Garbage Can Planters

Hello and Happy Labor Day weekend peeps. Today I have a pretty TRASHY
post for you all!!! Last month while out shopping with a friend at LITTLE HILL FARM ,
I found these 2 trash cans. I have been on the look-out for some just like this for a while now,
so I was thrilled......yes thrilled over trash cans!!!!!
My plan was to make them into planters for our back deck.
I poked a hole into the bottom to allow for drainage.
Before I added the potting soil, I filled them up with empty
plastic bottles, so I wouldn't have to make the planters
heavier then necessary.
This is kind of a weird little shaped area of the upper deck,
not large enough for much else.
Our recycle bin with the plastic bottles was not very full,
so in order to get to the empty bottles on the bottom of the dumpster,
I had to step on a stool and hang over the rim of the trash bin to
fish for the empty bottles. And I wondered
"does this count as dumpster diving" ?
If so, I officially sank that low in my blogging adventures!!!! LOL
I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. If I had purchased
planters that big at a store I would have paid lots of MULAHHH
and this has so much more personality!!!
Very TRASHY indeed!!!

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Cathy Robinson
    Cathy Robinson
    on Sep 26, 2016

    What chance do these planters have of rusting and staining the deck? Or is there some kind of coating we can put on the bottoms to prevent them from rusting? I do love these and plan on doing them myself!

  • MaryAnn Amato
    MaryAnn Amato
    on Oct 4, 2016

    About how far up do you fill the trash cans up with plastic bottles before adding soil? Half way maybe? What keeps the soil from settling through the bottles and plugging the drain holes? Do you cover the bottles maybe with newspaper?

    • Jinxx
      on Dec 20, 2020

      Thanks for posting this! I thought I was the only weirdo using a trash can for a planter. I’m a little embarrassed about it, but I have a rubber tree on my patio that is more than 18 feet tall and still growing. I’ve had it about 15 years and there’s no way I could afford a “real” planter for it, nor could I carry one up to my second floor balcony. It would probably be too heavy once planted anyway. This plant has worked his way up to the largest size of galvanized trash can now and I no longer used any filler at the bottom the last time I replanted him. He is so tall he needs all the weight at the bottom to counterbalance his height when he starts swaying in California’s Santa Ana winds. I usually would repot him when I would come home and find him lying flat on his back on the patio. He currently stands proudly in the most sheltered corner of the patio, against two adjoining walls, which give him a little shelter. When we are due for strong winds, I wrap him loosely in bungee cords at several levels so he can sway but not break, and we hope for the best. I have about five large birds of paradise plants that are around 20 years old that all need to be repotted too. Not the giant ones; the blue and orange flowering ones; Strelitzia reginae. They are currently in the largest nursery pots I can afford so will be making the transition to galvanized can living in the Spring. Maybe it will become a trend? I’m just happy to know I have a partner in tin out there!

  • Kam28564965
    on Sep 17, 2017

    How many gallons is the smaller trash can?

Join the conversation

3 of 118 comments
  • Caroline Gerardo
    Caroline Gerardo
    on May 17, 2018

    Love the idea for a country look.

  • Susan
    on Apr 3, 2019

    Just a side note. In Oregon we turn in our bottles for the deposit so this would sacrifice some change for the grandkids. Alternative, reuse Styrofoam or packing peanuts. They are also lightweight and bad for the environment if put in a landfill. Ask local furniture, appliance, or other businesses for their leftovers. It you break the Styrofoam place it over the can so the loose bits don't get on the ground.

    • Tina
      on May 11, 2020

      Plastic milk jugs, oj containers, plant holders from your annuals, many options to fill those large cans.

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