Creating Unique Planters: Repurpose old items into new flower pots and planters

With Spring Cleaning comes the inevitable garage purge. If you are like most of us, you have collected quite a bit of clutter over the years because you are holding on to things in the hope that you can use them again somehow. Well, now you can! Instead of chucking your outdoor tools and toys when they reach their expiration dates, why not resurrect them as creative planters and flower pots? By breathing new life into items you may have previously discarded as “junk,” you can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Here are five DIY projects to help you get your own power-planting juices flowing.

Paint Can Petals.

If you have leftover paint cans from various projects over the years, don’t throw them out! Instead, let the paint dry, or use the rest to decorate the outside of the can. This works great if the paint inside is a color that you can match with a certain type of flower – simply bring the color to the can itself and find a flower with complementary petals.

-Using a nail and hammer, very carefully punch a few holes into the bottom or sides of the can for drainage.

-You can plant directly in the can or you can use a cottage cheese (or similar sized) container, with drainage holes, and drop it straight in the can – this will make clean-up a snap at the end of the season.

-From here, you can hang the cans from your picket fence or hooks you have installed wherever you would like to add a pop of color.

Grungy Grill.

When your grill has seen its last barbecue, give it renewed purpose by converting it into a stand-alone flower pot. Grills are great options because they are naturally raised and can add dimension and texture to an otherwise flat-plane garden. Additionally, they come equipped with drainage holes in the bottom (or a grate for the ashes) so you can bypass the drilling stage!

-If it is covered in years of charcoal dust or grime, thoroughly clean it before planting.

-You can leave it rusty if you like the look, just be sure to use caution when planting so you do not cut yourself.

Galvanized Garden.

One great solution for re-using those old galvanized tubs is planting a raised garden. Not only will this keep the bunnies and veggie snatchers away from your garden grub, but it also takes a ton of the stress off of your back because you do not have to lean over nearly as far to tend to your plants!

-Using an electric drill (using appropriate safety gear), carefully drill a few holes in the bottom of the tub for drainage. Place the holes randomly throughout the bottom of the tub to ensure even drainage and drill proportionately – the larger the tub, the more holes you will need to drill.

-Create a cinder-block base wherever you want to place your garden. Make sure it is sturdy enough to support the tub.

-Once the holes are drilled, place your tub on top of the cinder blocks

-Follow up with the planting!

Wooden Window Box.

If you have a vintage wooden toolbox, these are great options for using as window boxes because the flat sides allow for easy attachment to a window frame. Alternatively, you could opt to use it as a stand-alone planter on a table or porch for your new portable herb garden.

-Following the drilling tips above, carefully drill a few holes on the bottom of the box for drainage.

-Line the sides of the box with plastic before you plant to protect the wood.

-Fill the box with nutrient-rich soil and plant flowers or herbs of your choice.

Pool Planter.

Remember those old plastic pools your kids used to play in every summer? If you have held onto it, even though your kids are now in college and beyond, here’s the perfect time to put it back into commission – as a planter. Whether you put it on your back deck or as the new centerpiece in your backyard, with colorful petal choices it can become a flower focal point.

-Following the electrical drilling tips above, carefully drill a few holes in the bottom of the pool for drainage. Place the holes randomly throughout the bottom of the pool to ensure even drainage.

-If the pool is especially flimsy, you may consider adding a layer of gravel or stones to the bottom before you plant. This will help weigh it down and also assists with drainage.

-Fill the pool with nutrient-rich soil and plant your flowers or foliage the recommended distance apart to allow for the items to grow and spread out.

With a bit of imagination, you can turn virtually any container into a unique planter. What are some of the interesting items you have used in creative new ways?

Mike Tuma is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, where he has been helping customers since 2005. Mike focuses on outdoor products ranging from a standard chipper to chainsaws and lawn mowers.