Now that summer is all but officially here, it’s time to get those gardens going! This year, skip the expensive store-bought planters and save a load of money (while helping the environment) with these DIY and upcycled planters.
The whole point of gardening (for us anyway) is to save money on vegetables and herbs that we use throughout the season. Our first year gardening, though, I realized that I could have driven halfway across the country and back to buy produce for the amount that we spent on supplies. Kind of defeats the whole purpose!
Last year, my mom (who is the true gardener, I just reap the rewards) got creative and found a ton of ways to save money on those supplies.
Rather than dishing out cash we really don’t have, we make as many of our own planters, either by upcycling items from around the house or getting the cheapest dollar store planters we can find and DIYing them to look nicer. Below are some of my favorite ideas for both. Keep reading, because after the DIYs, I’ll give you a list of things you can upcycle into garden planters that you may not have thought about.
DIY Planters for Your Garden
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- DIY Sock Cozy Upcycled Tin Can Planter
- Vintage Toddler Potty Turned Planter
- Kawaii Unicorn Mason Jar Succulent Planter
- Recycled Cassette Tape Planter
- Easy Watering Can Planter
- DIY “Concrete” Planter (this is so cool, I was surprised by what she used to make it!)
- Upcycled Bread Pan Planter
- Muffin Tin Herb Garden
- DIY Flower Box (this one is a bit more involved and requires a lot of tools, but it’s so worth it!)
- Disney Map Planter (using a soda can and, you guessed it, a Disney map. It’s so cute!)
- Recycled Tin Can Lady Bug Planter
- Fabric Covered Flowerpot
- Cute Mini Plant Pots using Play-Doh containers
- DIY Letter Planters
- DIY Planter Shelf (again, you need some basic woodworking skills)
- Upcycled Bird Cage Planter
- DIY Planters Made from Old Shampoo Bottles
- DIY Topsy Turvy Flower Planter (cute way to brighten up cheap dollar store terra cotta planters)
- Mother’s Day Photo Planter Tutorial
- DIY Log Planter using old logs
Things You Can Upcycle into Planters
- Empty K-Cups: These make great seed starters, and they’re perfect because they already have a hole in the bottom. Just make sure to remove the coffee and little mesh filter. Save the coffee for your garden.
- Empty Yogurt or Plastic Icee containers: if you eat a lot of Italian Ice (we sure do), save the containers for larger seed starters or tiny potted plants.
- Empty Milk jugs: cut off the part from the handle up. I also keep some on hand to use for a watering jug.
- Your kids’ old sand buckets (or buy new ones in bulk for less than the cost of a bunch of planters)
- Shampoo or body wash bottles (or even your old face lotion bottles, pretty much any container from your bathroom)
- Tin coffee cans
- Broken wheelbarrow (obvious, but I thought I’d mention it)
- Colanders (we grow lettuce in these, just buy them at the dollar store)
- Old toy trucks, preferably the vintage metal ones, but plastic will work, too.
- Hanging shoe racks (the fabric or plastic kind that you hang in your closet)
- Mason jars
- Boots and shoes (rain boots work best)
- Twinnings tea tins
- Old furniture, like dressers, desks and end tables
- Old-style lightbulbs (the crappy ones that no one should be using anymore because they’re bad for the environment). Just take the “guts” out.
- Old tires
- Potty chairs (as you saw above)
- Jeans and pants
- Super strong hats
- Canvas tote bags & old purses
- Chipped tea cups and mugs
- Paint cans (empty, of course)
- Those wooden boxes that clementines come in
- PVC Pipes
- Baby Food Jars
- Old suitcases
- An old baby pool or tub
- Tool box (like the kind Handy Manny carried around, not the plain plastic kind, although I guess that would work, too)
- Rain gutters (but not the ones you’re actually using).
Pretty much anything can become a flower pot or a planter if it has room for a little dirt! In many cases, a little paint can turn it from trash to garden treasure. Sometimes, you don’t even need the paint! Vintage tins and colorful rain boots look adorable as is, for example.
Do you have any other favorite upcycled or DIY planter ideas? Tell me below!