I have a real soft spot for odd ball planters. I have converted grocery carts into portable herb gardens, made wedding themed terrariums, glued fake eyelashes onto ceramic turtles and turned birdcages into hanging baskets. You get the point – not a lot of plain terra cotta around these parts.
When I laid eyes on these old greasy fry baskets I knew they would make amazing planters. I must admit that this project was a joint effort. My husband Chris and I collaborated on it. I came up with the idea, secured the baskets and picked out the plants. Chris provided the manual labor. What are husbands good for if not a little manual labor right?
Fry basket (restaurant-style, the kind used for deep frying french fries and hushpuppies)
Measuring tape or ruler
Heavy duty scissors or knife
Small gardening shovel (or just use your hands)
Plants for potting (we used sweet potato vine, begonia and spike dracaena)
Mounting hooks or nails
Drill (and a hammer if using nails)
Most likely the hardest part of this project will be locating the fry baskets. We obtained ours through a former restaurateur who neglected to pay the rent on his storage space. We also scored the cool metal signs also seen in the photos, but I digress…. Like anything else, with enough searching, you can find anything online or at flea markets, etc. Also, the lesson to take away from this is that almost anything can be turned into a planter. Just because you can't find a pair of fry baskets does not mean you could not look around and find something equally kitschy.
You can purchase coconut husk at any home and garden store. It’s used to line your basket so that the dirt and the roots won’t fall out the bottom. Measure your coconut husk to fit both the bottom and sides of the basket. Line the basket with the cut husk.
The type of potting plants you choose is up to you. Our baskets contain a Sweet Potato Vine, a Begonia, and a Spike Dracena. Remember hanging baskets tend to need more watering that your typical container plant. You might consider this when choosing what you are going to plant. We water our baskets daily in the hot Texas heat. After you’ve got the plants where you want them, fill in the spaces between them with dirt. Woila! Your basket is ready for hanging.
Figure out where you want to mount your basket and mark at least 2 places on a horizontal line. Drill starter holes for your hooks and screw them in. If you’d rather use nails, just hammer them in about halfway and then hit them up to simulate a hook. There are many ways you can mount these. After you’ve got your hooks in place, carefully place your basket on the hooks and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
And there you have it. Mounted fry baskets that you can enjoy all year long. If you live in a place that freezes like we do, you'll need to take these down and keep them warm during the winter months. If you take care of them, they should last a long time and will remain as a nice addition to your outdoor scenery.
What is the oddest thing you have ever converted into a planter? I'm always looking for new ideas to add to my collection of ice cream makers, coffee urns and thermoses.
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