DIY – Make Your Own Garden Planters
Why buy new when you can DIY and save money? Need a little inspiration to get your garden started in a container? Check out what some amazingly creative people around the globe have used to grow a garden in – just about everything!
Ideas for Repurposed Planters … INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink!
Stuck for where to start? Looking for inspiration for what to grow your next garden in? Look no further! I hope you like these creative planters as much as I do.
Here’s a list of objects, furniture, fashion and household items just waiting for a new life in your garden.
From the Kitchen:
- Old tea kettle (reuse as a watering can) or upcycle into a planter.
- Lunch boxes and plastic cutlery holders from an old dishwasher or off the kitchen sink when washing up.
- Old biscuit/cookie/tea or coffee tins. If you’d like to make a hanging flower basket from a metal tin can like the one below, you can follow the instructions at Craft Stylish.
Want to make a Mini Indoor Planter out of tin cans? Learn how in this video:
- Jars, urns, jugs and vases – these all look very decorative.
Used tin cans from the pantry – If you think this tin can planter garden looks great as a DIY project, visit Centsationalgirl’s blog which has all the instructions on how to make one of your own.
- Wire spice racks (cover the wire with coir fibre or moss before filling with potting mix).
- Bowls of all shapes and sizes – drill holes in the bottom first.
- Colanders (have great drainage holes already).
- Muffin tins (raise seedlings or sprouts in these).
- Ovenware and bakeware – turn a bread pan into a cute window planter like the one below with a succulent garden.
- Old kitchen sink – love the one below from Silver Valley Stories blog:
- Dead refrigerator – door removed of course!
- Plastic containers (not recycle numbers 3, 6 or 7 though!) – read more about choosing safe containers for food gardens.
- An old wok.
- Crockery – or cracked pots. These can always be glued or the damaged side hidden up against another plant or wall and revamped into a planter.
- Drawers and shelving – there’s no limit to what can be done with drawers – the depth determines what you plant. There are loads of ideas for those with limited space such as the drawer and ladder combo below from DiggersList:
- Baby change tables – with a shelf below and a place where you can remove the soft mat from the top, these make ideal potting benches or shelves on which to put other planters.
- Chest of drawers – these can make useful vertical plant shelves, potting benches and planters like the one below:
- Chairs – when the seat breaks or needs refurbishing, use this as an opportunity to create a garden planter.
From the House:
- Old cane washing baskets – have great drainage and depth so make the perfect planter. They can be spray painted or age gracefully in the garden.
- Bath tubs – these make fantastic deep planters and can be themed to your own tastes!
- Washing machine drum – old style washing machines also suit quirky planters.
- Wire waste baskets and rubbish bins – with good depth and often fine wire mesh for drainage, they just need lining and potting mix to start a micro garden.
- Laundry peg baskets – make great hanging baskets as they come with ready made drainage and handle for hanging.
- Baby bath tub – made from a variety of materials, when no longer needed, they can be retired to the garden for a new life as a planter. Below is an example of an enamel bath tub from The Angry Pin Cushion.
- Children’s toys such as dump trucks and wagons make great planters as they have space in the top for micro gardens.
- Baskets and boxes – I’ve grown lots of mini gardens both permanent and temporary in baskets and cardboard/wooden boxes.
- Prams with the hood removed or folded down for maximum sunlight suit those of you wanting meals on wheels.
- Portable BBQ grill.
- Basins (with a built in drainage hole where the plug used to be and usually made from durable porcelain, they make great planters)
From the Wardrobe:
Don’t think fashion is relevant in the garden? Think again with these inspirational (and unusual) ideas!
- Clothes! Couldn’t resist including this one from Violet Alone – how many of you are brave enough to hang a garden out in your lingerie?
- Bags and baskets – just get creative with whether they become the planter or hold another pot inside.
- Shoes and boots – there are just too many photos to show in this post – you can check out more sensational shoe planters in a later post.
Rachel Mahlke, an artist from California transforms old stiletto heels collected from her friends and thrift stores, into extraordinary planters with cacti and other succulents. First she removes the top of the shoe and then sands it, drills holes for drainage and finally plants a cactus in a mixture of natural and organic fertilizers and soil.
- Shoe racks – why not repurpose one into a great planter like this one from Apartment Therapy or watch a video on how to make your own vertical garden for growing strawberries in a canvas shoe rack.
- Hats – many come with a neck strap and can be filled with potting mix and plants, then hang the strap up on a hook for a hanging basket.
From the Garage, Garden and Shed:
Clean out your garage, look in the garden, poke around in the shed or garage sale and you’re sure to find some useful items that can be repurposed as planters.
- Rotten logs – if you’d like to make your own planter, you can follow the instructions at Make It From Scratch.
- Milk crates, buckets and old trolleys.
- Old wheelbarrows – they come in all shapes, materials and sizes but make fantastic planters for all sorts of edibles and ornamentals. You can also just use the top part of the barrow if it’s made of plastic into a water garden, nestled down in between other plants.
- Tool boxes – metal, wooden or plastic these work well as planters. See how the one below (courtesy http://www.hgtv.com) has made good use of a design trick (Contrast) – planted out with drought tolerant succulents, it has been colour coordinated with the red flowers in another pot.
- Ladders make great vertical spaces for pot plants.
- Old bicycle baskets hooked onto the handlebars (flowers look great in these repurposed planters).
- Rustic tools or farm equipment.
- Barrels and boxes.
- Old suitcases – when they get too battered and bruised from travelling, give them a well deserved rest in the garden as a planter or as storage for garden supplies.
- Wooden crates and pallets – if you’re handy with a hammer and nails you can make all sorts of creative wooden planters.
- Watering cans – big or small these always look great.
- Clam shell sandpits and wading pools – these structures are usually well made with plastic walls high enough to grow a decent number of plants.
Have these ideas inspired you to start a repurposed planter project? If so, please leave a comment, share your ideas and photos to show others what you’ve done. We can all learn from each other.
I’ll be posting more photos of how others are using repurposed planters in their gardens soon, so if you don’t want to miss these, subscribe to my newsletter (and grab your free eBook) or click on the RSS feed. If you liked this post, check out these clever design ideas, tips on frugal gardening and more on repurposed containers.
© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2010-2013 – http://www.themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.