Recycle: convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents

Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Do you know what a huge ragman am I? A gigantic one, it’s phenomenal. I can collect from the recycling or selectively decide not to throw away a bunch thingies, driven by my belief that in the near future I come up with brilliant usage of all of them. The general rule unfolds accordingly: I will collect a piece of "junk" (as my mum enjoys calling them) until I come up with a practical/beautiful usage for them. This rule applies almost every time on everything I find along my way. In this framework, one of my roommates threw away a small white plastic tank as you can imagine I couldn’t resist "saving" it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my succulent pots started reproducing threateningly fast. I made floating hanging pots with the smallest of them, but it wasn’t enough. I had to replant them in bigger pots in groups as briefly as possible, so I could save some precious space. However, the ideal pot, low and wide, was slipping from my vision or from existence in every shop I have been. But then, tadaa, I remembered the tank I collected, which was waiting for me patiently in a corner. The moral of my little story; when life gives you small tanks/containers recycle them into pots for succulents.

Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Supplies: plastic tank/container, old knife with a smooth blade (attention, it can’t be used in the kitchen again), gas stove, marker

Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

1. With a marker draw a line around the container and make sure it is parallel to a flat surface. The height of the line from the tank's bottom depends on how tall you want your -future- pot to be. Open the gas stove and hold the knife’s blade (one without little teeth) on the fire until the blade becomes red (caution! do not touch the blade, the burning would be unforgivably painful!). Place the bottle sideways on a hard surface and dip the knife on the line. Keep cutting by holding and turning the tank with one hand and cutting with the other. Make sure to cut by pulling your hand in one direction, no backs and forths. Thus, cutting will be as “clean” as possible, without “eaten” plastic. When knife cools and stops cutting with ease (like cutting warm butter) hold it above fire and repeat with cutting. Don't forget to open holes on the bottom of the tank for good drainage. If you observe any worn parts in the edge of the pot correct them with the knife while it's still hot. If these parts seem still worn, you can paint the edge of the pot (gold? light grey?). I preferred to keep it as it is and I hid some minor worn spots under some rich succulent branches. 

Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

2. Your pot is read. Let's move on planting your cacti/succulents. At the bottom of the pot, over the holes, place some broken ceramics for better drainage. Then mix soil for cacti/succulents with small pebbles in an analogy of 3:1. Pour a thin layer of the mixture in the pot and then align the plants in it. Pick 3-5 plants (for a pot of 20 cm in diameter) since succulents love growing altogether in tight spaces. Be sure to choose plants which have the same watering/light needs so that they can grow collaboratively.

Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION
Convert a small plastic tank into a pot for succulents from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

I will urge you to use recycled materials in your crafts as turning into something practical and aesthetically beautiful is a win-win; for you and the poor environment which is drowning in rubbish. By the way, I love the curves in the bottom of the pot. None of the for-sale pots I was looking at looked so fancy. Tell me, would you make something like that or is it too much trouble for nothing for you? I will be glad to know.

Happy creative adventures! xoxo

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com)

Do you know what comes together with the summer? An  insane consumption of cold beverages: cold water, cold juices, cold coffees and the list goes and goes on. With that said, I was thinking that my new cold buddies might need some fancy coasters to match their awesomeness. The possibilities of making handmade coasters are endless of course, but I wanted something that would look good, but also would smell nicely. Dried citrus create the best winter decorations, especially in conjunction with cinnamon and cloves, but no one thought to use them during spring/summer time, right? Well here we go!

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 2

Supplies: 1 blood orange, crystallic transparent glue (atlakolla the Mod podge), brush, knife, oven

1. I used blood oranges, because I liked their vivid color and their big surface, but feel free to experiment with any kind of citruses. Cut them in as straight slices as possible with thickness of 1,5cm (when they are dried they shrink and you don't want excess shrinkage). They have to be straight, cause even the slightest angle will make them inappropriate for holding mugs with water.

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 3

2. Put the slices in the oven at 50°C for 4 hours to dry without being burned ( and without being cooked). If your oven has the option of warm air that's even better. When they are completely dry, they are ready. Take them off the oven and select the most even ones and if necessary scrape any surface potrusions with a knife.

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 4

3. Then mix a little glue with water (in the ratio of 6:1) and cover the slices with one layer of the mixture. That will make the slices a little more persistent to weights and waterproof. You can let them dry naturally, but I put the, again in the 50°C for another 5 minutes since I was extremely impatient.

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 5

4. This was one of the most quick and easy crafts I have ever made. Maybe the drying might take some time, but the real time of making the coasters is maximum 20 minutes.

How to make coasters from dried blood orange slices (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 6

If you want more crafts inspired by nature, what about these garland with moss balls or this unique necklace made from pistachio shells?

Credits | Text & Photographs: Debbie Kortes

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Recycled lamp fixture made from paper towel rolls & aluminum foil

Recycled lamp fixture made from paper towel rolls & aluminum foil.jpg

 

My kitchen’s lamp fixture was a bare lamp holder for a long time, since I didn’t know what to do with it. You know that I spend so much time in the kitchen preparing delis, so if I was going to have a lamp fixture it would be something that would create  a nice focused light. And also I was collecting kitchen paper towel rolls for a long time with out knowing what I would like to do with them.

Until it hit me, a lamp fixture made by kitchen paper rolls.  Boom!

Recycled lamp fixture made from paper towel rolls & aluminum foil. jpg

Supplies: kitchen paper rolls, aluminum foil, silicone glue gun, atlacoll, brown recycled wrapping paper (or another piece of paper or fabric), jar’s cap, X-acto knife

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1. Cut the kitchen paper roll alongside, with the knife and end up with an open rectangle.

2. At the bottom corner of the rectangular put liquid silicone and glue that corner with the next triangle’s one diagonally. Press it for some seconds and it’s ready.  

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3. Glue 3-4 of them together and test if they can form a closed cone when wrapped around the lampholder. Better the upper cone's hole to be a little larger than the lampholder diameter, than smaller (for me: 4 rolls end up giving a small upper cone’s hole and the 5 gave a larger one, so I went for the 5 ones)

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4. The internal side of the lamp (the one facing towards the lamp) will be covered with aluminum foil. Don't mind if the foil can be showed to the external side, that one will also be covered with paper. Add silicone glue between the gaps and edges of the aluminum foil, so that you have a compact, solid surface.

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5. Place the open cone on a big piece of recycled brown paper (or any other print or fabric) and draw its pattern. Let 2-3cm of excess paper around its perimeter when cutting it. Fold these 2-3cm “ears” inwards, put silicone on them and glue on the external side of the open cone. Add silicone in any big openings and anywhere else needed. Let it dry and then close the cone and keep it fixed like that using a big metal clip. You can do that with glue too, but I love to idea of hanging and unhanging it whenever I feel so. Plus there is 6. below, where you have to open again the cone. So use a clip. 

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6. There is the possibility that when closing the cone, the upper cone's hole won't stuck on the lampholder (eg. like in my situation). If that happens, so the following. Take an old jar’s cap and find its center. Cut a circle around it (big enough for the lamp’s cable to pass through fit) and cut its radius too. Beware of your fingers and do that on a concrete floor, not on wood or tiles please.

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7. Set the cap-holder around the cable and then on that place the cone-lamp fixture. And it's ready.

The foil in the fixture’s inside creates a very beautiful focused light and because of fixture’s structure the upper side of the room remains some tones darker than the lower part of the room. Nice effect, huh?

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Happy crafting and if you want more home diys check my crafts index here.

2 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!