If you’ve ever hung wallpaper, or seen it being hung, you’re probably familiar with the long, plastic trough used to dip the wallpaper. Pre-pasted wallpaper must be dampened before hanging and the trough makes it easy to do just that. Roll the wallpaper through the trough to get it wet, then position it on the wall. The troughs are available at most any place that sells wallpaper. When you’re finished hanging the wallpaper, though, it’s a good idea to rinse out the trough and save it rather than throw it in the garbage. That’s because you can make a fabulous planter for your deck or yard by using the old trough.
One of the fabulous things about making a planter from a plastic trough is that you can fill it with artificial or real flowers. Align small pots of real flowers along the bottom of the trough or fill the trough with dirt and grow the flowers or plants right in the dirt. Using real flowers means you’ll have to have drainage for water. Heat a nail and poke several holes in the bottom of the trough before arranging the plants inside.
If you’re using artificial plants you’ll need a way to keep them in place. Glue a long piece of Styrofoam in the bottom of the trough or even use half balls of Styrofoam to hold individual groupings. Glue the half balls, flat side down, along the bottom of the trough. Push the artificial plants and flowers into the balls. The flowers don’t necessarily have to stick straight up; push some of them in at various angles to make the planter seem fuller.
Whether you’re using real or fake plants it may be necessary to weight the trough planter. Partially fill the bottom with rocks, gravel, marbles or other heavyweight items. If you’ll be setting the planter on a deck you can wire it to the rails rather than weight it. Poke holes in the bottom, whether the plants are real or fake, and thread wire through them. Twist the wire under the handrails to secure the planter.
Make a window planter by screwing the troughs under the windows in front of your house. Glue metal washers to the inside of the planter before attaching it to help prevent the plastic trough from cracking while attaching it to the house. The troughs look great but can’t hold a lot of weight when hanging. Use plants that require little water or select lightweight artificial plants.
Set the planters on decks, porches or other areas outside. Although they look great outdoors they can also sit on mantles, dressers or counters. The trough planters add color, dimension and interest to just about any area of the house – indoors or out.
There are many different ways to dress up the ordinary plastic troughs. Paint them with paints especially designed for plastics. Use waterproof adhesives to glue on any number of embellishments. Some choices might include fake rocks, pea gravel, wooden shapes, plastic novelties or even fake jewels. There are no limits to the different designs you can create by using inexpensive craft supplies.
If you don’t have leftover troughs from a wallpapering job you can simply purchase them at any home improvement store. They are very inexpensive and easy to find in the wallpaper department. One problem is that they aren’t available in a variety of sizes so you have to work with the size they have.
Get busy making your own wallpaper trough planters and you’ll be thrilled with the results. You’ll love the look so much you’ll end up creating many planters to dress up the porch, the deck, the mantle and more. This project is inexpensive, easy to make and will add much color and interest to any area of your home.