One of our most popular posts, “Containers You Never Thought Of” (find it here) was just begging to be repeated, so we spent some time this week searching for even more unique garden container ideas for you. A few of these have good links to them, but honestly a lot of these photos we found on Pinterest, and search as we might, could not find a good source for them. They are so inspirational we couldn’t leave them out! (If you know whose work these belong to, please drop us an email so we can give them proper credit!) So here it is, MORE containers you never thought of! Our featured photo, above…Old fashioned charm. Need I say more? You could find an old tub at a Habitat for Humanity Restore…

Eclectically Vintage has these two great containers on her patio, one being a metal mop bucket and one from an old tool box. Love it!




From Carolyn Keiper’s garden… how charming is this? A trip to Goodwill in order?



This one speaks for itself…what better way to makeover an old tire swing!



I would plant this one while it lays in a horizontal position, and let the roots take hold for a few weeks before trying to prop it up vertically. I really like this idea!



This one would be a little tough for me…It would be a great project if you could find a string instrument beyond repair… I love the idea of bringing the arts into the garden!



Using natural stones to create unusual containers for the garden would be great for a natural garden style, or something a little more minimalistic.



This is an old chicken feeder filled with hens and chicks… you could easily fill it with herbs as well… What a neat idea for repurposing!



These tool box containers are from Making Art of Life and Confessions of a Curb Shopaholic. Make sure you provide good drainage for these planters, either by drilling holes in the bottom, or lining the bottom with gravel.



These rusty tool container gardens are from Vickie’s Intrigues, and wow, aren’t they awesome? If you try something like this DIY, line the tool opening with moss or coconut fiber before filling with soil and plants.



These rusted tin can containers are a reminder of how anything can be made to look beautiful! I love the color and texture this Burros Tail adds to the planter, great contrast!



Attach rain gutters to a garden wall to replicate this unique container garden. Again, remember the drainage.



Finally, this excellent idea was from Easy Homestead, a blog that no longer exists… I can’t say it enough, drill those drainage holes!


Image Credits: Flickr, Eclectically Vintage, Garden Stew, Reincarnations Art, Nadia Knows, Recyclart, Listotic, Pinterest/Dan330, Listolic, Rancho Reubidoux, Carolyns Homework, Flickr


  1. Terri yenco April 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Felt that the shabbiness of the containers overwhelmed the plants. Perhaps not quite as sloppy and a little more refined.

    1. Kathy Woodard June 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      I think “shabby” is a term that is pretty objective and repurposed containers are not for everyone! Thx for your feedback!

      1. Carol Williams January 2, 2017 at 9:15 am

        I think they look awesome! Some people are a little rude.

      2. Ellie Mallette February 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        Kathy just want to thank you for both your refined and courteous response as well as your interesting ideas!

        1. Kathy Woodard February 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

          Thank you Ellie!

    2. jakkih July 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Wow, Terri. Super rude comment. In fact, the snottiness of your tone overwhelmes the message. Perhaps not quite as condescending and a little more refined.

      1. susan July 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm

        Love the rocks. I tried making the one with the rock slabs standing on their side and they kept falling over. How did you get them to stay.

        1. Kathy Woodard July 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

          Hi Susan,
          That wasn’t out project, but I would suspect you could adhere them together with a exterior “Liquid Nails” or other adhesive meant for landscape projects…

        2. cheryl October 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

          Probably have to glue them one by one a littleat a time to get them to stick.

        3. Susan Taylor March 6, 2015 at 7:16 am

          You wire them together, that’s how the Japanese do it.

      2. Lula Casper January 19, 2015 at 10:34 am

        I think that it is rude and quite frankly I like the containers myself. I love reusing things and i think it adds charater and style with a persons own style.

    3. Victoria September 23, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I most wholeheartedly disagree! I adore the “shabbiness” and the idea of giving new life to well-loved objects that may no longer be suited to their original purpose. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and create beauty while you’re at it! :D

    4. callie January 30, 2015 at 3:56 am

      what a rude thing to say. Why bother commenting at all? I loved several things and it gave me ideas of things I have that I can use! thank you!

  2. Mary Decker June 29, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I totally disagree with Terri, If anything the “shabbiness” can elevate the beauty of the plants. I love to “repurpose” items that can no longer be used as originally intended. They make beautiful, fun and whimsical additions to my yard and have received many compliments on them.

  3. Evelyne Mallory July 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Probably should be noted that most of these containers will last only a season or two before disintegrating so ideal for annuals, but not workable for permanent landscaping displays

    1. Shawna September 12, 2014 at 8:52 am

      I spray inside of my “rusty, shabby, repurposed” containers with clear Flex Seal to help them last longer without changing the charming look.

      1. Kathy Woodard September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

        Great tip Shawna, do you get Flexseal at home improvement stores?

      2. kristi April 10, 2015 at 9:19 am

        This sounds like a great solution. Do you think it would be okay if you are planting edibles (herbs, strawberries)?

      3. Denise Richie April 6, 2016 at 10:27 pm

        I have one of those vintage pedal cars and I haven’t planted it because I thought it would rust too quickly to justify sacrificing it. But if I could spray it with the Flex seal to get a few more years out if it that would be worth it. Thanks for the tip and all the great ideas.

  4. Marie Cafagna July 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Every project in this article are beautiful. I get old water cans that my son has found and spray paint them,according to the mood I am in at the time, and then plant in them. They are gorgeous and gives me satisfaction that at one time some wonderful, hardworking man used these while going about their duties. Thank you so much!!

  5. Angela August 6, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I repurposed an old, broken wooden chair I found the barn of the house we recently purchased. I afixed several planters of different colors and sizes to the arms, a small one hangs from the back, and knocked out some seat slats to place a few containers there. Add petunias and creeping flox and it’s lovely!

    1. Bassetthound December 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      I did a dining room chair I found by a dumpster. Removed the cushioning and made a big hole in the seat board. Put in some saggy used window screen and an old dish towel. Filled it with soil and flowers. Loved that chair.
      As to the constant reminders to drill drainage holes . . . yep. Didn’t drill holes in the toilet bowl and tank. Flowers didn’t live. Thought it would go well with the bathtub I had.

      1. Kim February 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

        I have a toilet bowl and my hubby removed plugs that were in the tank and the seal was removed on the bowl. I plant preannuals, then after a couple I get new preannuals and transplant. Wonderful addition to my garden! This yr I think I’m going to plant hen chicks and some other succulents that will survive Michigan winters.

      2. teresa April 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

        I have a potty and why would you need to drill holes when they are there anyway? The potty drains somewhere! I love my 1958 lime green potty. I just don’t overwater, plus I live in NM where it is hard to overwater!
        I loved all the repurposed containers! My biggest coups are the found objects I can use as containers. I have a collection of antique restaurant colanders that I am planning on hanging on my Side fence and put succulents in.

  6. Woo September 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Wow! Very creative……

  7. sandi September 28, 2014 at 9:09 am

    We had “steps to nowhere” the door was closed up years ago. I set old cement blocks and planted succulents. They spread and climb and easier then removing cement steps.

    1. Tari Deiters March 19, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Like this idea as well!

  8. Kim Kendall November 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Love the chicken feeder

  9. Annette Gutierrez December 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    One of those tool boxes (the green one) is actually from our website…love seeing how these ideas keep going all around the web. We love the “shabby” at Potted.

    1. Kathy Woodard December 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Wow, thanks for sharing that Annette! I hope our readers will visit you at The Potted Store online!

  10. Susie Sand January 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I love anything old and rusty I can plant in. We went through our family farm that was falling apart and scrounged and founded several old metal containers. They were extra special with the memories of grandparents using them. Some got spray painted, some we just planted in. I have a vintage truck planted with succulents, several chicken feeders and old milk crates.
    I’ll plant in anything!

  11. Lula Casper January 19, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I use old tin cans as wells as an assortment of old wooden boxes. I have noticed that placing a clear coat over some can keep water and weather out to help as well as a thin varnish on The outside of wooden boxes

  12. Debra Hubbs February 7, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I think you either appreciate something like this for what it is, and if it’s not your thing, no need to express that to someone just sharing ideas. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I love all of these ideas in the right setting.

  13. Lynn Sturgeon February 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I think all of the posts were inspiring and I know it’s been a year since xxxxxx spewed her stuck up comment on your lovely blog, my New Years wish for her is that she was able to look back at your blog and see the beauty in all things old & new and not just in what her gardners plant in her yard year after year as she leads us all to believe happens.

  14. Beth Burnham February 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I, too, love to repurpose. I have my father’s tackle box. He has been gone close to 20 years and it was old when he had it. It is a bit useless for tackle but I love it because it was his. I have a new covered back deck that I plan on using the tackle box for plants this year. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  15. Linda March 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I reuse rusty junk in sculptures and hanging things all the time. I wonder, though, if they should be lined with plastic like they do to metal baskets in nurseries to prevent MORE rust (& disintegration), and dripping. AND, if so, do we make holes in it to prevent molding roots? Maybe some pebbles in the bottom to allow SOME drainage root relief? What do we think of this? When I adhere rusty parts, I either wire things together, or I sand the two areas to be joined and use a two part epoxy putty. It’s strong and sets up in 3 minutes. Some people call it plumbers putty and one is made by JB Weld. What do we think?

    1. Kathy Woodard March 16, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Great ideas Linda!

  16. Tari Deiters March 19, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Love, love these ideas! Reusing, recycling and anything rusty is awesome!

    1. Tari Deiters March 19, 2015 at 7:04 am

      We already have a clawfoot bathtub and cowboy style work boots we used for our wedding (ice in the tub for drinks and boots for flowers) that I plan to repurpose for the yard. We are thinking recirculating water through an old rusty pump at the head of the tub and placing plants on one of those bathtub racks you use to hold your book, soap, etc.

  17. pcos baby March 28, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I think recycling is an art.. Great ideas indeed..

  18. Martha April 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Love the inspiration of your post!!!

  19. Karen April 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    what paint do you use on the tyre please – and do you need drainage holes??

    1. kelbel September 7, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      I saw this on pinterest last year and I used an “all types” glossy spray paint. I could not get my drill to make the drainage holes, so i keep the flowers in their small pots (with holes) and they kind of stay invisible, if they are small enough to tuck in. It’s very dry here, so it seems like we can never over-water.

  20. Betty April 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Several years ago we remodeled our bath and I took the cast iron tub out back, filled it with dirt and planted tomatoes & peppers. They loved it! I also took out ancient open flame gas heaters, removed the bricks through which the flame danced and planted Celosia in there. People got a huge kick out of those — the Celosia looked like flame in the metal box that was once a heater

  21. Linda (Australia) May 2, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Love all the ideas the use of succulents is ideal for Australia with the high temps we get

  22. Rosemary Holland May 11, 2015 at 8:45 am

    My son passed away last year and I can’t seem to get rid of his work boots, I should say, I don’t want to get rid of his old worn work boots. Thanks to this article about using unusual items to plant in I now know how I will keep him around me just a little longer. Thank you for the idea. Next year I will plant into his scuffed up up hard hat and welding helmet. The ideas just go on and on and on.

    1. Kathy Woodard May 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      My heart goes out to you! What a wonderful way to have memory and sharing it with others!

    2. Elise Richman September 29, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      We, too, lost a 32 year old son last Thanksgiving, so my heart aligns with yours. He had just bought new work boots for wearing to grad school in the NYC winter. They are on my dining room mantle so our puppy won’t chew them any more…but had been at the door ever since he took them off that day. I’m a landscape designer and have been thinking of bronzing them like his baby shoes and using them as planters near his memorial magnolia. With thoughts of you, too, I will now do that. Since they were new, and worn for only 6 days, I’d like to protect them. Shellac? Any ideas? We live in Massachusetts. Thanks for all the wonderful sharing.

  23. Chris June 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Rosemary, sorry for your loss. I filled an old pair of Grampas work boots with garden soil many years ago and put a few hens and chicks in them. Now you actually can’t even tell that there are boots under them any more because they have taken over the boots. I would suggest keeping the hens and chicks in check so that you can still see your sons boots. Great ideas.

  24. Demetra Coldiron October 12, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I love all of the pictures! They have given me a bunch of ideas on how to repurpose using all the rusted, and in some people’s minds useless, things that I have been collecting and have been given over the years. I’m going to start with my cast iron claw foot tub that my mother-in-law gave me decades ago. I have a neighbor who’s like Terry yenco. She always has a cutting and rude comment to make about the things that I have been saving and using all these years. I’ve decided my neighbor just doesn’t have ANY imagination and couldn’t see the beauty in most things if she was hit up side the head with them. But I’ve also noticed my neighbor comments about my stuff but NEVER does anything creative. So go figure. :-)

    1. Kathy Woodard October 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      You go! Remember, do it with purpose, and it is art!

  25. Tammy case April 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I really like the flat stones turned on edge I am trying to figure out how to do that ! That is really a cool idea ! I see you have one big stone lying flat and then the others standing up but I can’t figure out how you make them stand up ! If you could text me and let me know that would be great ! Thanks Tammy

  26. Cass Wright May 9, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    At the risk of being accused as “spewing” I’m going to take the advice “Speak Your Mind” and just say—any “rusty metal” is a serous health hazard, unless you are certain you and anyone who comes near it is current on their tetanus vaccine. I love your garden recycling art, but never rusty metal.

    1. kelbel September 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      I have never met anyone with tetanus. Does it still even exist? I love rust & patina. Live a little.

  27. Tania McGregor September 26, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I like them all, but what is the plant inside the tyre?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 3, 2016 at 11:43 am

      That looks like Ice Plant, or Delosperma to us!

  28. Whitdawg December 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Well here it is 2016/2017 and I love the tire! I have one random tire hanging around at shop looking awful so I’m gonna try your great idea! Thanks for repurposing

  29. Helen February 27, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    loved the ideas!!! now to scramble for some containers!!


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