Some days, it might seem as if your sewing machine isn’t designed to handle any fabric heavier than quilting cotton. There’s a definite learning curve to sewing with heavy-duty fabrics, but I can assure you that with the proper tools and techniques, most machines can, and do, happily handle canvas, denim, and leather.
Want to learn the tricks of the trade? Check out Heavy-Duty Sewing, by Anton Sandqvist. I sewed the Hanging Flowerpot from the book, and it turned out to be a quick and easy way to make myself a brand-new hanging planter, all from stash materials.
I wasn’t sure about this project, at first, because the tutorial calls for a plant pot without drainage holes, and I always use a pot with drainage and a plant dish underneath it. After I studied the instructions, though, I realized that it would be easy enough to incorporate a plant dish into the design, so that’s what I did!
Another modification that I made was omitting the leather strap from the hanging flowerpot. I do craft with leather these days, but I’m unlikely to buy it new–I prefer to upcycle the leather that I use from old belts, purses, and jackets. I do think that a belt would make a perfect strap for this project, but I wanted to upcycle something that I already owned, not take a trip to Goodwill
To be honest, ummm… it would have been my third trip that week. The kid wanted new pants, and then two days after that inspiration struck and I just had to go in search of ceramic plates and cups to make myself an upcycled tea service. More on that another time!
I dug around until I found a whole stash of sturdy key rings, obtained who-knows-how and who-knows-when. Linked together, they made an adjustable chain that was an excellent substitute for leather.
The hanging flowerpot tutorial makes it easy to adjust the dimensions of your hanging flowerpot, although if you go too large you’ll have to piece together the denim. I cut my hanging flowerpot to be 7″ square, and was able to cut two entire hanging flowerpots from a single pair of adult jeans–and I still have the butt of the jeans leftover for another project!
I wanted my flowerpots to look more “blue jeansy,” so instead of hemming the top edge, as the tutorial calls for, I turned the top edge twice to the outside to make a cuff, then sewed it down. I hand-tacked the ends of the chain to two sides, and that was my hanging flowerpot ready to go!
This is the first sewn option for a hanging planter that I’ve tried, and I LOVE it. These pegboard and twine hanging planters are possibly even easier to make than this, but not nearly as attractive. The macrame hanging planters that I make are pretty cute, but each one takes a full episode of The Crown to complete. This denim version is quick and easy to make, is also super cute, and geez, I ALWAYS have a bunch of old blue jeans lying around just waiting to be upcycled.
Interested in other types of hanging planters? Here are two more DIY versions that I have in my house:
And here are a whole bunch more hanging planters, because variety IS the spice of life!
I received a free copy of Heavy-Duty Sewing from a Publicist, because I can’t write about a book if it hasn’t somehow led to me installing a hanging planter with a fern in it in my shower!