Home Improvement & Gardening Blog by ManoMano

DIY Indoor Planter – Self Watering

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Looking for the lazy person’s plant pot? This DIY indoor planter is pretty simple to make – no fancy compartments or initial build time, just finish a bottle of wine and you can get started. The self-watering pat works by creating a reservoir at the bottom, and connecting it to the soil via a piece of string. This way, self watering planters can pull up the water they need.

To make your own DIY indoor planter you will need:

Wine bottle
Buckets
Bottle cutter or homemade jig
WD 40 (optional, oil will work too)
Glasspaper or Sandpaper
Twine
Plant
Soil
Drill
Safety glasses

Cost, time and difficulty

This project is pretty simple, and you can substitute the parts including power tools if you wanted to make it even easier. As is, we’d say it takes around half a day, costs around £20 (cheaper if you opt to make the jig yourself) and can be attacked by beginners.

diy indoor planter plant planters self-watering wine bottle easy the handy mano manomano

Step by step instructions for your DIY Indoor Planter:

1. Prepare your wine bottle

Firstly, prepare your bottle and remove the label. We found the best way to do this was some combination of steam, hot water, WD40 and tears. It can be a little frustrating – depending on the type of bottle and sticker. We found cheaper bottles had the easiest to remove stickers, and the more expensive ones were a pain.

WD40 is great for wiping off the residue, and it’s a good idea to make sure this is completely gone. Any dirt or left-over stickiness could stop the blade from running in a straight line. 

2.  Score the line

Grab your bottle cutter, or try your hand at making a homemade jig (we have a step by step for this in our article about a recycled wine bottle lamp). Firstly, mark where you want to score your line on the bottle. We chose about two thirds of the way up – measuring first to see exactly where the neck of the bottle would go down to when the bottle was inverted. You’ll need to also make sure the top is roomy enough for your plant. 

diy indoor planter plant planters self-watering wine bottle easy bottle cutter

Score along this line with your bottle cutter. Note – here you want just to score – you’re not actually cutting your bottle. Resist the urge to press to hard (it’s very difficult, but it might displace the line of the blade). Mark it reasonably lightly, all the way round. You should meet your starting point, having gone in a complete circle.

3. Break the bottle

To break the bottle, submerge it first in boiling, then in freezing water. The more extreme the temperatures, the faster it will break. We tried first to use boiling water and cold water and it took a long time… we wouldn’t recommend it. Use freshly boiled water (you could even keep the pan on the hob – although don’t inset the wine bottle while it’s actually lit) and very icy water. 

diy indoor planter the handy mano mano mano

Sand down your edges using sandpaper or glasspaper. We recommend using safety goggles for this whole process – you can’t really be too careful around glass.

4. Insert the stopper

Take your cork and cut it (this will make it a little easier to fit back in). We cut it lengthways to about half the size, and then drilled a hole through the middle. You can definitely use a hand tool for this, as cork is very soft. 

diy indoor planter thehandymano mano mano

diy indoor planter thehandymano mano mano

Once you have a hole in the middle, thread your string through this. Take your cork, and insert it into the neck of the bottle. You may have to do some (careful) hammering to get it in exactly the right place.

(Alternative easy way out)

If you don’t fancy messing about with the cork or gravel (in the next step), you could also insert some wire netting or a coffee filter just before putting the soil in. This will stop your plant from falling down the neck of the bottle, while also allowing the string to reach the plant.

4. Plant

To assemble, put the top part of your bottle inside the the bottom. Add some smaller rocks or gravel into the neck, and fill the reservoir with water. The string should go from the soil to the water, so do some manoeuvring when potting your plant. 

diy indoor planterr plant planters self-watering wine bottle easy bottle cutter soil

diy indoor planter plant planters self-watering wine bottle easy bottle cutter string

We hope this gives you a use for your recycled wine bottles, and perhaps help prevent a few plant’s death. As ever – if you do make this, or if you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch via our Contact page or our Facebook. Enjoy your new DIY indoor planter! We’re working on a few other planter ideas for you, but, in the meantime why not try these?

How to Build a Pallet Wine Rack

DIY Cat Scratcher

 

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