How I Upcycled Ugly Rain Boots Into Gorgeous Spring Decorated Vases


I love wearing rain boots when working in the garden and trudging back and forth to the compost. I like to keep them at the back door under the covered patio so they a readily available whenever I want to quickly slip them on and off. I bought a new pair last fall on sale thinking they would be perfect.
But within a month they were already starting to show their wear. They were no longer cute rain boots
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
I had a choice of still using them with a lot of reluctance, getting rid of them or upcycling them and turning them into something new and improved. I chose to make them into rain boot vases for displaying spring silk flowers.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
The first thing I did was give them a good cleaning and a new coat of paint. This was a 3-step spraying process with drying times in between. I first applied two coats of white primer, then two coats of black gloss paint and two layers of a clear acrylic coating. This last step is really important because it gives the rain boots a protective finish and makes them moisture resistant.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
This is what they used to look like.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
This is how they turned out. What an improvement!
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
Then I made two bows from 1-1/2” wide purple satin wire edge ribbon secured with floral wire.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
The next step was to cut a 3” strip of the purple ribbon and fold it into thirds. I secured this with two strips of duck tape as you can see in the image. This piece became the middle of the bow at the front and a way to attach it to the band of ribbon going around the top of each boot.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
This piece was attached with another piece of duck tape to a second strip of purple ribbon about 18” long. Then I applied this strip along with the attached bow to the top rim of the rain boot and secured it with black duck tape.
This how the rain boot looks from the back.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
I then fluffed and primped the bows and trimmed the ends. This is how it looks from the front.
how i upcycled ugly rain boots into gorgeous spring decorated vases, container gardening, gardening, repurposing upcycling
I bought three purple silk tulip bunches at Michaels because they had a sale on that if you bought two the third one was free. So of course I had to take advantage of the promotion. It did mean I had to split one bunch in half and share it between the two rain boots.
I have two cautionary suggestions for you if you decide to create your own version. Although the acrylic coating helps to protect the paint the rain boots need to be handled with care like you would a glass vase. This is so the paint does not crack. They also need to be displayed in a protected area away from the rain so they do not fill up with water. I know it sounds strange to now have rain boots that need to be kept away from the rain.
I placed my completed rain boot spring vases on the porch by the front door, which is a covered area. I have to admit they really do look gorgeous and very ‘springy’!
I have more detailed instructions with more photographs on the blog. I invite you to check it out so you can have fun making your own!
Time With Thea

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Judy Holtgrewe Bailey
    on Mar 14, 2016

    Rain in the boots, couldn't one take a scrap piece of lumber and place in bottom of boot & drill holes for draining?

    • Time With Thea
      on Mar 26, 2016

      Hi Judy. I chose not to because I have a covered porch where they are displayed so I do not have to worry about the rain pouring into the boot. If my situation were different I would definitely have drilled holes into the bottom. great question and suggestion!

  • Debbie
    on Mar 17, 2016

    Did you weight them? Or are they pretty sturdy on their own?

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3 of 48 comments
  • Janet MachenMinor
    on Apr 13, 2016

    You could use the boots for live flowers also. Just put two cheap vases in the boots, add water and flowers. This would be cute to greet your guest to a garden party!

  • Julie M.
    on Feb 4, 2017

    So cute! I live in Las Vegas so no rain boots here though ;)

    • Time With Thea
      on Feb 7, 2017

      Hmmm... could you use a cute pair of hiking boots or fashion boots instead? The hiking and shopping in and around Las vegas is fabulous! Kidding aside, I appreciate the positive feedback.

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