rain boots

Use an old pair of rubber rain boots as a planter.

I enjoy looking at my flowers year-round, but I don’t always love buying new planters to display them in. After years of purchasing costly store-bought planters, I’ve encountered many ways to create do-it-yourself planters for pennies on the dollar. By using items you already have around the house, you can convert these “free” items into unique and effective planters that can be used inside or outside the home. Here are just a few DIY upcycled planter projects to try at home.

Colander Planters

Colanders work well as planters, as they’re durable, contain holes for drainage, and typically have handles that allow for easy hanging. If you don’t like the color of your colander, consider spray-painting it. Once it’s dry, line the colander with landscaping fabric to prevent the dirt from falling out of the holes. (Coffee filters work well, too.) Next, insert your flowers into the colander and fill in the rest of the space with potting soil. Use a plant hanging kit, chain, or heavy-duty string to hang your colander planter outdoors.

Rain Boot Planters

Have an old pair of rain boots you’ll likely never wear again? Repurpose them as planters and display them on your porch or in your garden. Creating rain boot planters takes just minutes. Simply fill the foot area with soil, insert your plant, and then fill around the plant with more soil. Opt for a nutrient-rich soil formula that will provide your plant with plenty of nourishment. Place your boot in an area outside where it can get access to rainfall, which cuts down on manual plant care.

Drawer Planters

Instead of bringing your old dresser drawers to the dump, upcycle them as planters. Drawers can be placed directly on the ground to act as raised garden beds or put on legs to prevent you from having to bend down to garden. For an effective planter, line the bottom of the drawer with plastic or tar paper, then add a layer of rocks or gravel for drainage. If your area has heavy rainfall, you can also add a few holes to the bottom of the drawer to allow excess water to drain. Finally, just add your soil and plants and your drawer planter is ready for display.

Shell Planters

Large seashells or snail shells provide the ideal environment for mini-gardens to grow. They can be displayed inside or out, and due to their miniature size, they require minimal maintenance. This is especially true if you use succulents, as most do not need to be watered often. To make a shell planter, gently push a small plant (or several) into a large seashell or snail shell. Fill the rest of the shell with damp potting soil, and enjoy your new mini-garden.

Toolbox Planters

Old toolboxes have a rustic feel that make them great display planters. Toolboxes can be made of metal, wood, or plastic and typically feature a handle that allows you to display the planter in various areas of your garden or yard. You can leave the outside of the toolbox as is for a vintage look or paint it a fresh, vibrant color for a hipper feel. You can also add lettering to the sides using stencils. For adequate drainage, drill four to eight holes into the bottom of the toolbox. Finally, fill your toolbox with plants and soil, or simply transfer several small pots into the toolbox.

Gutter Planters

Take advantage of vertical spaces around your home by displaying your flowers or vegetable plants in a rain gutter. To make gutter planters, cut an eight-foot PVC rain gutter into two to three small sections. Mark and drill two holes into the bottom of the gutter to use for hanging the planter, then another three to four holes for drainage. Hang the planter off of the roof or the side of a building with steel cables or heavy-duty cord.