Create a Beautiful Garden Planter from a Simple Container

Making my home look great with the addition of vibrant coloured flowers.

Traditional flower pots and planters can be expensive, so I like to visit yard sales and flea markets to find inexpensive ordinary containers to turn into beautiful planters for my deck and patio. You can often find flower pots and planters secondhand that will work for you if you are gardening on a budget, but I like the challenge of creating interesting holders for my flowers from other things that I find at local sales.

Some plant containers that I have seen in friends gardens include old work boots, wheelbarrows, bathtubs, tires, wagons, teapots, wooden buckets, metal buckets and even an old dresser. The possibilities are endless. You just need to keep an open mind and imagine each container with beautiful plants in it and you would be surprised at the options you will find.

My latest discovery was a cold drinks bucket with stand that was meant to be a beverage cooler for parties, but the bottom was pretty dented. The paint was in great condition and I like the cheerful turquoise color. I grabbed it at a flea market for $2 and decided to convert it into a beautiful planter for my patio.

Takes 40 minutes and is easy – Costs no more than $20.00

Materials Needed

Container that you want to turn into a planter
Potting soil or garden soil
Rocks or stones
ToolsHand trowel
Garden Hose


First you will want to find the container that you want to convert into a planter. I found this cold drinks bucket and stand at a flea market for $2 and thought it would look super cute at the corner of my patio full of flowers. The bottom was dented, but otherwise in good shape. You can convert containers that are metal, wood or plastic for this project.


You will want to clean up your container before you start planting. Usually you can just hose off your container removing any dust or dirt. You may have to use some soapy water if you have a lot of grease and grime. However if you are using a wood container, you may have to do some sanding and painting. You can decide what needs to be done so that your container is ready for some spectacular flowers.


You will need to drill several holes into the bottom of your container so that it can drain excess water. Then fill your container with about 1 inch of stone, rocks or seashells, this will provide good drainage for your planter. I used extra rocks from our driveway, but any hard material that will provide cracks for water to run through will work out just fine.


This is the fun part, go pick out your plants. I chose varieties that are sun lovers and bloom through midsummer. You can decide to choose plants that bloom during any season or you can decide to start your plants from seed in your container.

..and then

Fill your container with potting soil or garden soil. You can also use compost, if you are already creating nutrient rich soil for yourself. You will want to fill the container so that when you place the plants on top, their top soil line is not over the edge of the container. If you are starting from seed, then fill the container to 1 inch below the top edge and go ahead and plant your seeds.


Remove your plants from their temporary pots and arrange them in your container taking consideration of color and height. I chose plants that would bloom from spring through the summer, but you can choose plants that bloom any time of year. I also chose sun loving plants because I plan to use this container on my patio. Be aware when choosing your plants to take in account temperature, light, and geographical conditions.
Fill in around your plants with potting soil, making sure to get in all of the cracks. Then give them a light watering and place your planter where you want it.

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