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From Office to Garden: Filing Cabinet to Garden Planter

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I totally snagged this wonderful project from Carole in Australia who posted her version last week. I loved this so much I went right to work with my own planter. Here's what I came up with...
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
The hunt for a filing cabinet took me to my nearby Habitat Restore. I found several orphaned filing cabinets, one of which was older, made of thicker gauge metal, and (most importantly) had a bottom. It cost me $15. They probably would have taken $10 but it’s the restore. They need that $5.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Step 1: Remove the drawers.
Most filing cabinet drawers are removed by fully extending the drawer and then lifting up. The drawer is then detached from the extension mechanism.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
If you pull the extension mechanism out, you will notice that it stops at some point. Look for a tab on the mechanism. By lifting this tab, the drawer extension will slide completely out of the cabinet.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Step 2: Sand loose paint and rust spots.
Using 180 grit sandpaper, sand areas with loose paint or rust spots. Sand lightly over the entire cabinet with a 220 grit paper. This will help your paint to adhere to the metal. Wipe down the cabinet with a damp rag to remove all the dust.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Step 3: Prime and paint.
I used spray paint and primer found at any home improvement or hardware store. Even though the paint I used has a primer in it, I chose to use a self etching primer because I wanted to make sure my paint stuck to the metal and withstood the weather.
I also wanted a planter that looked like copper. In order to achieve this, I painted the cabinet with two coats of Forged Hammered ‘Chestnut’ and one topcoat of Metallic ‘Aged Copper.’ I thought the copper alone was too bright.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Step 4: Install some casters.
Casters are optional, however if you want to be able to move the planter easily, I recommend them. I purchased casters, stainless steel bolts, washers, and locking nuts. Each caster is rated for 90 pounds and the stainless steel hardware won’t rust. You will have to guess what size of caster is best for the size of cabinet you use.
Be sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the planter before turning it upright.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Step 5: Fill the planter with soil.
Most plants used in containers do not require more that a few inches of soil. Since 12 inches of soil was really all I needed, I placed old kitty litter containers in the bottom of the planter to take up space without adding excessive weight.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
The planter is now ready to fill with good container soil and plants.
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
  • filing cabinet to garden planter container gardening, container gardening, gardening, how to, repurposing upcycling
Check in on my blog for additional details. Thank you Carole for your inspiration! ~Julie

To see more: http://southernwilddesign.com/from-office-to-garden-filing-cabinet-to-garden-planter/

  • Joan Griffin

    Ditto about plastic. Also you need to drill drainage holes in the bottom.

  • Penny
    Penny Canada

    Too hot here in the Summer. The cabinet would get so hot the plants would cook.

  • Sarah Guffy
    Sarah Guffy Topeka, KS

    I think mini rose bushes would look good.

  • Karin Macdonald

    Yes will use this idea...well done...

  • Joyce Palmer

    I have lined the inside of large planters with 1" foam insulation board. This protects against both heat and cold. Also, rather than filling the entire case with soil, place a board across the plastic tubs, then put plant containers filled with

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!