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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Strawberry Jar" from a re-purposed plastic jug

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 I've been looking for another Strawberry Jar, but don't care for the high price tag. I thought  "You know, I bet I can make one out of stuff I have at home."
So, I did, and I don't think it turned out too badly.
The plastic is all re-purposed and the only other materials I needed were some small screws, caulk (both of which I had on hand) and paint (which was on sale).

Large plastic jug
Plastic bottles or cups if that's what you have available
1/2" screws
Paintable caulk
Paint for plastic

Tape measure
Heat gun or hair dryer
Kitchen shears
File/Rasp combination
Drill and 1/2" drill bit
Caulking gun
Clamps Blocks of wood
Scraps of wood for wedges
Miter saw
How I made it:

The first picture is the type of jug I used.
Remove the handle by cutting one end of the pin that holds it in. Use the handles for some other project. I made a handbag with mine. Use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the labels to remove them.

Turn the jug upside down and cut out a rectangle, leaving an edge all around. Mine had a raise edge, so I just followed the crease.

Mark off where you want your holes placed on the jug, measured according to the size plastic bottle/cup you have. I made sure mine were staggered all around, so all four sides are different.

Cut the holes out on the sides and top only, using a SoniCrafter or whatever you have that will cut this tough plastic. Then cut off the top 2/3 , leaving the bottom 1/3 to attach your bottle/cup to.
At this point, I scored along the bottom, so the flap could be bent inward.

This is the type of plastic bottle I used.

 Use the miter saw to cut off the top of the bottle. (If you are using plastic cups, you can skip this step).

Clamp boards to the miter saw to make a jig to cut the bottles in half top to bottom.

This is what you'll end up with.
Finish cutting the rest of the way with a kitchen shears.

 This what you'll have at this point.

Use a file/rasp to take off the splinters left behind from cutting. They don't have to be totally smooth.

Set your half bottles/cups in the holes of the planter.  The top of the "pot" should be just a little above the top of the hole, just so it doesn't slip inside. Cut of any excess bottle/cup.
Drill a hole a little smaller than your screw through each bottle/cup half  bottom and the flap on each hole. Screw each cup to each flap.

 Measure the space between the top of the holes to the bottom of the "pots" and cut a scrap piece of board to fit in and use as a wedge to keep the pots up against the planter.

Caulk around the outside edges of each "pot", sides and bottom.  Caulk on the sides of each "pot" on the inside. This is what you'll have, minus the peanut butter which I used to get most of the residue from the labels off.

After this has dried, you'll probably need to check it over and recaulk any areas you missed.
Let cure for time advised and drill drainage holes in the bottom of the planter.
Sand it just to roughen it up a bit and wipe it down. You are now ready to paint.

Here is my finished "Strawberry Pot" in my makeshift painting booth. If you're not fussy, you could use it like this, but I wanted a more finished look.
Paint with a spray paint made for plastic. I used Rustoleum Universal in a brown hammered finish. I thought this would look the most planter like.

So, here is the finished planter.

And here it is all planted. I'm sure it will look much nicer once the plants are established. 


  1. Looks good. Maybe grandma can make one her oldest grandaughter if she has time & extra supplies. She would love to grow starberries.

  2. Maybe Grandpa's got to get me more calcium bottles. I need 3 more and a spare for when I make mistakes. Any particular color?

  3. Very clever and it will look gorgeous once the plants fill in. Strawberries, woohoo!

  4. wow, that is so so great!! what a cool idea!! i'm getting a house in july so i'm looking for some planter ideas and this one just might be perfect!

  5. NICE! A very cool garden out of utilitarian items.

  6. Wow - that is an amazing project! And so clever and smart.

    Thanks so much for linking up to The CSI Project's hardware Store Challenge! We hope you will come back next week for the Martha Stewart-inspired challenge -- The MS Craft Department are our guest judges!!!



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