7 August 2012
You may remember I was trying to give our balcony a bit of a makeover. So far I’ve planted some herbs, bought some furniture and a parasol, made some plant pot decorations, and harvested some strawberries. It’s started to feel quite homely, and thanks to the summer weather we’ve even had a couple of dinners out there. But one thing that’s still been causing me a headache is the ugly partition wall between us and the neighbours.
I really wanted to brighten it up with some additional plants (by the way, you can also see our sunflowers here starting to bloom), but all the hanging baskets I found were round and I wanted something flat to hang against the partition. Then I had the idea I always have when I can’t find just the right thing I’m looking for – try and make it myself!
It turned out to be really easy. The most difficult part was finding the right kind of baskets. In the end I discovered them in a bed and mattress store which also happened to have a miscellaneous household section, so it’s definitely worth while not just looking in the obvious places and stores.
Here’s what I used:
- A set of plastic woven nesting baskets (these ones were actually labelled as bathroom storage).
- At least 6 metres of rope (or more if you want your baskets to hang further apart than mine).
- A pair of scissors.
You’ll also need some hooks for hanging up your basket, if you don’t already have some in place, and I found an extra pair of hands (a.k.a. the husband) to be quite helpful for holding things when trying to measure out the right distances between the baskets.
Here’s how I did it:
First I measured out my rope. Then husband helped me to hold them in place roughly where I wanted them, and then I measured how far it would be from the hooks I was going to hang them on to the bottom of the lowest basket. It was about 1 metre, but you’ll need double for each side that plus extra to allow for making knots, so I cut two lengths of rope at 3 metres each.
Then I took one length of rope and tied a double knot at the end big enough that it wouldn’t slip through the basket weaving when there was some pressure on it (i.e. the weight of the plants that would go in it). I then wove the rope in an out one of the sides of the largest basket. It was really easy to weave through the plastic, it would be more difficult with a sturdier material.
Then I tied another big knot in my rope where I had measured before that the next basket would go, and wove it through the side of the medium basket. Then the same again for the smallest one. At the top of the smallest basket I looped round, and then wove back down again, making knots in all the right places. Then I did exactly the same on the other side of the baskets. By the way, I only did the first set of knots tightly, the other three sets of knots were all loose so I could move them up and down a little to adjust if necessary.
Next, I hung my baskets in placed and adjusted the loose knots like I just mentioned, until the baskets were all more or less even.
All that was left to do was find some nice potted flowers and put them in place. I didn’t want to overload the baskets too much, so I just put one each in the top and the middle, and two in the bottom.
And this is what the finished hanging baskets look like. Unfortunately they don’t get rid of the plastic chairs and other junk that the neighbours have piled up against the partition on the other side, but it looks much better already, don’t you think?