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July 6, 2011

DIY: Make Pot Feet from Inner Tubes

When I demonstrated my DIY pot lifter/hauler at a Garden Club of Austin meeting, I also showed how to make pot feet out of bicycle inner tubes, and they were a bigger hit than the pot lifter!  I use these throughout my garden, and they're beyond cheap, super easy, and very gratifying to make - they even have a great "hand feel" (heavy for their size and comfortable in the palm of your hand).  They also work well in keeping outdoor furniture off the ground and pots out of drip trays to prevent "wet feet" and salts building on the base of pots.  So here's my little tutorial on how to make pot feet to protect surfaces and improve drainage for potted plants by upcycling a material that is difficult to recycle and frequently gets dumped in the landfill.

For this project, you will need bicycle inner tubes (free at bicycle repair shops) and a pair of scissors.

Remove valve section and wash inner tube(s).

Cut a short section of tube.

Cut the remaining tube in long strips following the seam lines.

Cut the short section of tube into a "rubber band" the width of the strip.
Pre-stretch the "rubber band" like you would with a balloon.

Roll the strip into a mini-wheel.

Stretch the "rubber band" around the rolled strip.

Repeat this process a few times and then you're done!


Alternative Steps:
If you make enough of these, you will wind up with enough to match feet that are the same height.  An alternative to this is to find a small diameter inner tube (such as those used on road bikes) to use as the rubber bands and cut strips into thirds to ensure the height is uniform.  However, feet at slightly different heights can be desirable if you're working on uneven ground -I've even taken the wobble out of furniture by using ones at different heights.

I don't know why I go looking for things after the fact, but apparently there's a company called Potrisers that sells black rubber pot feet made from recycled materials.  A dozen of them (enough for 3-4 pots) will set you back roughly $15.  If you're not up for making some yourself, you can also buy them, but I think I'll keeping them although I can't offer a 1600lb guarantee. :-/


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