Unique Planters from Salvaged Materials

There are so many things you can repurpose as a one-of-a-kind container. Whether you're looking to create a bathtub planter, toolbox planter, wheelbarrow planter, or something totally original, think outside the terra-cotta pot with these stylish alternatives.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Boxed Flowering Kale

    There is something stunning about repetition and contrasting colors, shown here by planting gorgeous flowering kale in a distressed wooden box.

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    Galvanized Tub Planter

    Galvanized tub planters can work for any garden style—cottage, country, or even modern and contemporary. 

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    Bathtub Planter

    A salvaged bathtub makes the perfect water garden. This tub planter even has a working showerhead to help keep water from becoming stagnant. 

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    Toolbox Planter

    Antique toolboxes make the perfect home for succulents, whose low water requirements mean the wood underneath won't rot.

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    Wheelbarrow Planter

    Vintage wheelbarrow planters create the perfect boundary for a fairy garden village. Just make sure to add pebbles to the bottom to prevent tipping and help with drainage.

  • Metal Gutter Railing Planter 6 of 25

    Gutter Planter

    Give old gutters new life as container gardens! They're designed to handle water and the elements, so they'll last through many gardening seasons. Bonus: They're an easy addition to any deck railing.

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    Barrel Planter

    If you scored an antique barrel at a flea market, turn it into a planter! It's the perfect vessel for tall, deep-rooted plants. Better yet, line up several barrels to create a natural path or border. 

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    Hanging Planter

    Don't forget to think vertical when it comes to salvaged containers. This 4-foot-tall floor lamp got new life with the help of bright paint, colanders, and metal grates used as vessels for plants. 

    Hanging planter tip: Make sure tall planters are anchored firmly either by pounding a stake into the ground and setting the hollow lamp base over the stake, or by drilling holes in the base and sinking stakes through the holes and into the ground.

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    Boot Planter

    Don't throw those old boots away—make a boot planter in your garden! Or make a statement with a pair of brightly colored rain boots that match your garden's scheme. 

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    Rustic Chicken Feeder

    Whether the chickens are gone or you have a special place in your heart for all things galvanized, repurposing an old feeder could be the best way to add a conversation piece to your garden.

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    Pretty Painted Wooden Box

    A fresh coat of paint is all that is standing between you and a new twist to your container garden. Don't be afraid to try a bold color—you can always repaint it!

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    Oil-Free Oil Can

    An oil can is the perfect-size container for the small areas of your garden or to set on a table. Make sure you clean out any remaining oil prior to planting your favorite flowers.

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    Green Enamelware

    An easy find at any flea market, enamelware has been around for years and comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes.

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    Video: Container-Garden Design Tips

    Watch this quick video for ideas on putting together beautiful combinations once you find a cool, repurposed container to plant in.

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    Steel Pillars of Herbs

    Elevate your herbs to a new level—right next to your outdoor kitchen—with the help of discarded steel rods. Make sure to soften any rough edges before planting!

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    Sewing Desk Drawer

    When the needle and thread have gone by the wayside, take your sewing desk drawers to the garden to display gorgeous spring-blooming bulbs.

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    Galvanized Steel Trough

    Sometimes size matters, and sometimes a large container is just the size needed to make an impact in the garden. This galvanized steel trough adds the right height and weathered texture alongside a collection of terra-cotta containers.

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    Glitzy Old Glasses

    If your old, decorative glasses aren't holding water anymore, have them hold plants such as drooping string of pearls, reindeer moss, and miniature succulents.

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    Rusted-Steel Pedestals

    Put your plants on a rusty platter for a high-rise display. Experiment with succulents that flaunt a variety of textures and growing habits to create a distinguished arrangement.

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    Picture-Perfect Metal Vent

    Add some glamour to your outdoor or indoor walls by framing miniature plants, such as specialty ferns and succulents, with an old metal vent. Add sphagnum moss to help retain moisture and keep the soil intact.

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    Fountain Focal Point

    Add new life to your old fountain by filling in the cracks with container soil and planting your favorite succulents. Get creative with varieties by selecting for variegation, fun texture, or drooping growth habits.

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    Water Cooler

    The most unsuspecting piece could turn into your new favorite container. Let color be your guide, and if turquoise is your fancy, go for it!

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    Mini Shopping Cart Display

    What's great about this piece is that it's mobile! Relocate this container garden to wherever the party is.

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    Wire Wastebasket

    Lightly line a wire wastebasket with peat moss, then fill the remaining area with potting soil. Top it off with your desired plants. Here, white delphiniums lend subtle elegance to an entry area.

    Love the look but don't have an old wastebasket around? Find a wire wastebasket of preferred height at a home store.

  • Next Slideshow Great Containers for Gardening

    Great Containers for Gardening

    If you love planting container gardens but don't know here to start, check out our slide show of 25 recipes you can follow for success. Find your perfect container for gardening in our collection of container garden recipes.
    Begin Slideshow »

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