DIYdiy projects

diy project: hanging air plant containers

by Kate Pruitt

I never can manage to come up with them myself, but I love super duper simple DIY projects. I have such admiration for people who see something and then, boom, a couple minutes later they have turned it into something totally different. Quick, easy, no muss or fuss: three-step projects are awesome. I’m going to make it my mission to hatch ideas for some this summer. This is a fantastic example, and it will serve as the inspiration for my goal.

Currently based in the UK, Tempest from Ellomennopee is a PhD student by day, artist and blogger by night. She came up with this ingenious little project for displaying air plants in her bathroom, where no other plants would survive. Admittedly, the key to this project is coming across the right vessel: Tempest used her shampoo bottle tops, which have an awesome bullet shape, but now that I’m on the lookout, I actually see several promising options in my pantry and bathroom. Keep your eye out, and with a little spray paint, a nail and some string, you too can have these little hanging planters. They are cheap, adorable, recycled and perfect for displaying this peculiar yet popular plant. Thanks for sharing, Tempest! — Kate

Have a DIY project you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full how-to after the jump . . .

Perhaps because of the pervasive austerity trend, low-maintenance plants like tillandsia and other air plants (epiphytes) have made a comeback. Since they don’t require soil or a lot of maintenance, air plants are also perfect for city dwellers. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful ways to display air plants in glass vases and mini-terrariums, but taking the plants out to be watered and then rearranging them seems too fussy for me. My solution was to put them in my bathroom (where no other plants will grow) so they are adequately watered by shower steam. Enjoy! — Tempest


  • clean plastic bottle lids (I used shampoo lids from the Umberto Giannini product line)
  • string
  • spray paint of your color choice
  • air plants (can be bought online here, or found at most garden shops)
  • hammer and thin nail (or something to pierce a hole through plastic)



1. Pierce a hole in the top of the plastic lid with a nail.

2. Apply several layers of spray paint to the lid (drying between each coat) to achieve the desired colour in a smooth finish.

3. Thread a piece of string through the hole in the lid and gently tie a knot around the air plant.

4. Hang near your bathroom window so they can get sunlight and will be watered by steam, or be prepared to water them now and then by either soaking or misting with a spray bottle.

Suggested For You


  • Depending on the plastic you might need to use a drill to poke the hole and not crack it… Found this out the hard way with a birdbath DIY recently.

    I love this idea – definitely sparks some thinking!

  • I would love to air plants! Out here in the desert of Las Vegas, NV I have the worst time keeping my succulents alive. Everything is so dry and gets so toasty and burnt. (sad face)

  • So cool. I have a couple of the plants on my kitchen table in shot glasses and am forever forgetting to spritz them. Putting them in the bathroom is the perfect solution to watering and taking up valuable work space.

  • If I saw these hanging in a friend’s bathroom, I would burst out laughing and then lunge to hug them (my friend, not the plants). This is ADORABLE! Thank you, Tempest, for creating a project that I might actually find time to make (and would be unable to kill with neglect). If only I lived in a country where shampoo bottles are aesthetically pleasing…

  • This is so cute! I’ve been keeping an eye out for ways to keep plants alive in our apartment. Too bad our bathroom doesn’t have a window, but I might try this in a different room!

  • *blink, blink* spraypaint container tops…why didn’t I think of that? So much easier to drill than ceramic! Adding to my DIY hacking list. Now what do I do with all those friggin white teacups I collected…?

  • Awesome! I just received my air plants order from the 100 layer cake sale, so I will DEFINITELY be making some of these to display them!

  • I love it! They’d look great in a cluster too. I wonder if they would be really light weight…. maybe you could put a fishing weight hidden on the inside too to give it some weight.

    This makes me want to do something similar with glass, glass frosting, and a glass drill bit. hmm……

    Thanks so much for the tutorial, I love it!!

  • Awesome, totally doing this one.. we have a tony bathroom with very little light that will be vastly improved by a bit of green!

  • Oh! Great! I’m gonna to do it!
    Here in Chile that is a really rare plant. We call them “claveles del aire” (air carnations, but i’ve never seen it any blossom yet).
    Really nice!

  • Love this! I think I will try it with some Method hand soap bottles, love the shape and hate to throw them in the recycle bin. Thanks!

  • I did a very similar project, but used plastic stemless wine glasses. Use a drill to make the hole, so they don’t crack!

  • we live in s.w. Fl & air plants are abundant in the wild here. I pick them & tied them with fishing line to the trees in my yard & struff them in my palm trees & palmettos.. the best idea i found was fixing the to pieces of drift wood. I seen that in a landscaping place & they wanted big bucks… i did it my self for free. you can also stuff them in seashells. i mist them with a water bottle during our dry season here

  • Really cool! I’ve used some old electric wires (really malleable) that were in my basement and Voga wine bottle caps. Thanks for the idea!

  • If you are looking for the original ceramic hanging air plant pod designed by myself in 2010 you can find them on etsy please support an artist and show your support for original ideas, thank you

    • michael

      i grew up with containers very similar to these that belonged to my family in the 70s. i realize these have popped up in a lot of indie designers’ shops, but i feel strongly that we are in no way copying your work.


  • Hi Grace, You know I love your blog, and will continue to advertise on it in the future. i was just shocked at how much they look like my work. I grew up in the 70s too and had never seen an upside down air plant hanger until I designed it. but yes, there are a lot of imitations out there now. I am a fervent supporter of new designs and DIYs that push the boundaries of what came before but hope people understand when it is almost a complete duplicate of the original (albeit different material) the artist pays the price. That being if we are unable to support ourselves with our work, innovation will be lost. Best, ~Mike

  • I really love your blog and I will follow you at bloglovin’. Also I really love those little plants. I’m a student and I have like the smallest room every. So this is just amazing and so clever and cute.

    thank you very much


  • This is great! I love the upside-down hangers, & I had no idea it would be so easy to put together! Going to start hunting through the house for vessels. . .

  • If you want a more rustic (and small) look, you can also use a wine cork or other collors too. But it is really great. Nice job.

  • This is ABSOLUTELY OF THE CHARTS!!!!!!!!!!!! Just L O V E it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank YOU sooooo very much! LOTS OF LOVE!!!

  • If you want a more rustic (and small) look, you can also use a wine cork or other collors too. But it is really great. Nice job.