DIY Copper Himmeli Air plant Holder

One of the items I wanted to change in the bathroom refresh was the faux succulents on the back of the toilet.  I liked the greenery, but I wanted something more visually interesting.  I’m loving air plants at the moment, and I haven’t killed one yet, so that’s always a plus too.  I figured I’d get one and create a neat holder, (you can’t really say planted since they aren’t planted anywhere – instead they just sit there). 

I decided to make a himmeli sculpture out of copper tubing that I could tailor to the size I needed.  As you probably could tell from the KDH Family Build-Off, I’m also loving using metal tubing right now.  I slightly modified this tutorial after I realized placing it on it’s side would create the look I wanted.

DIY Himmeli Air Plant Holder

I ordered a Tillandsia Xerographica air plant and the thing is massive!  I was thinking maybe like 4-5 inches would be good and was a little taken back when this arrived and was double that.

Giant Air Plant

In Anu’s design, she planned to hang a planter, so to make sure mine was sturdy enough to stand on it’s own and sideways, I added extra pieces at the connections in the middle.

I just used the plant measurements to guestimate the pieces I needed. The sizes I ended up with are below:

Copper Himmeli Air Plant Holder with dimensions

You’ll need three 5” pieces, six 5.5” pieces, three 7” pieces, and three 9” pieces.  I bought 2 rods of copper tubing and had a couple inches left over after all my cuts were made.  Again, those are just the sizes I used, reducing or adding an inch or two will yield the same result, just bigger or smaller.  I found the tubing at a specialty hardware store, and the copper wire at Ace.

Copper Himmeli Air Plant Holder 3

The plant is mostly leaves, but I just placed the root inside the larger opening and wrapped the leaves around for aesthetics and to keep it from rolling forward.

Copper Himmeli Air Plant Holder 1

The only thing I would suggest based on the fact that I used copper instead of brass is to lightly sand the pieces with steel wool before assembling.  The copper gets pretty dingy with all the handling and this gets it back to it’s shiny color.  I also plan to spray it with a clear coat since it’ll live in the bathroom, to prevent it from oxidizing, (like we did with our paper towel holder in the kitchen.)

Copper Himmeli Air Plant Holder

I’m really happy with the way it turned out and even did a mini version for my desk at work with a tiny air plant Mike got me for Christmas. 

Mini Air Plant Holder

Mike’s Christmas present included maybe a dozen of these little guys, so I have to think of a couple more ways to display them!


  1. Did the himmeli kill your air plant?

    1. No the himmeli didn't kill it, my over-watering did :( I can keep the small ones alive, but the big ones I can't seem to please!

  2. Where did you get the copper pipes?

    1. I found the copper pipes at a hardware store. They were near the dowel rods and such at my store. Good luck!

  3. It was the COPPER that killed your plant(although overwatering doesn't help)... copper is toxic to tillandsia and they will eventually die from being in contact with the copper. I also love the look of copper against the natural appearance of the air plants, but make sure you buy copper COLORED metal, like aluminum or brass looks just as good!

    1. Thank you for that information! I did spray the copper with a sealant to prevent oxidation from the bathroom moisture, but that's not a perfect solution and I'm sure there was still copper exposed. I was so discouraged by killing the bigger plants I found a very life-like faux tillandsia and even I can't kill it now!