Here’s an attractive idea to keep your water-loving plants healthy –and recycle old wine bottle at the same time: DIY self-watering planters.
Instead of throwing away that used wine bottle, why not put it to good use? These self-watering planters made using recycled wine bottles provide an attractive method to keep your moisture-loving plants happy and healthy.
DIY: Self-watering Planters From a Wine Bottle
- beer bottles, wine bottles or plastic bottles if you don’t want to mess with cutting the glass. (Tip: The glass bottles make beautiful windowsill planters and they are more durable than plastic)
- rubber stopper
- square piece of window screen (about 2″ x 2″)
- piece of string and stopper
- potting soil
- herbs or plants of your choice
The first step is to cut the bottle. There are many tutorials online showing different ways to cut glass bottles, but the one that seems to be the easiest uses acetone, string, fire and cold water. Here is a video to demonstrate this method:
What You'll Need:
- One wine bottle
- One 1/2″ male copper adapter
- One 1/2″ female copper adapter
- One piece of 1/2″ copper tubing (about 24″ long)
- Permanent marker
- Black electrical tape
- ½ x .520 Teflon tape (Plumbing Dept.)
- # 67 O-Ring (13/16“ Outside Diameter x 11/16” x 1/16”
- Clear waterproof silicone sealant
- Measuring tape
- Hacksaw, Small Vise, Small Flat Metal File, Adjustable Wrench
- Bamboo stake
How to Do It
Mark a line with a permanent marker to saw the copper tubing with a hacksaw. Secure the copper tubing in a vise so that you can make a clean cut. If you have a large vise, be careful not to squeeze too hard and bend the pipe out of shape. Cut the pipe to 24” length with a hacksaw.
Wine bottle necks vary in length, usually 3-4”. You want the end of the pipe inside the bottle to just reach the bottom of the neck.
With a small flat metal file remove any sharp burrs from the cut edges of the pipes so that they can be smoothly inserted into the adapters.
Insert the longer piece of copper tube into the ‘male’ copper adapter and secure the tube with the electrical tape, wrapping it 1 and ½ times around before cutting.
Wrap the threads of the male adapter with the Teflon tape, stretching the tape slightly so that it fills in the threads as shown. Overlap the tape slightly and cut with scissors.
Insert the shorter copper tube into the female adapter, secure it with electrical tape, 1 & ½ times around the tube. Then connect the two pieces of tubing. You should be able to see where the electrical tape sits on each section of the adapters.
Clamp the male adapter into the vise and screw the adapters together, tightening the female adapter with the wrench. No need to use a lot of force, just get them snug.
Slip one of the O-Rings over the short end of the tube so that it seats up against the tapered shoulder of the female adapter. This will help seal the bottle and prevent it from dripping once it’s filled with water.
Place the short section of the copper tube into the wine bottle. It should fit snugly.
Place the bottle upright, O-Ring is at top of bottle opening. Don’t force it inside the bottle. Using waterproof silicone sealant, draw a bead of sealant around the tube/adapter joint, set the bottle aside.
Fill the bottle with water (remove copper funnel first). Before placing the bottle into the container garden, poke a hole in the soil with a bamboo stake (or similar) to mark placement. Insert at angle.
Watch this video to guide you through the steps and make self-watering planters in no time!
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