Turn An Unexpected Item Into A Modern Planter To Take Your Decor To The Next Level

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There's no denying that bendy decor is popular in 2024, as the squiggly interior design trend has taken over. Actually, the curvy fad surfaced in 2023, with everything from candles to furniture getting wiggly. Who says you can't get wobbly with your houseplant collection, too? You can create a unique planter with some PVC pipe, spray paint in your favorite colors, rubber bands, and a heat gun. Yup, that's right; the unexpected item is a piece of regular old PVC pipe! The trick is using the heat gun to melt the plastic in the middle of the pipe and turning each end in the opposite direction to create a chunky twist.

Get started by gathering together some supplies. For one, you'll need any length of plastic piping that's somewhere between 4 and 6 inches in diameter. Purchase end caps — one for each planter you plan to make — as well. These will ensure the soil stays inside your planter. For example, Home Depot sells a 4 inch-wide and 10 foot-long PVC pipe for about $24 and a matching end cap for under $4. How tall you make your planter depends on what you're planting in it. If you plan to fill it with something that will hang down over the top of the planter like, say, string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), you can get away with up to 11 or 12 inches. Already tall houseplants need shorter planters; otherwise, they risk toppling over.

Source the rest of the items

Paint makes this project, so ensure you buy the right type. Look for a water-based acrylic product (it's generally hardier than its latex equivalent) with low or, even better, zero VOCs. Liquitex professional spray paints come highly-rated in a large array of hues. Prices range from $10 on sale to $16 for a 12-ounce can. If subdued pastels with a matte finish appeal, Joann sells Pintyplus Home spray paint for $11 per 11.18-ounce can. It's designed with home decor DIY in mind. You'll need at least two complementary colors. If you really want your planter to last, get some 220-grit sandpaper and primer. We like Rust-Oleum's plastic primer spray — a 6-pack costs about $32 at Home Depot.

Rubber bands create the detail on this planter. Amazon has a 0.5-pound bag of assorted sizes for $9. If you plan to hang your creation, get a length of copper or stainless steel chain and a large, sturdy hook. Tools-wise, you'll need a ruler and pencil, a power drill and quarter-inch drill bit, a saw (to cut the pipe into your desired lengths), and a heat gun. Alternatively, get the PVC pipe cut to size in-store when you buy it. Also, don't forget your safety gear. Goggles and heat-proof gloves will protect your eyes and hands from the heat of the gun and any stray chips from sawing or drilling. Invest in a simple respirator to protect your lungs from the fumes of the burning plastic, too.

Get making

Mark the middle of the PVC pipe all the way around, horizontally, in pencil. With gloves on, hold the heat gun to this line until the plastic softens. Moving quickly, grip each side and turn the pipe in alternate directions until you achieve the depth of twist that appeals aesthetically. While the pipe cools and re-hardens, drill two to four drainage holes in the cap end. If you plan to hang your planter, drill four holes at the top of the pipe for the chain, too. Attach the end cap to one end of the pipe. If you're sanding and priming your planter, do that now. Then, spray your first color onto the pipe, aiming for an even coat. Experts recommend doing this outdoors since you need adequate ventilation.

Once it's dry to the touch (expect it to take up to 3 hours for the paint to dry), stretch some rubber bands over the pipe — around seven on each side. Overlap the bands, run them diagonally to each other, and use assorted widths. Spray another layer of paint over the entire planter using your second hue of choice. Once this layer is dry, take off the rubber bands to reveal the first color. If you're making a hanging planter, now's the time to thread the chain through the holes at the mouth of the planter and attach the hook. Pair your funky new planter with unique-looking houseplants that could be statement pieces in your home, and you're done!