closeup diy hanging planter - ugly duckling house tutorial

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It’s Wednesday once again, and that means it’s time for another Dueling DIY: Guest Room Gauntlet update!

dueling diy - guest room gauntlet - sarah vs charlotte

On the last update in this series, I hadn’t really made the huge strides in the Murphy bed build that I was hoping for. I finished the wall paint in the guest bedroom (Sherwin-Williams Retreat), which at least looked like a significant change (as paint so often does), but the to-do list still seemed impossibly long. Paint or no, I was going to have to step it up this time around.

sherwin williams retreat

As you guys already know, the whole point of a Dueling DIY challenge is to create motivation in the most mature way possible: by one host rubbing their progress in the other person’s face. For me, seeing how little I completed in the last update compared to Charlotte building a freaking daybed in the interim really put a fire under me. I almost don’t believe it myself how much things have changed in the last two weeks!

Picture Ledge Install ✔️

painted picture ledge for displaying lots of art

I finished the picture ledge install! Even though you only see three here on the wall, I actually made a total of four. As I began to space them out, I quickly realized the fourth would run too low to fit a desk underneath, so it had to be nixed.

picture ledge shelves - closeup

I still wound up using the fourth — just on the TV wall. Adding it directly under the television will be the perfect spot for the remotes (there are two for the TV and one for the new ceiling fan).

Murphy Bed Pieces Built ✔️

I suppose I could have called that “enough” for an update, but I wasn’t content to stop there. Just as I hoped for with this DIY battle, I kept going!. The idea of her finishing and me still having a bedless guest bedroom was just not going to happen, so I got the last of the plywood pieces I needed to assemble the Murphy bed. The whole thing will come together in basically three big parts, which have to be built separately first. It was somewhat of a building frenzy for a few nights as I glued, nailed, and/or screwed everything together.

dueling diy guest bedroom murphy bed building process

I got as far as adding the veneer edge banding to the exposed plywood edges with my clothing iron before needing to make yet another trip to the store. This time, though, it was for paint — a sure sign that I am SO CLOSE to having this thing fully installed! Some of the areas are going to be really difficult to reach once installed on the wall, so I am going ahead with painting things while it’s still on the floor.

iron on veneer edge banding on plywood

Hanging Plants by the Window ✔️

While I was at the store, I happened upon these cute little planters with neon thread. Even though I originally intended on doing a macrame project for hanging plants on my custom-made curtain rods, these seemed like a perfect way to add more color. So, I switched gears and turned these little guys into hanging plants.

diy hanging planter

It’s a fairly simple tutorial, so I thought I’d go ahead and include it in this week’s post. Enjoy!

How to Turn Small Planters into Hanging Plants

diy hanging planter

1. Gather your supplies: some twine/rope, scissors, and a hanging planter that be converted easily (these were simple plastic and cardboard; for wood, you’d have to drill through using a drill bit; for something tougher like ceramic, you’ll have to buy a special bit to drill through them and use a technique similar to this tutorial from my laundry room makeover).

supplies for easy hanging planters

2. Since I could skip the wood/ceramic drill process, I separated the plant out to its components. Find the placement for each hole on opposite sides of the planter.

closeup of placement for holes on hanging planter

separate plant from pot

3. Using a very sharp pair of scissors, poke a hole in one side (enlarging the hole and twisting the blades through). First through the cardboard planter piece, and again through the plastic liner. Repeat on the opposite side.

poke holes through hanging planter

4. Using the same scissors as a poking tool, feed the rope through the first hole, starting at the outside of the planter and pulling through to the inside.

5. For the knots, follow the image directly on the bag (middle illustration). I made two of these knots per side, then a standard knot like tying a shoelace to help the knot stand upright above the rim of the planter.

recommended knots for tying polypropylene cord

6. Cut the rope to the desired length with a little extra to create the knots on the opposite side. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to finish the second hole.

closeup of topside of hanging planter

7. To make the top loop for hanging, fold the rope so that it’s equal on both sides, then wind it around your finger three times. Pull the end of the loop through this wrapped section to create a knot.

top loop knot on hanging planter

8. Cut excess rope from knots, put the plant back in, and hang. In my case, I created two different lengths of rope to make my planters hang at different heights beside the window. I think this will look more interesting, but it’s a nice perk that it also meant I didn’t have to measure or match up the lengths. I may even go back and grab two more and do it again so they hang in clusters.

That’s it for this week’s update! By the next one, I am really hoping to get the Murphy bed fully installed in the wall. And if I’m feeling ambitious, I may even try to start building out the cabinet boxes that will go on either side. Don’t forget to hop over to Charlotte’s blog to see the new changes she’s making to her guest room. I would say something positive about her room to be a supportive friend or whatever, but pfffft. I totally rocked this week, and she knows it.


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  1. I can’t wait to see your Murphy bed! We built one in our only spare room that I use as an office and craft area. It’s the absolute best way to fit a guest room into 9 square feet ?

    1. Assembly should be completed this week. Once it’s in, I begin the cabinets on either side (such a process, but soooo worth it!).