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One of my favorite home DIY projects is creating a self-watering pot from a recycled 1 gallon Crystal Geyser bottle. I'm confident most households have purchased one of these rectangular Crystal Geyser bottles, and if you have one or something similar, you can use it to create the perfect self watering pot.
I consider this a very easy DIY project. If it doesn't work, just toss out the bottle. Your investment in this project was around $1 (and less considering $1 is the price of the bottle with water, which you've hopefully already drank).
The time to be most careful in this project is while drilling small holes. Because the Crystal Geyser bottle isn't super thick (part of what makes this project easy), apply only light pressure while drilling and give the drill bit a few seconds to puncture the drainage holes.
And whenever you're using a utility knife, cut away from yourself and be extra alert to avoid cut yourself.
Reasons for the 1 Gallon Crystal Geyser Bottle
As it turns out, the 1 Gallon Crystal Geyser bottle is the perfect fit.
- After building it out, the base is fairly wide and not overly tall.
- When filled with water, it holds a fair amount which also helps keep the pot from tipping over, though this may depend on the weight of your plant.
- Since the bottle is clear, you can easily view how much water is in the reservoir, plus visibility into the dirt dampness.
- The plastic bottle is thin enough to easily cut, but not thin enough that I need to worry about the plastic breaking.
- Lastly, these bottles are available everywhere, and are fairly cheap, around $1 each at the grocery store.
Everything You Need for this DIY Project
If you're a homeowner or have experience with DIY projects, you're likely to have everything you need for this project.
DIY Self Watering Pot Instructions
Before the actual instructions, a high level overview of what's about to happen. We're going to cut the water bottle in half. We'll be left with two halves. The bottom half of the bottle is bottom of the self watering pot that holds the water reservoir. The top half (the spout and screw top lid) flipped upside down fits into the bottom half and holds the dirt and eventually the plant.
The goal is it cut the pot in half so that the top half fits completely inside the bottom half. This helps to prevent any dirt from the top half from squeezing between into the water reservoir. After you build one, you'll have a better idea of where to make the middle cut. But for starts, I suggest making the cut around the middle point, measured from the bottom of the bottle to the top of the lid.
- Remove any plastic or paper coverings that might be on the bottle. Leave the plastic lid screwed tightly screwed in.
- Carefully drill holes with the power drill and small bits. I suggest around 6 small holes in the lid and 15-20 small holes all around the spout at various levels.
- Measure out (or eyeball) about the middle of the bottle. Mark the area if necessary.
- Use your utility knife, cut around the bottle into the top half and bottom half.
- Use your scissors to clean up any excess plastic.
- Flip the top half upside down (lid side down) and jam it into the bottom half. Try to keep the lid centered to the bottom half.
- Fill up the exposed top half with your dirt.
- Add your plant and start watering.