Video: How to make a Tetra Pak Planter

Hanging tetra pak planter

How can you make a pretty hanging container out of a Tetra Pak? Vertical Veg community member, and founder of Green Squirrel, Rebecca Clark, shows you how – watch the video below and download the pdf instructions here.

Tetra Paks are often seen as a good alternative to plastic but in fact they‘re diffcult to recycle as they‘re made of a mix of materials; Tetra Pak estimate that only 26% of their cartons get recycled globally. If so few Tetra Paks are getting recycled, why not give them a longer life by creating a hanging planter for your garden?

You will need:

  • A well-rinsed Tetra Pak (milk or juice cartons work best)
  • A cutting mat or some thick cardboard
  • A craft knife and a pair of scissors
  • A pen or pencil
  • String
  • Some peat-free compost
  • A small plant or some seeds – Lobelia and nasturiums work great

1. Place the Tetra Pak on the cutting mat and use the craft knife to make three X shapes in the bottom. Take your pencil and push it into the X shapes to create three small drainage holes.

2. Use your pencil to draw two large arch shapes on either side of your Tetra Pak, starting around 3 – 4 inches from the bottom as you want to leave enough space for your compost. Leave about 1cm at the side of each arch.

3. If you want to allow more light to your plant then you can draw on two smaller arch shapes on the remaining sides. Again, make sure that you leave 1 – 2cm gaps at the sides so that your planter doesn‘t become too weak.

4. Carefully cut out the shapes with the craft knife. (When working with children it’s useful to start off their arch shapes with a craft knife and then let them use scissors for the remainder.)

5. Cut a length of string and tie in a loop. You can attach the string simply by opening the tetra pak lid, drop in the knotted section of string and screw the lid back catching the string within it. Alternatively you can make two holes and feed the string through these.

6. Now you‘re ready to plant up your Tetra Pak! Pop some compost in the bottom, sow your seeds or plant your plant, water well and enjoy! Remember to water regularly as these small planters can dry out fast.

5 thoughts on “Video: How to make a Tetra Pak Planter”

  1. You do throw the tetra pak (and other recycled bottles etc) away in the end, don’t you? My worry is that these materials will then be dirty/degraded, and impossible for the industry to turn into new materials. What is your experience? And how long does a tetra pak plant container last?
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the video! Just wanted to add you can turn milk bottles into self-watering planters as well, using the same method (cut in half, hole in the lid, string). I prefer that to using clear plastic drinking bottles as I found those are susceptible to algae in the water – I guess because the sides are more transparent. We still have some nasturtiums going strong in milk bottle containers! They really do thrive in anything. Especially good in the summer heat as they will go longer between waterings.

  3. Carol Williams

    Hi Everyone
    Thanks for the recycling ideas… excellent!
    We do the really simple recycling method as we are gardeners and have to buy in potted flowers and shrubs for our clients gardens. We use the redundant washed pots at home and share lots of them with neighbours and the local gardening club (they need hundreds!). We find that many domestic gardeners throw away lovely shrubs too, so we take them home, give them some care and replant them in our garden. In 4 years we have established a pretty garden from a rough wild area and bees and butterflies love us!
    Keep on gardening everyone 🙂 Carol in Gloucestershire

  4. A clear calm video demonstration and looked like a good idea to try…and also the other three ideas were very welcome.
    Hope many will have the confidence to try and wish them lots of success..
    Thank you..Rebecca Clark

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