DIY Upcycled Planter Design

Elyna's vertical garden in Better Farm's library.
We wrote last week about a simple vertical gardening project utilizing discarded plastic bottles. Intern extraordinaire Elyna Grapstein came up with another system over the weekend that she applied in Better Farm's library. And to get into the mix of things, betterArts resident Kevin Carr upcycled some plastic bottle caps to make us a colorful planter for our overgrown aloe plants.

It was simple serendipity that in the midst of all this going on, summer Millsite Lake-dweller Tammy Leach Lueck stopped in at Better Farm to drop off some herbs she grew over the summer in her garden (she and her husband headed back to Florida Saturday and couldn't talk all the plants with them). Basil, nasturtium, oregano, rosemary, and parsley plants filled out our planters systems quite nicely.

Here are some photos of Elyna putting the vertical garden together. For this design, you cut a hole in the bottom of a bottle, put the top of the next bottle through that hole, and screw the top on:

And the finished pieces:

For Kevin's design, he attached bottle caps with hot glue:

Got a great DIY idea? Share it with us at

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.