing each one to dry before starting another.
Step 11 – Cut four pieces of cord of equal length.
Step 12 – Thread the cord through the holes and tie a knot on the inside of the pot. If you have difficulty getting your cord through the holes burn the ends of the cord so that it melts hard and won’t fray as you thread it. Tie all four lengths of cord into a knot at the top.
If you look really closely you can see the half glaze effect – it looks great in real life, trust me!
I decided to hang mine on my pegboard to brighten up my workspace.
I like this air dry clay game…I’m thinking Christmas could become air dry clay filled 😉
P.S. If you would LOVE your own hanging planter without getting crafty I can help with that, too. Check out these beauties from my shop…