Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Greenhouse space saver plus milk carton recycle

Wow, I've been absent for a while huh! well apologies for my lack of posting but I'm now back and will have new projects all ready to post on here pretty soon. Until I have them edited though I will repost a couple of my popular back posts and I thought this greenhouse space saver was the perfect post for these glorious gardening days!

I'm hiding indoors at the moment because the wind sounds awful outside. I placated the guilty feeling by convincing myself that I would use the indoor time to make my mums birthday card (it's her birthday in about 6 days) but I made the huge mistake of putting Create & Craft on the TV.  Just while I check my emails mind!
Yeah right!
I then logged in to my blog  to reply to some emails and comments but we all know what happens then don't we?  yup, I'm too engrossed in reading other blogs  that heading through to the cold craft room has just lost its appeal.
I could go outside and potter in the poytunnel BUT I figured instead of that I could just blog about a project I completed a couple of years ago before I had the polytunnel and needed some space saving ideas for the greenhouse - those rows of pots with seedling veg and flowers in em were just taking up too much room because I had to put them on just the one layer of staging.

Brainwave people!

I created this space saver (though excuse the dirty holders)

space saver, pot holder, DIY, garden diy, garden woodwork

The best bit is that it was easy enough to make with no technical tools needed if you don't have them AND it's all scrap wood AND it recycles those plastic milk containers.

OK so how to make it!
First gather your tools ( I have a habit of looking for what I need when I need it - not a good idea).
You'll need:
Wood - I used roof batten, small scrap bit of plywood, some scrap beading and some scrap pieces of  2"x 2". You can use any size you have though.
Screws (I literally use anything I can find. I used black plasterboard screws for this)
Nails if you don't want to use screws.
Tape measure.
Saw (unless you use a cutter as I do)
Milk cartons (I used 30 but you can make the frame and add them as you get them)

I made a basic 4 sided frame using scrap roofing batten and  nails or screws or whatever you have, and made corner supports for the top only.

 garden project, garden diy, garden space saver, seedling holder

Next I made 2 bottom plates to support the whole thing. I just used whatever cuts of wood we had for this as long as the bottom plate used is wider wood than the  top plate.

 garden diy, garden woodwork, seedling holder, greenhouse space saver, milk carton recycle

Screw the two bottom base blocks together then screw the actual square frame to the blocks - remembering to keep the corner supports to the top.

Then I cut some pieces of plywood into a rectangle shape and cut out 2 grooves to each one to hold the cross supports that the bottles attach to.

Those rectangle pieces were then attached to the frame with screws as shown above.
Next I cut some small beading to use as supports for the Milk cartons, making sure the cuts I made in the rectangles kept the supports supported but not so tightly that they were awkward to lift out.

Finally grab some milk cartons (I used either 4 pint or six pint ones) and cut around the carton just about where the label starts. You don't need deep holders if they are for seedling pots.
*TIP - put the lid on the carton before you cut it. This keeps the air in and makes it rigid for that first incision with the scissors - try to pierce it without the cap and it will just collapse*.
Once you have them cut just slot them onto the frame through the milk carton handle. Leave the lid on if you want but you can take the lid off to aid drainage too.

Now you're left with a load of bottoms to milk cartons so lets use em to make plant labels.

Cut down the middle of the leftover bases to the next mark that goes all the way round the container (would have been the bottom of the label) then turn and cut all the way round the circumference of the container so you end up with a large rectangle of plastic.
Finally cut slices off that plastic as wide as you require your labels to be and then cut points on one end od each and voila! Plastic plant labels for free.

 milk carton recycle, garden diy, seedling holder, garden woodwork, scrapwood diy

I use these labels all the time and because they're free to make I don't worry about cleaning them when they're really bad, I just throw them away and make some more. You can stick them in a container of bleach though as they are easy enough to clean that way.
p.s. Once you've cut the side off the container to make your labels you are left with small pots made from the very bottom, I use these holding the labels or collecting seed etc. So even the bases can be used!


Linked to:

'I heart Nap Time'
'Nifty thrifty things' 
'My romantic home' 
'Funky junk interiors' 
'Country momma cooks' 
'My 1929 charmer' 
'Sew can do' 
'Keeping it simple' 
'diy home sweet home' 
'sassy sites' 
'Kammys corner' 
'Common ground'


Felicity said...

What a brilliant idea, Linda! I'm lost for words! And these milk cartons could be used just as holders for smaller pots and the entire constraction can become a nice storage solution to keep organised whatever you want - craft things like paints, markers, anything!
Very clever! I absolutely adore this idea!

Deana said...

Thanks for the great idea...I think I'll plant my herbs this way.....I'd like to invite you to share this post @ CountryMommaCooks Link & Greet Party going on now-midnight...have a wonderful day!

lambs and ivy designs said...

You are a genius!!! That is great!...and not just for plants, I am thinking I could pile my undyed ribbon in those milk cartons!!

hugs and happy Sunday,

Deana said...

Thanks for Linking up @CountryMommaCooks….Have a wonderful week!

cathy@my1929charmer said...

Seriously what a clever idea. It certainly is space saving, what can be better than that. Also the project is re-purposing too. You hit the jackpot. Could be used for so many different things. Thanks for sharing such a great tip. Thanks for sharing your creative inspirations with Sunday's Best party.

Kim Van Horn said...

This is ingenious.

Kim @ colorsmixedtogether.blogspot.com said...

I've been saving all my jugs to get ready for starting seeds. I was thinking how I will hate having them all sitting out on the counter. I love this idea! Thanks

Kammy's Korner said...

GREAT idea! I really should do this. I reeeeally should....

Vengy said...

Awesome what a great idea... My hubby is always complaining about to little space on our balcony... so Now I have a good idea to show him when the spring is coming again... Not now its way too cold outside. Thanks for sharing love...

Pene said...

What a brilliant idea!!

Tombstone Livestock said...

That is fantastic .... would be easy enough to expand the top of the frame to hang clear plastic and make it a greenhouse too. OK, you just inspired me to start yet another project. And I just tossed a milk jug in the recycle bin, but that's ok, I know how to dumpster dive.

P.S. if you wanted to leave the cap off use a recycled coffee filter in the bottom to retain the soil.

Anonymous said...

I am totally gonna start saving milk cartons again! This is a great idea. thanks.

Kat said...

This is an idea we could use here! Thanks for sharing it with us! I, too, use milk jug garden markers.

johndaddy said...

More Milk Plus - Motherlove's best selling herbal supplement that safely and effectively increases breast milk for breastfeeding mothers.
More Milk Plus

The Green Lady said...

Wow, so impressive. I hate any sort of woodwork (like you I hate measuring and always skip steps which I can just about get away with when crafting). This would be great for use in a school where there is limited space and funds.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Just found this on Pinterest...very very clever.


This is a brilliant idea. I have one on my fence. I am waiting to see if our Spaniel removes it before I grow anything in it. Take care now. Marion x

Socratic Method Man said...

just rrrrollin' on in to say its 2015, and people are still circulating and pinning this as the very best and most space-saving design for a free-standing milk-jug (help, hyphen-overload) rack, planter, or organiser.

well done!

(building one tomorrow, ta~)

MsSchrader said...

I buy bottled water in gallon jugs and have been squashing them & putting them into the recycling bin. This is a great idea

Debbi Holley said...

This is brilliant and is still being shared. And yes to adding a poly cover to make greenhouse for those late freezes in the south. Thank you for sharing this ingenious idea!