Sunday, March 23, 2014
You can put together this container totem in just one day. The component parts are inexpensive and you may find most of them lying around your house and garden.
What You Need:
1. 4 terra cotta flowerpots with at least a ½ inch drainage hole in the bottom. It looks best if you have a large pot for the bottom, a medium pot and two smaller pots for the tops. Don’t choose really small pots for the top because they will dry out too quickly. Remember: Easy to make and easy to maintain!
2. 1 8-foot length of 1 1/4” PVC pipe.
3. 1 6-foot length of ½ inch rebar
4. Exterior latex paint in colors you like.
5. Tools: hacksaw, marker, yardstick and a paintbrush…that’s it!
What You Do:
1. Stick the piece of rebar into the ground and push down so it stands by itself. Slip the largest pot onto the rebar and allow to rest on the grass.
2. Slip the PVC pipe over the rebar and down into the pot. Lay the yardstick across the top of the large pot and allow it to touch the side of the PVC pipe. Mark where the yardstick touches the pipe.
3. Then use the yardstick to and place a mark 12 inches further up the pipe. Slip the pipe out of the pot and up off of the rebar. Use the hacksaw to cut the pipe at the mark you just made.
4. Replace the newly cut piece of pipe over the rebar and back down into the pot.
5. Slip the middle-sized pot over the rebar and bring it down the length until it comes to rest against the PVC pipe. Don’t worry if the pot tips to one side or the other. We’ll deal with that later.
6. Now take the leftover piece of PVC pipe and repeat the same procedure you followed for the larger pot, laying the yardstick across the top of the pot and marking where it touches the pipe. This time measure 10 inches from this mark and cut the pipe as before.
7. Slip the next pot over the rebar and bring it to rest on top of the PVC pipe. One more time, place the PVC pipe remnant over the rebar and down into the pot. Repeat the measuring procedure and this time measure 8 inches from the top of the pot and cut.
8. Slip the last pipe over the rebar and down into the first of the two smaller pots. Place the remaining pot over the rebar and allow it to rest on top of the PVC pipe. Ideally, there will be little or no rebar showing at the top. If there is, we’ll deal with that later.
9. Use exterior latex paint and the brush to add color where you want and allow to dry.
10. While parts are drying, select a permanent site for your totem and get some potting soil ready to go. Push the piece of rebar into the ground where you wish the totem to be and make sure it is as vertical as possible. If you had excess rebar sticking out of the top pot when cutting the pipes, use a hammer to bang on the top of the rebar a couple of times to drive it deeper into the soil. This is much easier than sawing the rebar!
11. When the parts are dry, assemble. Slip the largest pot over the rebar and bring to a level position on the ground. Slip the longest piece of PVC pipe over the rebar and down into the pot. Fill the pot with soil packing the bottom ¾ well to firmly anchor the pipe in the pot. By packing the soil firmly in the bottom of each pot, you will keep the pot from tipping one way or the other. Repeat the process with each of the smaller pots until you’ve built your container totem.