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DIY Planters from Vintage Finds

If you’re working on a budget, you have to be creative and thrifty. Planters can get pretty pricey, especially during peak season. Come along to see how I made several DIY planters from vintage finds. Upcycled items, thrift store finds, and more become planters with a little work.

There are so many fun things you can use if you search around a junk store or thrift store. Wagons, old bowls, old colanders, toolboxes – you name it. You can make a DIY planter out of just about anything!

DIY Planters from Vintage Finds

So what can you turn into a planter? Well, pretty much anything with a little creativity. There are so many unique ideas for planters and your imagination is the limit.

If it can hold soil, you can drill drainage holes, and you can find a plant to fit into it, there’s a great chance you can make it into a planter.

Junk stores, estate sales, and thrift stores are some of my favorite places to find vintage items to turn into planters.

Here are a few old things I’ve transformed into planters over the years.

Old Toolbox

I was lucky enough to grab this guy from my husband’s aunt. It was in her basement for years and belonged to her husband who passed away.

She is moving and she was kind enough to let me rummage through her basement. She has quite a few of these, but I practiced some self-restraint and only took one. I don’t really have any use for a heavy metal toolbox, but I know this guy has potential. Why not make it a planter?

Two things drew me to this in particular. One – It’s a bit of family history. I can just see someone carrying this box around filled with old and trusted tools.

The chances of me using it as an actual toolbox are pretty slim, but I can sure use it for other purposes.

And two – It’s old, rusty, and big. It will fit several plants and become a great addition to my porch.

A rusty craftsman toolbox sitting outside.

Since I’m on a budget, I found some inexpensive annuals (Impatiens and Asparagus Ferns) that were about $6 total. This one is going on my covered front porch so I chose not to drill drainage holes.

If it’s going to be out in the elements, use a drill and make 5 or 6 small holes in the bottom so your plants don’t drown.

I set it on an amazing chippy bench I also found in the basement and moved some things around from my summer porch update (you can see that $12 update by clicking here)

A craftsman toolbox turned into a planter box with dark soil, bright green foliage, and purple flowers inside.
Farmhouse style planter using a rusty craftsman toolbox with green foliage and pink flowers inside.
A craftsman toolbox planter with pink and purple flowers on a front porch.
A planter made from an old craftsman toolbox on a porch.
An old metal toolbox with flowers growing inside on a front porch.

An Old Rusty Wagon

And….this guy was sitting in the same basement just waiting on me to take him home. Can you just imagine how much fun was had on this old wagon?

A small rusty red wagon outside on a sidewalk.

Now, I tried to drill holes in this one, but couldn’t get the drill to go through the rust/metal. Probably could’ve tried a little harder, but since it’s such a shallow “planter”, it’s going to dry out very fast in the sun.

Unless we get a ton of rain at once, it should be fine. I filled it with potting soil and added some more inexpensive annuals.

I chose Portulaca (these are some of my favorite full sun annuals!) and impatiens. Then, I added a layer of mulch over the top to keep it from drying out so fast in the blazing sun.

DIY little red wagon planter with yellow and pink flowers inside.
A red wagon with dirt and flowers growing inside.
A small rusty red wagon turned into a planter with pink flowers growing inside.
A little red wagon turned into a planter box with pink and yellow flowers growing inside.
A red wagon with soil and flowers growing inside.
A red wagon planter with flowers on the side of a house.

So between soil and plants, it was around $10.

Not a bad way to spend about 10 bucks! Two new easy DIY farmhouse style planters! You can see a few of the other ideas from my $12 Thrifty Summer Porch Update, a DIY Dollar Store Planter Makeover, and a DIY Enamelware Planter

Old Watering Can

You can find old watering cans at vintage stores everywhere it seems. These are some of my favorite old items to use as planters because they just fit the idea.

Planters need water. Why not use an old watering device for your beautiful flowers.

A metal watering can with pink and white flowers inside on a blue shelf.

Again I added Portulaca to this one – can you spot a trend? Portulaca is amazing. If you’ve never grown this and you’re in Zones 2-11, you can grow it!

You don’t have to spend a lot to create some fun outdoor planters. If you don’t have a basement to rummage through, you can find some unique items at thrift or vintage stores. Get creative and happy planting!

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Life With Lorelai

Monday 31st of July 2017

What an awesome idea for a planter -- an old toolbox! Love the wagon too. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty :)

~Lorelai Life With Lorelai


Monday 31st of July 2017

Thanks Lorelai! The toolbox is definitely one of my favorite repurposed ideas!


Monday 31st of July 2017

I love both of these so much! Want to come work on my yard next? #HomeMattersParty


Monday 31st of July 2017

Yes Emily! I'll be right over!

Nicole (@momfindsout)

Friday 28th of July 2017

Super cool finds! The red wagon and rusty toolbox look great as planters. Thanks for sharing your diy planters at the #HomeMattersParty this week!


Saturday 29th of July 2017

Thank you Nicole! I just can't pass up old and rusty!


Friday 28th of July 2017

They're lovely! I can't decide which I like best. Maybe the wagon for the pop of color!


Saturday 29th of July 2017

Thank you! I definitely like the pop of color from the wagon!

Darlene Brink

Friday 28th of July 2017

Great idea!