How to Make a Planter

Dear Diary,

Growing up, my mom transformed our backyard into a garden oasis. Her green thumb planted everything from green beans and tomatoes to red roses and sunflowers. Next door, my neighbor Mrs. Hess harvested a grape vineyard. I hoped to give my little girl the same outdoor experience, but I was missing one important thing–a backyard! Urban living has lots of benefits–like parks, coffee shops and even a Target in walking distance. But unfortunately, we can’t dig up our lawn. So, I headed to Assemble, which is a part of Pittsburgh’s growing maker community community. We got our hands dirty and learned how to make a planter, that’s easy enough for even toddlers to create. Follow these five simple steps, and you two can green your home. And if you don’t have a place to plant it, I’m sure you can find a family member or friend who would welcome your floral creation.

Step 1- How to Make a Planter

Gather your materials. You probably already have most of these items in your house. You’ll need child-safe scissors, masking tape, mason jars, newspapers, construction paper, markers, crayons, glue sticks and decorative items, such as plush pom poms, wiggle eyes and pipe cleaners.

Step 2- How to Make a Planter

Wrap your mason jar with newspaper. Tuck, don’t tape, the bottom to secure the paper planter. Be sure you tuck tightly, so your soil doesn’t spill. Remove the jar.

Step 3- How to Make a Planter

Decorate your planter. Cut strips of construction paper. Wrap it around the mason jar to determine the length. Then, get creative! You can sketch flowers and outdoor scenes. Caitlynn decides to draw a silly monster. She used wiggly eyes and markers. You can add hair or ears with pipe cleaner. When you’re done decorating, secure the sleeve onto the newspaper planter with masking tape.

Step 4- How to Make a Planter

Add soil. You can purchase a bag with seedlings already inside, or select something seasonable that you would like to see sprout up. Poke a hole into the soil with your finger, and stick the seeds inside.

Step 5-How to Make a Planter

To ensure your planter is biodegradable, be sure to remove the sleeve before you stick it in the ground.

Hey DFTM Fam–What summer craft are you making with your little one to become one with nature? If you live in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to check out the family friendly activities offered at Assemble, and become a part of the larger Remake Learning maker community.



About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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