Megan
Megan
  • Tutorial Team
  • Buffalo, NY

Whimsical Raised Planters Upcycled From Curbside Drawers


I wanted two raised planters to plant next year's herb garden in, but I didn't want to pay the almost $100 price tag for a pre-made raised planter! So I set my mind thinking about what simple item I could find and re-purpose for this project.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
Drawers! If I could find solid wood, well made old drawers that were deep enough, I could just add legs! Luckily for me, our village's Large Garbage Pickup was right around the corner and I set out on a mission to find drawers that would fit the bill....
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I found three of these solid cedar drawers on the curb around the corner under some old boxes of garbage. They had no pulls and weren't attached to a dresser, so I didn't feel so bad just taking the drawers.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I set out filling the holes because I knew I wanted to use knobs instead of pulls. 2 coats of filler, with sanding in between and we were ready to paint!
Super Hubby drilled drainage holes for me so my plantings could drain. But I'm thinking before I plant I might make a few bigger ones to be safe.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I knew I wanted bright whimsical colors to bring some life to my back yard. So I chose a dark peach and a bright yellow for the bases. I spray paint EVERYTHING, especially if it is something that will be exposed to the elements. I am a die-hard Rustoleum fan, but when I was choosing my spray paint, I happen to be at Lowes so I grabbed their in-house brand, Valspar. The coverage was not at the level I am used to with Rustoleum, so I ended up going to a different store and picking up the kind I like. It added to the cost, but ended up being well worth it.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I wanted to jazz up the blank fronts of the drawers to give them some interest, but I didn't want to add any additional cost. So I found old stencils in my basement and used a light teal paint sample from the oops bin to stencil them on. Much thanks to Super Hubby who is good at math for centering them correctly!
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I used stencils that were just different enough on the two different colors. I like variety.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
Next came legs. These were the most expensive part of the project because I bought them new with all the hardware to go with. In hindsight, I could have searched around for second hand legs, but I was impatient.
I chose purple for the legs (my favorite color). I had some dark purple in the garage for one set, and bought a light purple for the second set.
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I decided to highlight the different shapes in the legs with the teal paint to tie in with the stencil.
I did each set a bit differently to keep it interesting (and because the first set was a pain to tape off, so I made the second set an easier design!)
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
I installed the leg hardware on the bottoms and screwed it in!
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
And then for my favorite part: The Jewelry! I stole these knobs off drawers in my bedroom. There used to be 4, but 2 broke, so I used the two left for this project and now I get to buy more knobs!
Since these were for the garden, I thought the flowers were perfect!
whimsical raised planters upcycled from curbside drawers, gardening
And here are both planters, all finished, side by side. I can't wait to see them full of herbs next summer!

Suggested materials:

  • Old Drawers  (Curbside)
  • Table Legs  (Lowes)
  • Paint  (Various Hardware Stores)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Valerie jones
    on Oct 21, 2016

    I'm trying to learn to stencil. How do you get such sharp edges on your shapes?

    • Megan
      on Oct 21, 2016

      It is all about using the right tool. And right doesn't always mean expensive. I hear that expensive stencils give you sharper lines, but I wouldn't know because mine are cheapies! Always make sure to secure your stencil down (I used painters tape) and use a pounce brush. They are the ones that are round with a flat head. Mine was foam. It cost 47 cents. Dip it in the paint without getting too much on there and only use a pouncing up and down motion. Also, don't overwork one area because that will cause the paint to bleed under the stencil. Hope that helps!

  • Nomsa Dube from S.A
    on Nov 2, 2016

    Kindly assist i need to wash my white bath in the children's bathroom to bring back the original white colour it is a cast iron bath .Thank you.

    • Patricia
      on Nov 3, 2016

      There is a special paint that handymen use to restore uncleanable tubs in apartments. Try Menards, Home Depot or Lowes.

  • Cartwrightd
    on Mar 14, 2018

    Did you line the drawer with anything, also how does the rustoleum hold up in the winter ?

    • Megan
      on Mar 14, 2018

      Great time for an update! First, the Rustoleum holds up great in the winter. I do all my outdoor painting with it and it holds up lovely. For the other part of your question, I painted the inside of the drawers with Flex seal (spray rubber waterproofer)...Then I experimented and lined one drawer with plastic (holes poked in the bottom for drainage) and one not. The One with plastic did less damage to the drawer. I must note that I live in a VERY tough weather climate with extremes in hot/cold wet/dry even in the summer months so items put outside have to be tough, which is why I did the experiment. For this year, I am taking the drawer fronts and rebuiliding the planter parts with different materials that may be a little tougher. I will update the post again when I do!

Join the conversation

2 of 38 comments
  • Barbara White Nicholas
    on Dec 8, 2016

    My old home had railings to attach window boxes, my new one does not, (and I miss them!) This is my answer!! So cute, just LOVE IT! Thank you for posting, and the flex seal idea is genius.

  • Jessie
    on May 4, 2017

    Love, will borrow this idea, thank you very much !
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