Old paint cans
(Optional) Kitty Litter
Outdoor spray paint
Painter’s masking tape
Lighter (to singe rope)
Dried foliage or plastic recyclables for filler
Seeds or starter flowers
1. Begin by cleaning out your old paint cans. If their is still paint left in them you’ll need to pour in some kitty litter to absorb the moisture. Once dry, you can wrap the paint clump in newspaper and place it in your garbage tote. Remove paper labels from cans.
*Note: do not do this project with cans from lead paint.
2. Since the handle on the paint can doesn’t allow enough space for plants to grow, you’ll need to snip off the handle with wire cutters. Snip close to where the handle goes into the can then twist the hooked end out of the can.*Upcycling Opportunity: I bent my can handles into two u-shaped pieces and reused them as stakes to hold my wire garden fencing in the ground
3. Spray paint the cans to your liking using outdoor spray paint that will not rust.
You may also want to use painter’s tape to mask off a design on your cans. Be sure to do this outside wearing protecting gear like a mask, goggles and gloves.
4. Once the cans have fully dried, use your drill to add holes to the bottom of the cans for drainage and to the sides of the can where you will add a new, polypropylene rope handle for hanging.
5. Measure and cut the polypropylene rope to your preferred length for hanging. Be sure to singe all cut ends so it doesn’t fray. Thread the polypropylene rope through the holes you drilled on the side of the cans and knot on the inside of the can.
6. There is a groove in the rim of the paint can where the lid fit in. To keep this from becoming a reservoir for rain, fit a piece of the polypropylene rope into this groove. There’s no need to glue it in, it will stuff in there securely.
7. Lastly, you’re going to fill the paint bucket for planting. If you fill the entire bucket with potting soil it will be very heavy and wasteful. You only need about 4″ of potting soil. So, to fill in the bottom 3/4 of the bucket, it’s best to use garden refuse such as dried foliage. I used last year’s elephant grass. You can also use small plastic containers from your recycling bin to fill up space and keep the bucket light.
8. Once your bucket is full of 3 parts recyclables and 1 part potting soil, press in your seeds or imbed your starter plants!
To see the video tutorial of this project, click below!