As most of you know, I come from a long line of farmers who hate to throw anything out. Even though I live in Atlanta, I still keep every Mason jar I can get my hands on and hoard the black plastic pots that I get from the garden center. I sometimes find a use for these things, but probably not enough to warrant all the extra energy it takes to deal with the clutter they create. I just can’t find an excuse to throw out a perfectly good manufactured item.
I inherited the agri-engineering gene that has been passed down through my family for centuries. I believe that every Southern home should have duct tape, WD-40, JB Weld epoxy glue and some bailing wire, and that 75 percent of your everyday home and garden problems can be fixed using one or more of these products. Those Mason jars and plastic pots can also play a critical role in solving many household problems.
But I’ve developed another hoarding problem: containers for Tide PODS. Yes, I know you can recycle these containers, but I just can’t help but think they would be good vases/flower pots — if it weren’t for that godawful orange. But the question about how to paint them without doing a lot of prep work has been a problem for me over the years.
Tide PODS containers used to have paper labels, which would bubble up when I tried to paint them. I tried WD-40 and Goo Gone and every other common household solvent I could find, but removing that paper label cleanly always took an hour or more.
But Tide has switched to plastic labels. As it turns out, you can paint right over them. I hung my containers upside down on a dowel and painted them with Rust-Oleum or Krylon spray paint. Make two or three light coats over the course of an hour. If you come back in a few hours or the next day to make touchups, you risk getting bubbles in your paint. Wait 48 hours before making more coats if you can’t get everything done in an hour.
I’m not sure that you want to go all out and fill your house with plants set in Tide PODS containers. It’s the kind of a novelty project that you can laugh about with your crafty girlfriends — did it once, then never did it again. But I’m not interested in things you’ll never do again. I’m interested in taking something relatively useless and turning it into something that can make someone you love happy.
That’s when I realized that these containers are great for passalong plants. When we used to visit my grandmother, she would load my mother up with plants from her yard, and we would have to stack our luggage up like Jenga pieces in order to make room for the pots. We were riding around in a giant station wagon, so we weren’t really hurting for space, but we did sometimes have to move our smaller bags into the foot area of the backseat, and my brother and I had to sit crosslegged all the way home.
But Tide PODS containers are better for passalong plants. Their pleasing design includes two flat sides, making them easier to pack in the back of a car for a long ride home.
I recommend that you use some old corks in the bottom to help with drainage and to lighten the weight of the container. You can decorate the container any way you like or not at all. I made this label using a Cricut vinyl cutter because I wanted it to look cute for y’all. I have forgotten how finicky that kind of vinyl was, and it took me an hour to get the label right. Even then, if you look close, you can see my lack of expertise. Just use a cute round label and record the information about the plant on it in your own handwriting. You don’t have to do anything this fancy to show somebody that you love them.
When your loved ones get home, they can poke a hole in the bottom for proper drainage until they can get their plant into the ground. This container is not supposed to last forever. It’s just supposed to get your heirloom plants where they’re supposed to go and make somebody feel loved in the process.