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How to: Make a Succulent Planter Out of a Book
by Sarah Marcheschi - posted 11/05/15

 How to: Make a Succulent Planter Out of a Book
 - Video Transcript, Demonstration by Sarah Marcheschi

Hi, I'm Sarah! Today I'm going to show you how to use an old hardcover book and turn it into a planter for a little succulent. All you'll need for this project are some old hardcover books, (you can find them at Goodwill or a thrift store), some clamps, some plastic to line the hole (I'm using these plastic bags that a lot of people have at home), a stapler, a hot glue gun, I'm using this wood glue (It's Guerrilla wood glue), and a small paint brush, I have some spar urethane that I'll spray on to coat everything, a drill (and I have a 3-inch hole saw attachment on the drill), some small succulent plants and I have some bowls of gravel, sand, and a succulent cactus potting mix here.  

So, we'll use a clamp like this. To clamp our book to the table, and now we're all set to drill. Now we're ready to start drilling, so position your drill where you want it on the cover of the book. Right about in the center is what I'm going to do, and you'll drill down through the top cover and then through the pages. You're going to have to stop every so often, take a pliers and clean the pages out this hole attachment because it will start to build up, um, as you drill through the book, and then just keep going. Now using the clamp to hold the cover down and hold the pages tightly closed. We're going to apply our wood glue to the inside of the hole, and around the outside of the edges of the pages. Be sure to use plenty of wood glue here because the pages ... the paper will soak it up.

Now after the wood glue dries, We're going to open the top cover and staple our plastic liner in to the hole. So, push this down into the hole like this, and then we'll take our stapler ... now I'm trimming away the excess plastic, and then we're just going to apply some hot glue. Glue it down, and then we're going to glue the front and back covers down as well.

Now once the hot glue is dried, we'll use one of our clamps to hold the book and spray it all around with our clear coat.  Now, you'll want to let the clear coat dry about 24 hours. I did one yesterday, so we already have a dry one to work with here. And then you'll just start planting. So first, I'm going to put a little sand into the hole, and then some of my pebbles (like that so that we have a little drainage area in the bottom), and then we'll put our soil in. And last, but not least, we'll pot up our succulent. So, we'll break up the roots a little bit here. Succulents are very shallow rooted plants, so they don't need a whole lot of depth to make them happy. Just nestle it in there. There goes a little bug from our potting soil. And then just dust away any excess soil.

We've potted up our succulent and if you'd like to dress it up a little bit. Maybe you're going to give it as a Christmas gift or just as a decoration around your own house. I've collected a few little ornaments. I have a little snowman here that we'll just hot glue right to the edge. So, take your hot glue gun, put a little glue right down there. Press it down and let that dry. And you have a nice little succulent planter using an old book.


Sarah Marcheschi is a gardener and contributing writer to State-by-State Gardening.