Say goodbye to plastic bonsai pots! Make your own!




Although plastic bonsai pots are boring and ugly, they are necessary as a temporary home when repotting or transferring your trees.



As you would have read in Part 1, there is an integral relationship between tree and pot which you must observe for aesthetics! This does not include magical Junipers in hideous plastic bonsai pots!



Every bonsai tree is different and call for their own uniquely matched pots. We have told you about the varied sizes, lips and textures and how to match them to trees, but what about creating something more customised to really nail the vibe of your tree?



Making your own bonsai pots is a satisfying experience, and can be very rewarding both financially and personally. Whatever your reason is for making your own pots, we at Bonsai made Easy are delighted that you have made this decision, and wish to supply you with a step-by-step process!

We want to assist you in making a highly durable and weather resistant bonsai pot. So follow these steps and say goodbye to your old plastic bonsai pots!

Important - Follow safety precautions when making pots. Protect yourself from inhaling dust, fibreglass and resin fumes. Protect your skin from touching resin and mortar, and work outside in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to read the safety instructions involved in using these materials!



Good luck!



Hand Made Pot Instructions in 7 easy steps!





Collect your Supplies

· Fibreglass matting

· Liquid resin and hardener (ordinary filler paste is too thick)

· Brushes (you will want to dispose of these after)

· High performance exterior masonry repairer

· Galvanized steel mesh and aluminium wire

· Acrylic paints

· Hand shears

· Power drill and masonry drill bit

· A clean and tidy work area (we recommend you cover this in a plastic sheet)

· Mixing bucket/bowl

· OBSERVE HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES


Build a Frame

· Cut a shape out of your galvanized steel mesh

· Imagine you are making a dress – use cuts as you would use darts

· Tie the cut ends back into the mesh to make a fluid and strong structure

· Use your aluminium wire to reinforce your structure by weaving the wire through the mesh

· Use aluminium wire to create feet of pot (3 feet is ideal). Weave wire through meshing and manipulate wire to form feet. This instantly gives the pot a unique feel - totally different to boring plastic bonsai pots!


Cutting your fibreglass

· Cut out fibreglass matting into appropriate sized pieces

· Place on outside of the mesh

· Making them smaller can make it easier

· Layering them one on top of the other will make your structure stronger

· Mix a little amount of resin and hardener (follow instructions on your products) and paint it on the matting

· To create a natural feel add wavy or uneven shapes to the edge of the pot. This can only be done when the resin is wet. Once the resin is dry you will not be able to alter the look of your pot. The whole point of this is for your pot to look better than plastic bonsai pots, so make sure you are careful!

· Add more layers as you wish, but make sure that they are uniform with the mesh


Exterior Mortar

· Wait for resin to dry then mix exterior mortar and grit

· Grit will help create a great surface texture

· If your mixture is too thick add a little water

· Paste the mortar onto the outside of your pot on top of the resin

· Press the paste onto the skin to form a good attachment

· The texture of your pot is entirely up to you so get creative

· Build the feet of your pot up as necessary and to your liking

· Make sure the edges of your pot are thinner than the pot itself

· Allow your pot to dry (approx 24hrs) and paste the inside of your pot


Drainage

· Drill Holes in the bottom of your pot.

· Alternatively you can place cork plugs in the pot from the beginning of your design

· Use baby steps when drilling holes by increasing them in stages and clamp your pot tightly

· NB – allow 3 days for mortar to completely harden


Adding Texture to your pot

· Mix a desirable amount of dry coarse sand with liquid resin and your hardener mix

· You should seek to achieve a gritty liquid that is fluid enough to paint on your dry mortar

· To achieve a traditional look, use only a liquid resin and hardener mix on the edges and your gritty mix on the rest of your pot

· Paint on both the inside and outside surfaces of your pot to ensure your mortar is sealed. Be sure to paint in all the crannies and crevices, including your drainage holes!!!!


Painting your pot

· Mix acrylic paints to your liking (natural colours are ideal)

· Paint thickly over outer and inner surfaces

· Work back paint while still wet to reveal resin highlights and gritty textures

· Be patient it make take a few attempts to get your desired look

· Using dark colours as a base coat and lighter colours on top will help build depth and texture

· Now sit back and watch your paint dry! Ok, maybe not.....

· Your pot is now ready for use!!!!


CONGRATULATIONS!........ You are one step closer to bonsai guruship...... A round of applause for you!!!



Now throw away those ghastly plastic bonsai pots in the shed!


Leave 'say goodbye to plastic bonsai pots' and head back to Bonsai Care '2'!