One of the things on my agenda this summer is doing craft projects with my kids. My son is a bit too young, but he likes ‘helping’ his 5-year-old sister, who adores making things. While there are tons of projects to be made, I want to keep ours in the realm of practicality: my kids bring home so many art projects and drawings from school that were fun to make, but either end up filed, recycled, or trashed (a refrigerator only has so much room). So our plan for summer is to upcycle things into useful objects.
Plastic Bottle Herb Planters
These make great little windowsill planters or starters for plants.It’s also a great project in that you can work with things you have around the house if you don’t have the exact materials.
Plastic Water Bottle (Make sure the base is larger than the top half)–Use 1 liter for bigger pots
Seeds or seedling
- Remove the label from the bottle. (If any of the sticky remains, apply vegetable oil to remove.) Using the utility knife (grownup job), cut the top of the bottle off, roughly 1/3 of the bottle (inches depend on your bottle size).
- Optional: Allow your child to paint the lower portion of the bottle with waterproof paints or stickers. Or, you can mimic the weaving technique we used, found here. It looks tricky, but it’s actually really easy.
With the bottle cap still in place, put the top of the bottle into the lower part, cap down. Fill the top part of the bottle with soil and plant the seeds or seedling.
- Take the top part of the bottle out of the base and remove the cap. A little dirt may fall out, but most will stay intact. Add an inch or two of water to the base, enough that the mouth of the bottle top is submerged. Replace the top and water the new plant (we use another water bottle with holes punched in the cap to lightly sprinkle our planters).
Write the name of the plant on the Popsicle stick and insert into the side of the planter. (Another idea is to cut strips of plastic milk bottle and use them as label stakes.)
- Place the planter where is can get plenty of sun and check the base regularly for dryness. Water as needed.
Check back Thursdays this summer to see what we’ve been making!