Something I really wanted for the patio this season was to bring in more plants and greenery. While I had been working on the landscaping in the adjacent bed for a bit, the patio itself needed a splash of life. I remembered seeing a product called Woolly Pocket some time ago. It is a really neat product made from recycled plastic bottles that is meant to be hung on the wall and used as a planter. They come in several different sizes ranging in price from $18 for a mini to $150 for on that is 112″ and five pockets long. You can even buy an irrigation system for it. Unfortunately, for the scale that I wanted, they just were not in the budget. I decided to get resourceful and figure out how I could make something similar for I price I could handle.
* Just a few things to note. The instructions below are for a 24″ wide planter. If you want to make anything much wider than that you are going to need to include support straps along the middle with additional grommets to hold it up. Also, the planter that I created is NOT waterproof. While the plastic sheeting will help prevent trapping moisture against the wall the planters themselves will leak. These instructions are for a planter that is for outside use only and only on surfaces and in areas that can get wet. If you want something you can use indoors I recommend just buying the real deal.
Tools & Materials
- Polyester Felt
- 6 mil Plastic Sheeting
- Heavy Duty Polyester Thread (upholstery thread is great for this)
- 2 Extra Large Grommets with Required Tools
- Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needles or Leather Needles
After a bit of research online, looking at how other people have made similar ones, and pricing out materials I came up with a plan. It turns out that Jo-Ann Fabrics sells a felt made from recycled plastic bottles that I am guessing is similar to what Woolly Pocket uses. It is also only $5.99 a yard and comes in tons of different colors. I decided to just keep it simple and went with black. The Woolly Pocket also has a military grade moisture barrier that protects your wall from moisture. I didn’t have access to that kind of material and decided instead to use 6 mil plastic sheeting. Another consideration was what kind of thread to use. Since it will be outside and exposed to moisture it is important to use something heavy duty and resistant to mold and rotting. I found a 100% polyester upholstery thread at Jo-Ann’s that fit the bill. One last thing you will want to be sure to have is several nice heavy-duty needles for your sewing machine. Even with the heavy-duty needles I had a couple of them bend and break on me through the course of this project.
The first step in the process is to cut out the piece of felt and the piece of plastic sheeting that you will be using. The felt will need to be 32″ long by about 4 inches wider than what you want the finished planter to be. I made my planter 24″ wide so I started with a piece of felt 28″ wide and 32″ long. The plastic will need to be 25″ long by 3 inches longer than the finished planter. I started with a piece of plastic 25″ long and 27″ wide.
Lay the plastic sheeting so that the top edge is about 2″ below the top of the felt and is centered with about half an inch on either side.
Fold the bottom half of the felt up over the plastic sheeting so that their top edges meet.
Fold the top section of felt over the felt and plastic sheeting below it and pin in place. Stitch the folded over felt in place about 1/2″ from the bottom edge.
Once the top fold-over has been stitched in place cut out a 2″ wide by 9″ long section from the either side starting at the bottom.
After cutting the 2″ x 9″ strips from both sides fold the bottom edge of the assembly up so it is 5″ below the top edge. This will form the actual pocket. Pin in place on either side and in the middle. Mark on both bottom corners a 45 degree line that starts and ends 3″ along each edge from the corner. Mark another line 5″ along each edge from the corner. Cut along the 3″ marked line.
Folding along the 5″ marked line turn the corner into the pocket. Repeat on the other side.
Fold the side of the assembly over the edge on the top and pin in place. Trim off any unevenness along the edge. Repeat on the other side.
Stitch the folded over piece in place along both edges. Extend the stitching along the outside edge down the length of the folded under corner. Repeat on the other side.
Install a large grommet at each corner along the top edge according to the makers instructions. Your planter is now ready to fill with dirt and plants and hang on the wall!