How to Recycle a Rusty Pan to a Succulent Pot in a Pot InstaChallenge

6 Materials
1 Hour

One of my favorite tags to follow on Instagram is the hashtag succiepotinapot. The people in this challenge are so creative. I have had two galvanized chicken water pans sitting in my yard rusting away for quite some time. I didn’t know what to do with them. I researched cleaning the rust off but these were really rusty. Honestly, several times I just about trashed them but I guess I knew one day, I would come up with a solution and a new use for these two pans. Are you holding onto something that you just know someday you will be glad you kept it but right now it sure looks like trash? I turned to Hometalk to see who had battled rust and won and I found a woman who used rust reformer on her patio furniture and thought “that’s it” and I went out and bought some.

I brushed out the insides after I took this picture but that is all I did to prepare these for spray painting. Since they will be planters, I wasn’t too worried about the inside.

Pretty cool...I only did the inside where the rust was and the outside will be spray painted white.

I spray painted the outside white and drilled holes in the bottom for drainage.

I was going for a vintage vibe. Now comes the fun part. I covered these holes with coffee filters to keep the soil from falling through.

I went around and bought a variety of flower pots. The watering can I already had and I really liked it but it ended being too big. I laid all the pots inside to see which ones would work. Most were too big for these shallow pans.

If I can find a deeper outer container, I will try the watering can.

For my smaller pan, I scored an interesting green “vase?” at Goodwill. I think the style with succulents will be a good combination. Tea cups are so cute in these arrangements but I didn’t see any that I liked at this store. (Funny side note: I don’t know how I missed that small vase in the bottom left of the picture. After posting this picture, I’m tempted to see if it is still there! 😂)

I went on Amazon and bought one of those combo “frequently bought together items”. 5 succulents (they ship 1 extra free, to try to ensure your satisfaction so you receive 6 succulents) 6 owl pots and 6 wood pot bases. I am going to use the owl planters in a future project.

Also, it included this handy dandy squeeze waterer.

I went to Home Depot and bought cactus soil and some items to make my own succulent soil. I also bought black sand and two colors of gravel.

I arranged the items to resemble a flower bouquet.

Here are the items that I used to make my succulent arrangement. I have a video but I need to condense it down. It took 9 minutes to complete the project.

I am putting it at my front door as a change of pace.

It’s done. I need to get a paint brush and clean of the sand from the succulents but other than that, I super pleased with this project.

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Unboxing my succulent plants from Amazon.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Leslie
    on Jun 1, 2019

    Hi Stacy, Nice job on the vintage pans but, the holes you drilled into the bottom keeps the soil from seeping out but what about the water ? Doesn't that leak all over your wooden table top? I have many planters with no drainage hole (s) in the bottom and all I do is add some gravel to the bottom of the pan and it keeps the overwatering from drowning the plants, especially succulents. You could have used the gravel you used on the top under the soil :)

    • Stacy Davis
      on Jun 1, 2019

      Sure absolutely, you can do that too. I guess I wasn’t worried about my faux wood table top. It’s plastic, not wood.

  • Mike Rose-Dinwiddie
    on Jun 2, 2019

    Did you remove the plants from the plastic containers? I'm sorry if seems like a dumb question, but I had to ask.

  • Linda Thomas
    on Jul 12, 2019

    Can succulents be planted in the ground

    • Stacy Davis
      on Jul 12, 2019

      Yes, I put them in the ground in Florida and they did fabulous but some succulents are not frost hardy and must be brought inside. Some succulents like the ground outside better than indoor planters, just make sure they have 6 to 8 inches of well drained soil.

Join the conversation

2 of 10 comments
  • Fantastic post! So much fun to work with succulents. My mom started to grow them in 1960 when she moved to CA. When she passed, she had far too many for me to move to my house, so I gave bunches to neighbors. Endless possibilities on how to grow and decorate with them. I have too many myself, so I have offered cuttings of mine to neighbors on

  • Giselle
    on Jun 2, 2019

    I love how you arranged them to look like a flower. So cute!

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