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How to Make Hanging Basket Liners With Wool Sweaters

A Hanging Basket Filled With Petunias

A basket filled with Petunia

A basket filled with Petunia

Woolen Jumpers Really Do Make Great Hanging Basket Liners!

These cone-shape hanging baskets were purchased complete with pulleys from a local car boot for just £5. So successful were they that I made another purchase this year online from Amazon, but of course I had to pay a little more.

The linings have lasted well and this year we even had a little Jenny Wren decide to make her nest in one of the holes.

I thought lining the baskets was going to be a challenge, but as it turned out, I had the perfect answer at home. A shrunken woolen sweater turned out to be the perfect solution!

A Hanging Basket Filled with Salad Greens

A basket of salad greens

A basket of salad greens

Hanging Basket Filled with trailing Petunia and Geranium

A hanging basket filled with trailing Petunia and trailing Geraniums.

A hanging basket filled with trailing Petunia and trailing Geraniums.

Hanging Basket/Trailing /Geraniums

Hanging basket, trailing Geraniums

Hanging basket, trailing Geraniums

Things you will need to complete this project

  • 1 cone-shaped hanging basket
  • A thick woolen jumper/sweater (recycled)
  • Scissors
  • Brown paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Wool for sewing
  • A large sewing needle
  • Potting soil
  • Plants (a mixture of salad plants, flowers, and strawberry plants)
  • An overlocker or sewing machine

Method

  1. Roll a piece of brown paper into a cone shape and insert it into the hanging basket
  2. Fit it closely to the inner edge of the basket and cover the join with two pieces of sticky tape (This makes it easy to remove the paper Cone from the Basket).
  3. Lift the paper Cone from the basket and flatten it as shown in the image below.
  4. Place a thick woolen Jumper onto a flat surface with right sides together and then put the pattern down onto it.
  5. Fold both edges of the paper pattern (about an inch on each side to reduce the size of the pattern slightly. This will ensure a good fit for when the liner is filled with soil.
  6. Cut out two pieces using the pattern.
  7. Sew both of the outside edges and then neaten off the top edge.
  8. Cut out a liner from Bubble-wrap. Place one edge on a fold and use the full width of the pattern this time.
  9. Sew one edge together. There is no need to neaten off the top.
  10. Attach the outer woolen liner to the Basket. Seams should face the inside of the basket.
  11. Turn over the top edge over and stitch as shown.
  12. Attach the bottom of the liner to the lower point of the metal basket.
  13. Insert the completed bubble-wrap inner.
  14. Begin filling the liner with potting soil.
  15. When planting salad plants, cut small holes into the woolen jumper and bubble-wrap, Do this one at a time and insert each plant into the hole and then backfill with potting soil from the inside. Start at the bottom and work up the full height of the hanging basket. Please see the example below.
  16. Once planted, water thoroughly and hang up in a nice sunny sheltered position.
  17. Feed with liquid fertilizer throughout the season.


Cone Shaped Metal Hanging Baskets with Pulleys

Cone shaped metal hanging baskets with pulleys

Cone shaped metal hanging baskets with pulleys

Hanging Metal Hanging Basket

Cone shaped metal hanging basket

Cone shaped metal hanging basket

Making the Pattern with Brown Paper

Make a cone shape from the brown paper. Insert it into the basket, tape the inner edges and remove it from the basket. Flatten the paper to make the paper pattern which will be used to cut the inner wool liner and the bubble-wrap inner.

Making the Cone Shaped Liner

A cone of brown paper inside the metal hanging basket

A cone of brown paper inside the metal hanging basket

Flatten the Paper Cone as shown to make the Pattern

The flattened cone of paper will become the pattern for this project.  Fold in one inch from one side

The flattened cone of paper will become the pattern for this project. Fold in one inch from one side

Reduce the Size of the Pattern by 1 inch on each side

Fold over both edges of the pattern. Each fold should measure about 1 inch.

This is done to ensure that the woolen jumper will fit snugly into the hanging basket when it is sewn on.

Fold over 1 inch of both sides of the pattern

Fold over 1 inch on both sides of the paper pattern

Fold over 1 inch on both sides of the paper pattern

Right Sides of the 2 Sleeves Placed Together

Put the right sides of the 2 sleeves together.

Put the right sides of the 2 sleeves together.

Cut 2 Pieces from the Sweater Sleeves

Cut 2 pieces from the sweater sleeves

Cut 2 pieces from the sweater sleeves

Overlock or sew both Sides together

Over-lock or sew the two sides, right sides together.

Over-lock or sew the two sides, right sides together.

Neaten the top edge with the Overlocker

Neaten the top edge using an Overlocker or Serger if you have one. It makes the process quick and easy but a sewing machine can be substituted and the seams can be zig-zagged to make a neat edge.

Overlock the opening of the Basket Liner

Overlock the top opening of the basket liner

Overlock the top opening of the basket liner

Cut out a Bubble-wrap Inner

Using the brown paper at its original size (without the fold) cut out a bubble-wrap liner. Place on the fold when cutting.

Cut a Liner from Bubble-wrap placed on the fold

Cut a bubble-wrap liner

Cut a bubble-wrap liner

Bubble-wrap Liner

The brown paper pattern should be placed on the fold. This reduces the amount of sewing done. Sew one side of the bubble-wrap.

Sew up the side of the Bubble-wrap Liner

Sew both sides of the bubble-wrap liner

Sew both sides of the bubble-wrap liner

Cut off the bottom

Cut off the bottom of the liner. This will allow good water drainage in the basket.

Bottom of the bubble-wrap liner cut off

Cut off the bottom of the bubble-wrap liner as shown

Cut off the bottom of the bubble-wrap liner as shown

Sewing the Top Edge

Fold over the edges of the liner towards the outside of the basket. Use large stitches to neatly encase the metal bars using the woolen jersery fabric as shown.

Fold over the top edge and encase the metal bars

Place the liner into the basket, right sides outside and fold the top edge over the edge as shown.

Place the liner into the basket, right sides outside and fold the top edge over the edge as shown.

Attach the bottom of the liner to the wire basket

Attach the bottom of the woolen liner to the point of the wire basket

Attach the bottom of the woolen liner to the point of the wire basket

Keep the Bubble-wrap Liner separate

There is no need to sew on the bubble wrap liner. The potting soil will keep the liner in place.

Insert the Bubble-wrap Liner

Insert the bubble-wrap liner into the woolen liner

Insert the bubble-wrap liner into the woolen liner

Put Potting Soil into the bottom of the Bubble-wrap Liner

Add potting soil to the bottom of the bubble-wrap liner

Add potting soil to the bottom of the bubble-wrap liner

Planting the whole length of the pot or just from the top!

If you decide to plant flowers which hang over the sides, fill the container and then plant the flowers.

You may wish to plant salad items starting at the bottom of the pot. Cut small holes into the fabric and then into the bubble-wrap with sharp scissors. Use your fingers to enlarge the hole slightly and then push the roots through the hole and backfill with potting soil.

Continue moving up the planter until you reach the top and then insert your choice of plants into the top soil.

Adding potting soil to the Basket

Adding potting soil to the basket

Adding potting soil to the basket

Tease the roots

Tease the roots out from the plants if they have become pot bound. Always look for plants which have not been in their containers for so that they have less chance of having become pot bound.

Tease out plant roots before planting

Tease out the plant roots before planting.

Tease out the plant roots before planting.

Salad Garden

Herb and salad planting

Herb and salad planting

Make good use of your single Sweater

I made three hanging basket liners from one sweater. I even used parts of the jumper which had openings such as the one shown here. This adds a little bit of fun and originality to the liners.

Adding a little touch of originality

Adding a little touch of originality

Adding a little touch of originality

Button on the Sweater

A plant liner with some originality

A plant liner with some originality

Trailing Petunias and Geraniums

Trailing Petunias and Geraniums

A Few More Ideas

Up-cycled Jumper

Up-cycled Jumper

how-to-make-cheap-hanging-basket-liners-from-thick-woolen-sweaters

A Wet Felted Hanging Basket

Wet Felted Handing Basket

Wet Felted Handing Basket

A salad garden hanging basket

A close up of a salad garden hanging basket

A close up of a salad garden hanging basket

A wall of hanging baskets filled with flowers

It does not get much better than this.

It does not get much better than this.

Hanging Strawberry Baskets

Using recycled items for gardening

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I use a round basket in the same way to make hanging baskets?

Answer: I see no reason why you cannot if the sleeves of the sweater are large enough to incorporate your basket otherwise you could try using the front and back of the sweater, just sew the pieces together using a stretch stitch on a sewing machine.

© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 11, 2020:

Everyone that knows me knows how important recycling or repurposing is to me. The idea strikes me that old cardigans could also be unpicked and crocheted to make liners which are either round or cone shaped but this is so easy and could even be sewn using yarn and a large eyed needle. Thank you so much for the pin and the wonderful review of my article. I loved making this project and I am sure you will too.

KonaGirl from New York on February 10, 2020:

This is a fantastic repurposing idea! Every year I fill my hanging baskets with peat moss. Last year I started trying other fiber products for my baskets to eliminate the use of peat moss. They just don't work as well but we do what we can to support the environment.

Worn out sweaters can't be donated (in my mind) because the way I think is, "Who wants to wear holey sweaters?" This is a fabulous way to cut out the use of peat moss and repurpose sweaters too worn to donate. Oooh. . . Thrift shop here I come!

I have pinned your article to my "The Garden - Container Gardening" board at https://www.pinterest.com/konagirl/the-garden-cont...

Now I can hardly wait for spring to try out this amazing idea in my flower baskets.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on October 08, 2019:

Hi Patricia, Moss is a great natural, aesthetically beautiful way to line these baskets. I am big on repurposing items from the home so I was glad to find a way to use garments that were past their prime. I hope your baskets will give you as much pleasure as ours continue to do. They are currently filled with plum tomatoes. Enjoy!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 08, 2019:

You really are very clever. I have lots of moss in my yard so often use that to line wire baskets with. I do think I will be giving this a try too. thank you again for sharing your creativity with us. Angels are headed your way. Pinned to diy.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on December 19, 2017:

Poppy, thank you. I love these baskets which are currently filled with winter flowering pansies. Who knows, I might even plant them up again with some kitchen herbs or salad greens in the Spring. Much appreciate the visit and your taking time to stop by:)

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 19, 2017:

Wonderful hubs as always, Sally. I love the detail and the hanging baskets look so cute!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 24, 2016:

aesta1

Thank you, the time is fast approaching and like you, I can't wait to top up my own baskets with fresh soil and new plants. I love the 3D effect they give the garden, especially one which is a small as mine:) Enjoy, I know I shall.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 23, 2016:

This is brilliant. I can't wait for spring to make this. I love the idea of recycling those wooden sweaters.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 07, 2016:

vocalcoach

Hi Audrey,

The weather has been very strange here, wet, wet and more wet. Winter decided to give us a miss and now the daffodils have decided to open. I hope that they are not ruined by a late patch of frost or snow but like you I am beginning to look at these baskets again with a view to renewing the plants in them. I love spring, it such an exciting time in the garden.

Thank you for the share, it is much appreciated.

Sally.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on February 07, 2016:

Hi Sally.

I'm back again to review your steps for making basket liners. Spring will be here before long and I'm going to make this clever recycling project. Thanks again for sharing and I will too.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 07, 2016:

NadineMay

Glad you enjoyed this one too Nadine. My baskets have certainly stood the test of time and are about to be filled again with new plants for the spring. I love the three-dimensional look one gets with baskets, especially in a small area as I have. Thanks very much for the share on Pinterest.

Sally

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on February 07, 2016:

I LOVE your gardening tips with an old knitted jersey and the photos make all the difference. No wonder it has been the editor's choice. I will share it on my Pinterest board titled Plant growing ideas.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 10, 2015:

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the compliment, the share and pin Kim, they are much appreciated. I hope your day will be a wonderful one.

Sally