Repurposed Garden Planters: Recycling Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Gardens
Many of the ideas that I share here can be customized to fit indoor or outdoor gardens. Consider your space, preferences, and plants when choosing and customizing recycled items for your gardening. Additionally, always make sure that you consider a method for creating drainage holes. It is relatively easy to poke holes in thin materials, such as some types of plastic, while you will need to drill holes in other materials, such as rubber and metal. Happy gardening!
Tins, Jars, Baskets, and Containers
There really is no limit to the number of different jars and containers that you can use for gardening. Suggestions that I've found include:
- coffee cans
- wine bottles
- baby wipe boxes (with the tops cut off)
- mason jars
- tin cans
- plastic soda bottles
- metal soda cans
- egg cartons
- baby food jars
- detergent boxes
- bleach bottles
- plastic milk jugs
- cat litter buckets
- any number of plastic food containers (peanut butter jars, yogurt cups, etc.)
Make sure that you clean the containers well before filling them with dirt.
How to Make a Hanging Herb Planter Using Recycled Soda Bottles | Mike Lieberman
Options for recycled papers to use for planters include:
- paper towel rolls
- toilet paper rolls
If you use newspaper, stick to black and white pages. Colored inks may contain toxins, whereas black inks are made from soy and safe to use around foods.
Planting Flower Bulbs in Containers : Using Recycled Materials to Plant Flower Bulbs | Expert Village
Kitchen, Garden, and Misc. Household Items
There are a number of practical, easy to find kitchen and garden items that make great planters. If you're getting ready to get rid of one of these items, consider saving it for your garden. Alternatively, start scouting garage sales and thrift stores. Options include, but are not limited to:
- tea pots
- oil cans and bottles
- pots and pans
- canvas coffee bean bags
- metal wash tubs and water troughs
- shower curtains
- old planters (Did your plant die? You can still reuse the planter!)
- paint cans
Who knew that furniture could have such potential as garden planters? Just a few popular furniture pieces for planters include:
- dresser drawers
- whole dressers
- night stands
- filing cabinets
If you enjoy acquiring and refinishing furniture, this can be a fun option. It's amazing how a simple wood refinishing job and/or coat of spray pan can transform an old piece.
Do you start seedlings indoors? Citrus peels are one options for starter pots. Lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit peels all work well. Simply poke a hole in the peel before you fill it with soil.
Tires / Wheels
There are a handful of ways that you can use old tires, including bike tires, for planters. There are several methods for planting in whole tires as well as several methods for crafting tires into planters. I love that many people include details and designs from the original tires in the planter designs that involved slicing the tires. This effort gives the pots a lot of character.
Bricks and Cement Blocks
I actually bought my first cement blocks to serve as tent weights for an outdoor craft fair. I couldn't believe that they were so inexpensive. Even if you do not have old blocks on hand, this is still a very affordable planter. You can purchase them at just about any home improvement store. There are a variety of sizes and types (i.e. different number of holes) available. Alternatively, you can pour your own planters with recycled plastic containers (i.e. ice cream tubs, large butter containers, etc.) and cement that you mix at home. I have included a couple tutorials for this process in the resources below.
Give new life to your repurposed planters with spray paint.
Gutters and Pipes
Gutters and Pipes
This is another concept that never would have occurred to me. Gutters that are no longer suitable for your house will most likely work just fine as planters. The same is true for old pipes, including sewer pipes and PVC pipes.
The Etsy shop that made these little guys is no longer around, but the idea is still really cute. If you're looking for a way to recycle some of your kid's plastic toys, consider giving this a try. Many plastic animals are hollow so as long as you can drill holes accurately and safely, you should be good to go.
Who knew, right? When your kids outgrow their shoes or your boots wear out, turn them into planters. Crocs are an easy planter because they already have drainage holes. Rubber rain boots are another good choice, as it is relatively easy to drill holes. All of the photos that I had found shoes hanging or suspended, but there is no reason to feel limited to these options.
Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures
Until I started reading craft blogs regularly, I had no idea that there were so many ways to repurpose old light bulbs. Some people simply hollow out single bulbs and use them for small planters while other people find ways to use entire light fixtures. If you do choose to hollow out bulbs, please read all of the instructions carefully and follow the safety precautions.
The creative ideas just keep coming! This is another excellent choice for anyone who enjoys books, reading in general, and/or thrifting. There is no shortage of old books at just about any second hand store. Look for hardcover books in decent condition that are sizable enough to cut a hole for planting. Make sure that you line your book holes with plastic before adding dirt.
How to Make a Planter From a Recycled Book | Curbly
Wood Palettes, Crates, and Boxes
You can repurpose just about any type of old wood into a planter. There are a variety of wood palettes, crates, and boxes out that work well. If you don't already have a good source for these materials, check with your local grocery stores. Many stores are happy to donate palettes and boxes from deliveries that they don't need anymore.
More ideas from the author for repurposing household items.
- Uses for Wine Corks: Crafts, Home Décor Projects, Garden Ideas, and More
This article is about uses for wine corks. It includes a wide variety of photos, tutorials, and other resources for crafts, home décor projects, garden ideas, and much more. There is something here for everyone.
- Junk Mail Crafts: How to Make Unique Projects With Recycled Paper
This article is about junk mail crafts. There are a wide variety of unique projects to make with recycled paper including stationery products, wall art, jewelry, and home décor. There are lots of photos and resources.
- Baby Food Jars: Crafts, Ideas, and Projects
This article is about baby food jar crafts, ideas, and projects. It includes everything from simple storage solutions to more involved craft projects. These projects are ideal for kids, gifts, parties, showers, weddings, and more.
© 2012 Rose Clearfield
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