We get our liquid laundry soap in large tubs donated by Assistance Fund of Cambodia). We go through 2 large tubs every 6 months or so and the empty ones started to take up space in the laundry/storage room because I (Melinda) just couldn’t throw them away. A couple of them had been converted into trash receptacles by sawing the top off, but there are only so many of those needed…
I recently moved out of the girl’s dorm (after about 7 years there) into a room adjacent to the preschool. The entrance to the room was quite plain with a few tree-like plants but nothing else.
One day as I was hauling the new donated soap tubs into the laundry room, I had an idea. Could those empty tubs could be repurposed into planters to go by my door? The more I thought about it, the more convinced I could make it work.
First steps, having staff member Phahna cut the tops off and drill holes in the bottom while my trusty helper, Chanrai, started filing the rough edges (we don’t need to wear masks daily on our property, but for whatever reason, Chanrai likes to wear them).
Next steps, remove the unused bottom portion of some well-worn bamboo window shades, scrub them clean, remove the bamboo from the shade, and then slide the slim pieces under black rope tied around the tub. (We had a couple of brief helpers come in and out -along with CC the cat- but few have Chanrai’s patience and stamina).
With the first one was finished we started on the 2nd. I decided to cut the shade to wrap around the tub…this seemed like it would be easier, but the bamboo was so hard and the only thing that would kind of cut them was a garden trimmer so it ended up taking longer than the first one. My hand was so sore by the time I finished, that for the last one we went back to the rope and individual pieces but made it more chunky and mismatched.
We decided to paint the first one (mixed a muted shade of green) and Chanrai got to work. After filling the completed tubs with large then small rocks and soil, we uprooted some plants we found around the property and finished our small works of art.
Using some discarded old shelf pieces, we placed the finished pieces by the door and voilà, instant transformation!
And as one finished project usually leads to another, this weekend DIY started a complete garden makeover…stay tuned for part 2!