by Rhiannon James
It doesn’t matter where you look right now in fashion or interiors, the Seventies are back with a vengeance. So if you want to add some retro touches at home, forget prints and paper lampshades, there’s nothing that says Seventies quite like indoor hanging baskets. But don’t worry, there’s no need to hunt out the macramé, you can create hanging baskets with a modern twist by following these quick and easy steps.
Stuff to get
- Three plants. There are many different trailing houseplants to choose from – try Philodendron scandens with its pretty heart-shaped leaves, the unusual Senecio rowleyanus with its trailing stems resembling strings of beads, Common Ivy or the classic Spider Plant. We used Tradescantia zebrina plants which are fast-growing and easy to care for. Alternatively, you could go for a more vertical look and use upright plants.
- Three bowls or pots that fit your plants. You could go for three containers that are all the same, as we have done, or you could pick three different but complementary pots. Pretty much any type of container will work – try plastic or ceramic plant pots, ceramic or metal bowls or even metal tins depending on the style of your room. We used IKEA’s Grapefrukt plastic plant pots (www.ikea.co.uk). It’s best not to put your plants directly into these containers – it will help drainage if you keep the plants in normal plastic plant pots and use your containers as the outers to catch water.
- 1m of transparent or coloured wire (if you use the lengths given below). When you’re choosing your wire, make sure that three lengths can take the weight of one pot or bowl. Weigh your pot with the plant inside and then, multiply the maximum weight for the wire by three and check this exceeds the bowl weight. We used 50g 0.5mm blue-coated copper wire.
- Three cup hooks with plastic coating
Tools you’ll need
- Electric hand drill and small drill bit (no more than 4mm diameter)
- Wire cutters, pliers or steel fixers’ nips to cut the wire
- Joist / wire locator
The process is exactly the same for each pot so simply repeat the following stages for each one.
Make the hanging basket
1. Drill the first hole in the pot. Position this hole around 150 mm down from the top edge.
2. Mark the other two holes to be drilled so the three are equally spaced around the pot. To do this, measure the circumference of the pot using tape or ribbon, then cut off a third. Use this section of ribbon to measure the distance from the original hole to the other two. Then drill the two remaining holes as you have marked them up, remembering to offset down from the top edge around 150 mm.
3. Next, cut three identical lengths of wire for the pot. We cut each set of three at different lengths so each pot in the group would hang at a different level. We cut one set at around 1000mm, one at around 750mm and one at 600mm.
4. Feed one end of a wire through each hole in the pot with about 50 mm poking through into the pot. Fold this end up and wind around the wire above the pot to fasten.
5. Take the three lengths of wire and pull them upwards to meet above the pot. At the top, wind the wires together to fasten them.
6. Put your plants into the pots.
Installing the hanging baskets
1. Decide where you would like to hang your pots. Remember to think about the plants’ light and temperature requirements and avoid putting the pots next to radiators, draughts or anything else that will cause rapid fluctuations in temperature. To support the weight of the pots, you will need to insert the cup hooks into a joist in your ceiling and not into the plaster board. You will also need to make absolutely sure you will not be drilling through any electrical cables. You can locate your joists and ensure there are no cables nearby using a joist and electrical wire locator. Once you’ve found a safe spot, drill a small hole through the plaster board and into the joist.
2. Screw in the cup hook and hang the basket on the hook you have installed.
3. Repeat for the other two pots.