Hanging Test Tube Wall Planter

I’ve said this before: I keep everything. Everything. You never know when the day will come when you can use something that’s been chillin’ in your stash of craft goods for a couple months. Or, in this case, twenty years.

Yeah, my mom bought this test tube spice rack back when I was in 8th grade. I remember exactly where we lived when she had it in the kitchen. I threw away the holder long ago but hung onto the test tubes and cork toppers…

for something…. someday.


Today’s the day! I’m gonna run you through this little project on the off chance that you also have some old test tubes laying around.


Whatever. Still doing it.

I had to get all the gunk and labels off the test tubes, so I soaked them in Goo Gone and then scraped them off with a razor blade.


I grabbed a piece of wood from the scrap pile in the garage…


This is the side view of my original plan. I had it all worked out but needed some rubber stoppers to put around the outside of the test tubes to keep them from falling through.


I headed up to Home Depot and explained to Dana (aka my favorite HD employee) what the plan was and he led me over to a section that had something similar to what I was describing, but it was plastic, not rubber. Forcing a hard plastic ring around a glass test tube sounded like a gashed hand waiting to happen. Standing there defeated, my eye darted around I spotted these things:

Hanging-Test-Tube-Wall-Planter-3A little over two bucks for a bag. I had a test tube with me so I checked ‘er out and it fit perfectly. Score one for Dana. And me.

 Headed back home to stain my wood. I used Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean and then topped it with Minwax Fast Drying Poly Spray.

Favorite Tip Alert #1 : To make your wood look old-ish and distressed, grab a handful of random hardware…


Put it in a sock or a shop towel…


…and then beat the hell outta the wood.


I stained the wood and then beat it with the rando-hardware-sock, but then added another coat of stain so that it would sink down into the little dents and dings I had just made. Then I attached some D-Rings to the back…


…then flipped ‘er over, measured, and added my little test tube holders, er, conduit hangers, whatever you wanna call ’em.


I wrapped the test tubes in white electrical tape 1) to keep the test tubes in there securely 2) to hopefully prevent any breakage while tightening the screws 3) to act as a guide so they all came out level.


Yeah, the one on the end is broken at the top. Ignore that. Snafu. I used ‘er anyway and turned the broken piece to the back so you couldn’t see it.


Ready to hang.

Favorite Tip Alert #2:  When hanging a piece that requires more than one nail/screw, put some tape over both hanging mechanisms…


…poke a hole with a nail/screw…


…and then transfer the tape to the wall, and nail/screw where the holes are, making sure that they are level (measure from the ceiling or use a laser level).


This eliminates the whole “Okay, these two d-rings are 18.25 inches apart, and the center of the wall is here, so 18.25 divided by two is …” that’s where I’m out. Math? No thank you. Tape? Yes, please.

Here it is all done and loaded with the only things I could find alive outside.

Hanging-Test-Tube-Wall-Planter-17 I tried sneaking over to the neighbor’s house to cut some branches offa their tree.

Stepped in dog crap. Message received. Lesson learned.

The cost for this project was under five bucks. I already had the wood, stain, poly, and test tubes. I had to buy two packs of the conduit hangers (2.39 ea) since they only come in packs of five.


Boom! Test Tube Wall Planter.



Whaddya think?

What’s the most ridiculous collection YOU have in your stash?


  1. Amy says

    Omg. Thank you so much for the ol’ tape over the back hangy things! U have no idea how much time u probably just saved me. I’m about to hang a gallery wall, and you should see the pile/ tote fuls of frames I’m working with! I might actually get started on it. Like today. (Did I mention Ive had the pile/ totes / bare walls in my living room for about 4 months?) Yay! Love time (sanity) saving tips!
    P.S I think farts are funny too!

    • says

      Yay! So glad I could save you some time! That’s my favorite trick ever. Saves so much time. It’s been a few days since you commented… did you get the gallery wall done?!?! I’ve tried the ol’ cuttin’ out paper to on the wall as a plan but it’s so time consuming. I’d just rather make a thousand holes and then fill the ones that the frames don’t cover up. That’s just between us, though.

  2. says

    I love that you keep things for so long – I’m exactly the same. I recently made am infinity scarf from a plain scarf I bought with my first wage packet in 1986! I just hate that moment when you think “ah that would have been perfect for this if I hadn’t got rid of it!”
    This is a beautiful project, I love it.

  3. says

    First of all, you are hysterical. I clicked over from Twirl and Take a Bow and nearly wet myself when I saw the name of your blog. I’ve been sitting here reading your post aloud to my husband who I think wishes I would shut up. Second, I love love love this project. You make it look really easy in your tutorial and I want to make one before my forsythias bloom so mine can look just like yours. You’ve got a new fan here!

    • says

      Oh! Welcome to the My-Husband-Wishes-I-Would-Shut-Up Club!! Too bad they wouldn’t survive without us! It was so super easy. That hardest part was the math/measuring for the spacing. I’m terrible at math, though. Thanks, Jen!

  4. says

    My weird hoarding obsession is plastic bags of different colors. I have about 2 totally full garbage bags full of them. I cut them up and use them to make crocheted accessories using them instead of yarn. They do actually have a purpose but I haven’t gotten to it lately.

    Lately, as in.. 5 months..


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