Brighten Your Garden with a Lamp-Turned Planter

Plug in to the potential of a cast-off lamp base, and brighten your space with a lamp turned into a planter.

lamp planter

Light up your garden with creative country style by planting an old lamp stand with long-blooming annuals and pretty foliage. Poke around the corners of your basement or garage for a discarded lamp, or find your potential project at a yard sale or flea market. Focus on garden-worthy bases with elegant lines, quirky shapes, and impressive height. Don't be afraid of some rust or missing electrical work—you don't need the wiring, and the rust is easy to buff away or paint over. Wire on a cast-off hanging basket as the planting vessel, and give everything a coat of primer before adding two coats of pretty paint.

When the planter is complete, line the basket with sphagnum moss or coir, and then fill with potting soil and plants. Anchor a top-heavy planter by pounding a sturdy stake into the ground, and set the hollow lamp base over the stake. Modify the easy-to-follow directions to suit your lamp's characteristics.

You Will Need:

  • Lamp base
  • Hanging basket, 8–12 inches in diameter (choose a basket that suits the scale of the lamp base)
  • Wire cutters
  • Steel wool or nonwoven abrasive pad
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint
  • Pliers
  • Drill and small bit
  • 18- or 20-gauge copper or galvanized wire

Step 1

lamp planter

Twist or cut off the basket clips and chains. Tip: Other common items can serve as planting vessels as long as they have drainage holes; if your vessel doesn't, drill several holes in the base.

Step 2

lamp planter

Use wire cutters to snip away the lamp's cord and any other visible wiring. Also remove the socket, lightbulb, and shade.

Step 3

lamp planter

Rub away loose paint or rust using steel wool or a nonwoven abrasive pad. This step also gently removes slick coatings that may prevent paint from adhering.

Step 4

lamp planter

Use a primer for metal or plastic or an all-purpose primer, depending on your lamp base material, and let it dry. Then spray-paint the lamp with your chosen color, allowing it to dry before applying a second coat.

Step 5

lamp planter

Attach the basket to the top of the lamp with copper wire and pliers. If your lamp has no holes to attach the wires, drill four holes evenly spaced around the lamp top.

How to Plant Hanging Baskets

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