Sunday, April 14, 2013

DIY Windowsill Planter

This week, I came across urban planters at The Sill, courtesy of Birchbox. Since I don't have $90 (guesstimating shipping here) to burn on little succulents, I decided to take a more hands-on approach.

Step One: Purchase houseplants from Home Depot.

Cost: $4.26 per plant

Step Two: Assemble household supplies, i.e. clean gelato container, waiter corkscrew, old cardboard, and Leatherman knife. Purchase craft paint from Hobby Lobby.

Cost: $3.50 per can of spray paint

Step Three: Use corkscrew to poke drainage holes in the bottom of the gelato container. (This is the true advantage of this process, as commercial planters often have only the one, large hole at the bottom.)

Step Four: Use file from Leatherman knife (or any metal file or sandpaper) to scratch up the side of the container. This will help the paint to adhere to the plastic.

Step Five: Spray paint onto the container. I sprayed down half of the container first. Then I stuck my hand in the paint-free interior and rotated it so that I could tackle the other half. Folding back the cardboard makes the process much less messy; I was able to keep the paint from just about anywhere it wasn't supposed to go, though a little did get on one of my hands. I was able to peel it off my skin later in the day.

Step Six: Allow container to dry for 30 minutes. Flip it upside down by gripping the now-dry sides to allow the bottom edge to dry. Repeat process with lid (unless you want to keep it brown).

Step Seven: Transfer the plant to the new planter. Turn lid upside down to use as a draining pan. Enjoy!

Final Cost Breakdown:
Commercial cost: ~$30/plant DIY cost: ~$8/plant
Total savings: ~$22/plant

To increase cost savings, you can use leftover house or acrylic paint. Technically, the project costs another $4.80 for the pint of Talenti gelato, but I didn't include that since the container is normally considered a recyclable waste product.

And there you have it. Not exactly the same as the products on The Sill, but still colorful and happy. For the money that I saved, I can't exactly complain! I still have two more plants and some more empty gelato containers, so I'm planning to repeat the process in other colors later in the week.


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