Upcycled Window Herb Planter

14 Materials
2 Hours

Turn an old window and some tin cans into a gorgeous herb garden for your backyard.

I decided to use old tin cans as planters as I had lot of success with the colourful tin can planter (click here to see) I made last year.

Not only does the upcycled window herb planter looks fantastic in my little garden but it's really practical, as I now have my own little herb garden. The herbs are in portable upcycled tin can planters, that can be easily taken into the kitchen when needed.


My friend was having new windows installed and was about to throw out the old sash windows, luckily I managed to grab them before she did. To get an old window look out for anyone having new ones installed as they are normally more than happy to give you old ones to save them going to the dump.

Being a fan of Cyndi Lauper I decided to use the pun "Thyme After Thyme" on my window.

You can download the Cyndi Lauper herb pun and bee graphic from my blog. If you want to paint behind the window like me, print a mirror image of the words and tape them to the front of your window.

Paint on the window with glass paints, I used to very small pots one black and one yellow. You can use acrylic paint but you will need to seal them afterwards.

As you can see it you don't need to be an artist to paint the image as you were using it a bit like a stencil.

To make my tin can herb planters. I first spray painted my tin cans cream and drilled drainage holes in the bottom of them.

The insect images I used were cut out from some Cavallini insect wrapping paper (like this one here) and stuck to the tin cans with decoupage glue. The decorated cans were then covered in a waterproof mod podge to protect them from the elements.

Before planting the herbs into the can planters, I added a layer of gravel to help with drainage.

If you visit my blog as well as downloading the images you can see more detailed instructions. You will find out how I attached the cans to the window, so that they could easily be removed and swapped round.

I love the window herb planter I think it's a great addition to my back garden.

As well as "Thyme after Thyme" I did think of with a few other herb/lyric puns. Such as "The Thyme of My Life" for the Dirty Dancing fans.

If you have any good song lyric herb puns I'd love to hear them.

You could of course plant flowers instead of herbs in your tin cans. I'm sure there are loads of good songs with flowers in the title !

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Claire at Pillarboxblue

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


Have a question about this project?

6 questions
  • Debora Goss
    Debora Goss
    on Apr 7, 2016

    I am so going to do this!! I love it and had been wanting some herbs. I know I can look on the net, but do herbs need lots of light or direct sunlight? So I can decide where to put it. I love it.

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Apr 7, 2016

      Thank you ! Sorry I'm no expert on growing herbs, but I think it depends on the herb.

    • Grandmasue10
      on Apr 7, 2016

      @Claire at Pillarboxblue A seed envelope will tell yo what sunlight an herb needs. You can then jot it down and go buy plants already started if you like.

    • Debora Goss
      Debora Goss
      on Apr 7, 2016

      Well thanks Grandmasue. You can tell I am a newbie! I did not even think of that. I will check out both ways. I appreciate the help.

    • Barb in Texas
      Barb in Texas
      on Feb 25, 2017

      It also depends on the climate--you're sun in San Benito will be much brighter and much hotter than Claire's in the UK. There will be tons of online sites that can help you with local conditions. Also, some herbs like it wetter (basil) while some like dryer conditions (rosemary), and some that did well for me in full sun in Michigan prefer indirect light here in South Texas (mint). Good luck, I hope you're having fun with the learning curve!

  • Marion Barton
    Marion Barton
    on Apr 15, 2016

    How do you make a mirror image of the saying?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Apr 15, 2016

      @Marion Barton When you go to print on your computer it should come up as a tick box option on your printer menu.

    • Lynn Campbell Behnke
      Lynn Campbell Behnke
      on Apr 22, 2016

      When you are ready to print from a desktop publishing program, one of the print options is usually to print backwards. It may be a print option if you go to "advanced" from other programs too.

  • Joy van Eeden
    Joy van Eeden
    on Apr 25, 2016

    How do you finish the window if it is still totally covered with white paint?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on May 9, 2016

      Sorry just saw this question. Not sure what you mean. For a more rustic look you can scrape the paint off the window with the help of a heat gun. But be careful too much heat can crack the glass.

  • Integritygirl
    on Feb 25, 2017

    This is probably a very dumb question...but How the heck did you cut out the legs of those insects so perfectly to affix to the cans?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Feb 26, 2017

      I didn't the cans were painted the same colour as the paper background so I cut the legs with a border that didn't show on the can unless you looked very closely.

    • Integritygirl
      on Feb 26, 2017

      Thanks Claire!!

    • Reta Ridenour Strong
      Reta Ridenour Strong
      on Feb 27, 2019

      You could also draw them on with a marker and seal over them

    • Gaby
      on Mar 12, 2020

      Thyme marches on

      Just in thyme

      Best of thymes

      Sage Mage

      Jive Chives

  • Dahliaqueen
    on Mar 3, 2018

    So many weeds, so little thyme.

    Love gardening.....hate the weeds. How can they grow anywhere but we must really cultivate our veggies?

    • Nancy Harrell
      Nancy Harrell
      on Mar 4, 2018

      An idea to save on printer ink ~ if you're using a word processing program like Microsoft Word of WordPerfect, highlight the words and, in the text settings, choose 'Outline' and your typeface will be just that...outlined instead of filled in with black (or colored) ink. Saves your ink supply in your printer.

    • Robby Treichel
      Robby Treichel
      on Mar 4, 2018

      Not a pun, but still a good song "Scarborough Fair's" Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

    • Dayna
      on Sep 22, 2018

      A weed is merely a plant growing where you don’t want it to😁

  • Dena
    on Sep 24, 2018

    How can I do a bench like yours? I’m going to try the window too.

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