Saturday, 10 December 2016

Hanging bowls for plants...

It is safe to say that we like plants, in fact of the nine windowsills we have in the house only one of them doesn't haven't any type of plant on it, and that's because it's full of books instead.

My wife has been collecting cacti and succulents for a year or two, and we've always had house plants of various sorts, but the cacti have kind of taken over, so much so that I've been making hanging bowls for them to live in.

Like this -

This was the first one I made.
This one was kind of an experiment mainly to see how I might go about constructing such a thing, it works well and can hold about three small pots (three 7cm pots) it also has a plastic drip tray in it to catch any extra water and protect the wood.

I have since been making smaller ones for single plants, the big one was made using small lengths of cls timber glued together and turned into a bowl, the cost of the wood was about £3.90, the smaller ones are made from Leylandi logs.

This is how the large one started out - 

Lots of glue needed.

Basically once the glue had set I roughly turned the larger and small blocks and then stuck those together, and then turned the final shape.

During turning - 

I applied some stain while it was still on the lathe.

As I've used a similar method to make the large bowl and the smaller ones from here on the pictures are of the smaller ones (because I forgot to take pictures of the larger one being made) the smaller ones were easier to make as I didn't have to glue blocks of wood together.

So once I'd hollowed the log I tested to make sure a small drip tray would fit into it, you could use a polyurethane type varnish or water proofer on the inside to protect the wood, but I just went with a drip tray, it's simple and it works

Checking the drip tray fits - 

It fits.

Next thing is to make the holes for the string (you could use chain of some kind) so you can hang the bowl, to do this I used three small clamps placed around the bowl roughly the same distance apart, I placed the clamps on a pencil line I'd made that was about half an inch down from the edge of the bowl.

Like so - 

Roughly the same space between each clamp.

Drilling points marked - 

Next up some drilling.

I've used small eyelets in each hole for decoration, and to make sure I drilled the right sized hole to make the eyelets fit tightly into the wood I used a small forstner bit.

Eyelets and forstner bit - 

It's just about the right size for the eyelets.

Holes drilled - 

Now to finish the bowl.

Once I'd drilled the holes I gave the bowl a sand to get rid of the pencil marks and then flipped it round so that I could shape the bottom, I fitted the eyelets once I've sanded and waxed the bowl.

Bowl done - 

I'm calling it 'Rustic finishing'

I haven't finished the bowl as finely as I would normally as I wanted a slightly rougher look, I used a clear wax on the smaller bowls, but there's no reason you couldn't stain them, use a wood dye, or even if you're feeling adventurous add a different type of wood for the shaped part for a two tone effect.

To get the bowl to hang I've used braided jute string, again keeping with the slightly rustic look, but you can get some nice decorative chain from a lot of diy shops and I'm thinking that I may use chain of some kind on the next one I make.

Once I'd braided the string I tied each piece to a small brass curtain ring - 

Perfect for a hook or a nail.

I tied small knots in the other ends of the string and then threaded each one through the eyelets I'd fitted to the bowl, and used a small piece of garden wire to make sure the string doesn't pull out.

Like this - 

A simple solution.

And there you have it, one hanging bowl ready for a plant - 

The first of many I feel.

Plants that have a tendency to hang are better suited to these types of bowl, but there's no reason why you can't put any other type of plant in one, I have made three of the smaller bowls so far and my wife really likes them so much so that I plan to make a few more, and maybe a couple of the larger ones.

They do look good with plants in - 

I'll have to make one for the monkey tail in the plastic pot.

If you don't have access to a lathe why not convert a wooden bowl of some kind, whilst I was researching hanging bowls I found a few tutorials where people had converted wooden bowls into hanging bowls for plants, all you need is a drill and some string.

Thanks for reading.


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