Planters come in all shapes and sizes. Every gardener knows that finding creative things to put plants in will add interest to their yard. This is a guide about creative garden planters.
Here are ideas for reusing items as planters or pots from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own unusual planter ideas below.
You can cut holes in the toes for additional planting possibilities. I hope to find another pair at garage sales this summer, to paint white. I'll put some allysum in the toes, and vinca vines draped around the cuffs, with maybe red geraniums, or petunias coming out of the top.
Now, if you're familiar with "pack boots" (they are usually constructed of green rubber). These make good substitutes for those long, hanging, plastic planters with holes cut out of the sides for plants with runners (like strawberries, or spider plants), and I've also seen them done with impatients. Just fashion a hanger using the eyelets, cut some slits in the sides, and toes, and fill with dirt. Arrange plants in the slits and tops. Or put the parent plant in the top, and open the slits up for the anticipated runners. Voila!
Harlean from Arkansas
Many household objects can be used as containers in the garden. I love to use old chairs in the garden to add height and interest to an area that might be otherwise plain without it.
Many can be found on trash day, free for the taking. This one was without a seat, so I stapled a wire basket to the underside of the chair and added a cocoa liner. A layer of newspaper in the liner helps to retain moisture as cocoa liners can dry out easily in the heat of the summer. Fill with plants and good quality potting soil that contains a slow release fertilizer and moisture holding crystals.
By Dottie from Pennellville, NY
This simple project is a wonderful way to use the china teacups gathering dust on your shelves. Filled with soil and ivy they make dainty and long-lived planters.
By Opal B. 1
My daughter loves anything old or antique and loves rag rugs, so I decided to use the rag rug technique and make her rag flower pots.
I cut rag strips, braided them together and then hot glued them to plastic tubs from the Dollar Store. Everyone in the family now wants rag flower pots.
Source: I just kinda thought of another use for the rag rug technique.
Here's a picture of a flowers planted in an old truck. Do you have any creative planter ideas to share? Post your ideas below.
June 29, 2008
I am wondering what is "no dirt" soil also. Could the person with that post please tell us what it is? Thank you
Use a strawberry pot as an inexpensive side table on your deck! First plant small vines or other trailing plants in the holes of the pot. Fill the rest of the pot with soil then cover top of the soil with small pebbles and cover the top with a small glass table top.
By Chanon from Knoxville, TN
Plants will grow in just about anything given the proper soil, water, and light conditions. If you're looking for some inexpensive container ideas, grab a pencil and some paper and take a walk around the house for a few inspirational ideas.
Water bottles (cut down vertically or horizontally) or chipped mugs and teacups make nice window containers for growing herbs. Clear plastic deli and take-out containers work like mini greenhouses for starting seeds. Coconut halves and large gourds hold small flowers and herbs and hollowed out pumpkins work nicely as planters in the fall.
Garbage cans, shower organizers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets make amusing containers-and great conversation pieces.
Tipped on their backs, file cabinets make nice deep containers for growing vegetables-the drawers can be planted separately. Think of any type of wall-mounted file organizer as a waterfall of flowers just waiting to happen.
Time to replace that old grill? Gas and Webber style grills (and their covers) make first-rate containers, as do plastic swimming pools and hanging baskets.
Plastic totes and storage bins are lightweight, come in a variety of sizes and colors and are inexpensive and easy to modify for container gardening. You can find these "dirt" cheap at discount stores in the fall and spring-the times of the year when people typically organize their closets and drawers.
Remember, as long as you can provide drainage and enough growing medium for your plant, there's no end to the possibilities for containers. To find free or inexpensive building materials (and potential containers) left over from remodeling or deconstruction projects in your community, try www.freecycle.org.
I love interesting places to display flowers. Especially when they are easy since I don't have much of a green thumb. Here are some things I've done:
I used an old wheelbarrow by drilling holes in the bottom for drainage, throw in some gravel then top w/soil and plants. Plants that hang off the sides look great and something big and flashy in the middle. You can also lay the barrow on its side and design from there.
Another great tip is using old chairs that have lost their seat in them.
By Sarah Cox from Hixson, TN
Our old southwest fountain finally "bit the dust" and no longer held water. Try as we would, it could not be saved. So we decided to fill it with dirt and added some plants and a bird nest to add interest to the front yard. We always try not to add to the landfill. So for now the much loved fountain will serve us for a few more years.
Our front yard
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
Planning ahead for the seasons can add challenges to spring planting. Instead of planting each season, plant now to create an entire yearly display for much less than you'll pay to replant it each season. Why pay money to purchase plants and then throw them away?
Think about the year ahead instead. We consider an entire season's planting when digging flower beds in the yard, but we often ignore them in potted displays. While pansies and winter cabbage are attractive, save them for your yard and keep them out of the potted plants. Instead, think about plants that will die down and reappear each year. Yearly plantings should be reserved for the larger planters.
As the frost line approaches your home, consider covering the planter with an old bed sheet at night. This will keep your flowers blooming and healthy longer. When the cold comes on strong, if you live in a colder climate, you'll have to add to your planter manually. Prune some interestingly shaped branches from around your yard and add them to the planter. If they have colored leaves, this will add to the display until the leaves dry. Bare sticks will continue the autumn look while adapting to the harsher temperatures.
For those who live in planting zone 6 and further north, this time period of autumn into winter is tricky for planters. Explore your recycling options. Continue to add the bare sticks as well as any dried berries and fall items you might find in your yard. Then, recycle the jack-o-lantern by turning his face to the back, covering it with the sticks and findings, and using the orange color to accentuate your display.
With a little investment, purchase a small evergreen for the center of your pot. Keep the other flowers growing around it, and decorate it according to the season. The evergreen will look lovely with smaller spring bulbs around its base, small summer flowers such as sweet alyssum around its base, sticks and marigolds in autumn, and mulch in the winter.
It's important to mulch your planter during the winter. Keeping it close to the house or under a porch will help to protect it. Adding pine needles as mulch is also a cheap and decorative solution.
This is a recycling craft using children's pants as a holder for potted plants. Quite unique and cute. I saw the idea in a Birds and Blooms magazine and used it myself.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
*The pants I used are a kind of water proof fabric. This worked very well.
If you have empty cans of paint left after a project, don't throw them away! Turn them into hanging planters.
Take off the lids and let any remaining paint dry, you will not need the lids. After the paint dries, take a nail and punch some holes in the bottom of the can to allow for drainage, otherwise the can will collect too much water and rust.
If the can has a paper label, peel it off and you will have a plain can that you can paint or leave plain. If the product information is printed right on the can, you can spray paint over it to cover.
You can loop the can handle over a picket fence stake, and the can will sit flush against the fence, or you can hang it from a hook. Plant directly in the can, or to make cleanup easier, use large yogurt or cottage cheese containers with holes cut for drainage - the can will hide the plastic container, and you can pop it out easily at the end of the season.
These look especially nice with cascading plants, but you can put anything you like in them.
By Regina from Rochester, NY
Want something different for your front lawn or garden? Use an iron chair or glider and fill it with ivy and flowers. My husband put some wooden sides on it and I lined the bottom with coconut liners. I filled the bottom with several inches of potting soil and planted away topping off with pine straw. Every year I try a new plants for variety.
By Tammie from Moody, AL
By Denise 12This is my portable flower garden. Because of my husband's job, we used to transfer in the summers and I wouldn't get the chance to "take" my garden with me. Or sometimes we moved to a house without much for landscaping. In order to at least have something with a little flower power, I decided to use my childhood wagon as a garden container, just in case we move again. This last summer, I planted impatiens in them and they did really well. I also like being able to move my portable flower bed to different areas of my garden.
By Denise from NB
They are easy and fun and require basically what you can find around your home and yard. Use old clay or ceramic plates, soil, small rocks or pebbles, dried flowers, sand, moss, etc., to create little faerie gardens or as my daughter calls them "Ladybug Gardens". In this pic, a pond was made out of the bottom of a plastic water bottle and a leaf, floral wire and picks were used to create a fairie swing. Fun Fun Fun!
By LovelyMom from Durham, NC
In the Dollar Store we found some plastic toy wheel barrows and dump trucks. We set them on a mat that keeps weeds out with pea pebbles, and filled them up (first hubby drilled drainage holes) and set them out front. At Kmart I even scored some Mexican type items, like a man in a sombrero and a donkey. It makes a fun scene, and when the season gets to be too cold out there these easily come inside for winter and back out in spring.
Source: Got the idea from Pintrest
On a recently drive around town I saw this fun planter in someone's yard. They used a Little Tikes football toy box, which I frequently see at yard sales and thrift stores. Drill some drainage holes in the bottom and you have a durable planter for your flowers.
I had several items in my yard that I was using as yard art; wear and tear of these items in the weather elements caused rust and corrosion. I changed these items; painted them and they are again a nice addition to my yard art collection.
Want something different for your flower garden or front yard? Use an old iron chair or glider, as I have used, to create a flower bed. I lined the bottom with coconut shell liners, filled with potting soil and planted away!
My husband is in the construction business. One day he brought this old salad display home. It is the large kind you see at buffets. It has a sneeze guard on the top.
This is a guide about making a plastic soda bottle hanging planter. Help give your plants an inexpensive new home and keep plastic bottles out of our landfills by making this easy hanging planter.
Most gardeners know that you can grow vegetables in pots instead of putting them in the ground. In our garden, we do both. Buying pots can be very expensive, so we started looking at everyday objects to find cheap and, sometimes, decorative alternatives.
My yard is mostly shade with the gravel driveway being the sunniest spot on the property. I refused to give up vegetable gardening when we bought the place, so I gathered up my galvanized tub collection.
A pal had a bunch of plant clippings she was wanting to get rid of at a yard sale. With not having any excess planters, she made her own planters with record albums she no longer wanted or needed.
Today I was driving by someone's home and saw what I thought were pretty white "pillars" down the side of their driveway with gorgeous plant boxes sitting inside of them hanging down over the sides of the "pillars".
Interesting focal points in your garden don't always have to include terra cotta pots. See what you have around the house that would make a creative planter.
This wine press has been in the family for about 50 years and has seen many, many boxes of grapes and we have enjoyed many, many bottles of homemade wine. The day finally came when the press was ready for retirement and I turned it into a lovely garden piece.
The old(er) aunts, uncles and cousins love what I've done with the press and whenever they see it, the reminisces begin. What fun!
By Wilhelmina from Amherstburg, ON
Container gardens are so much fun, because the possibilities are endless, and the entire family can participate. You don't have to commit a lot of time to plant: Create one new potted plant each day until your garden is complete! Just about anything that will hold soil can be used.
I am very sentimental regarding getting rid of "special" items. My son's first acoustic guitar is missing strings, shows lots of wear, and has no monetary value to speak of. It is something I want to see daily so I have decided to use it as a planter in my garden.
By Caroline 2
Last fall I took a large pumpkin and cleaned it out, filled it with potting soil and put a mum plant in it. I used it as a decoration on my front porch. At the end of the season, I took the mum/pumpkin and planted it in the ground.
I recently took care of my neighbors' kitty and garden while they attended an out of town wedding. The tomato plants growing in these recycled washer tubs were doing so well I wanted to share this planter idea with the members.
I keep my eyes open for any old galvanized buckets, tubs, and pails that I can use in my garden. This one was once a "calf-a-teria" complete with rubber udder where the hole is at the bottom.
With the cold weather, I do my gardening indoors. I use cute planters from thrift shops like coffee mugs, porcelain creamers, or ceramic pots that strike my fancy.
Old copper jello molds cost next to nothing at yard sales. Drill a few holes in the bottom and they make great planters. I always have a few plants on hand started from cuttings for a quick gift when I need one.
When my children were young and still living at home, they made a habit of burning my tea kettles dry. I decided to plant flowers, and/or herbs in them. They look really cute outside or inside!
I hated to throw away our used swimming pool filter and thought it looked so interesting. I stood it upright and put a flower pot on top of it. It adds prominence to an empty space in the garden.
I have a business with a sunny front and a low window. I want to plant flowers outside below the window. It is about 8 feet in length and 2 feet high. I need some unusual ideas for planters. Preferably some things that are long.
By Cindy E
January 13, 2012
Don't know what your zone is, but this window box in Charleston South Carolina blew my socks off! It looks to me like the white in the center is allysum, the pink are petunias, the blue could be scaviola,and there could be other stuff in there as well. Just remember to use the best soil you can find, add lots of a timed release fertilizer (maybe also a bit of miracle grow in your watering),Buy the healthiest plants you can find and pack them in! If you can find some variegated ivy or vinca, that would creat a trailing effect. Good Luck! Anne in NC
Take something old and make it new! This vintage wooden toolbox (a $2 yard sale find) now holds pretty flowers instead of ordinary old tools.
Use vintage metal buckets found at yard sales for container gardening. In most cases, the buckets already have holes in the bottom, acting as great drainage holes.
Old hard suitcases work well as planters. Drill a few holes for drainage in the bottom and lay small rocks over them then fill with dirt and plant. Also, try closing the lid and cutting a space in the top for a plant to grow out of instead of just leaving it open.
The easy way is to heat a hole punch, awl, or nail tip over a lit candle. Then simply push it down into the turned over container in several spots to allow for adequate drainage.
What to do with those self stick curlers that just lay around in the bathroom in all different colors? They make great cactus plant holders! Fill them with dirt, and water little.
I want to make a planter out of work boots. Do they have to be lace up ones?
Linda from NW Iowa
I wouldn't think so, actually you would probably lose less soil if they weren't. (04/27/2007)
|<img src="http://www.thriftyfun.com/images/articles40/BootPlntr1.300x239.jpg" width="300" height="239" border="0" hspace="7" vspace="0" alt="Garden: Boot Planter">|
|<img src="http://www.thriftyfun.com/images/articles40/BootPlntr2.300x225.jpg" width="300" height="225" border="0" hspace="7" vspace="0" alt="Garden: Boot Planter">|
I love to find new things to plant in, this pair of boots had seen better days,so into the garden they went,I also used my girls rubber boots,they are so cute.
Boots make great planters!
By moonseekerjade from Onset, MA
Very cute. My husband is a lobsterman. I am going to try to steal some of his boots and plant them. (06/11/2009)
What a neat idea! Very clever, very cute, (06/11/2009)