How to turn these into putting plants to put outside? Any other ideas?


I purchased these at an estate sale and they appear to be hand made CD holder racks. I thought of hanging them on our back wall and putting plants in them. My husband thinks the AZ heat will eventually rot out the wood. I would like some ideas of what viewers may have for these as an outside project since there is no space inside the home. There are 2 of them. I welcome any and all ideas. Thank you!

q how to turn these into putting plants to put outside any other ideas

They appear to be home made CD holders.

  16 answers
  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jul 27, 2020

    I would go ahead and put them outside, after spraying or painting several coats of an exterior grade varnish or polyurethane on them. This would be known as a marine polyurethane or a spar varnish.

    I would think the water from the plants would rust the metal before the sun rots the wood.

    If you end up not putting them outside, then put them inside, in a closet or a pantry and use them for storage shelves of light things.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sew What Sew What on Jan 04, 2022

      I would put on a base of some kind to keep off ground avoid bottom moisture, ,rust-oleum paint in bright color, top coat 3-4 layers of clear coat spray for protection, do dame treatment of a bright color paint or keep natural of the wood and seal the wood with several layers of wood sealer .I wish I had one to do exactly this! for shelves you could get inexpensively some clear or frosted acrylic type sheets cut to size needed for plants. Let me know if you are going to forgo the project and need to give it a good home I would have a great time with this as a project!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jul 27, 2020

    I agree I would also go ahead and put them outside. Marine varnish will help but they really should last quite awhile just as they are. I think desert plants or succulents would do well in these!

    • Bp Bp on Jul 27, 2020

      I was actually thinking of succulents today as well, since they will not have to be watered. There are many low plants that I can use to utilize the space.

      Thank you for the suggestions.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jul 27, 2020

    I would also spray them and put outside! Enjoy them while you can! ...since they were probably estate-sale inexpensive, no harm done.

    • Bp Bp on Jul 27, 2020

      Thank you for the suggestion, and I will definitely be spraying with the Marine varnish. I look forward to seeing how it comes out when done.

  • 516maria 516maria on Jul 27, 2020

    Not sure if you can grow air plants with moss where you live. But I would put a few of those maybe a few candies near top and any other interesting things you enjoy looking at. Maybe some trailing plants near top and some colorful flowers as well. If the wood rots it will only add more character to the pieces.

    • See 3 previous
    • Bp Bp on Aug 18, 2020

      As it turns out air plants do not do well in the dry heat of AZ, which is too bad because I really love the look of the air plants, and they would have looked so good in these pieces. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 27, 2020

    Just lay some wood or plastic hard plastic down to make shelf’s on the brackets that should do it

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 27, 2020

    You could get small bins to fit in each opening

    • Bp Bp on Jul 28, 2020

      I had thought about the green light plastic that flowers come in. Thanks for the idea.

  • KatAych KatAych on Jul 27, 2020

    Seal the wood.

    • See 1 previous
    • KatAych KatAych on Jul 28, 2020

      Hopefully you'll get some serious mileage out of whatever project you decide to you! (PS - as a fan of pretty posies, I'm all in for your plant idea!)

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 28, 2020

    Marine varnish should project the wood. You can also paint with exterior house paint.

  • Janice Janice on Jul 28, 2020

    Very unique piece! You could spray paint it with a color you love and use a clear marine sealer over to help it last longer. Then plant a few succulents here and there to suit your creativity and enjoy. A plant called elephant plant has done very well for me in the AZ heat. I first got it in a succulent garden mixed pot. It has survived the heat long after the other varieties died.

    • Bp Bp on Jul 28, 2020

      Thank you, Janice, for an excellent suggestion of the elephant plant. I will definitely be on the hunt for them. I do plan to spray with the Marine sealer and very thankful for the suggestions I’ve gotten to do that. I don’t do much crafting for outside pieces and am happy to be getting so many wonderful ideas.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Jul 28, 2020

    I agree that spraying them with a waterproof varnish would be the best bet for protecting them.

    • Bp Bp on Jul 28, 2020

      I’ve gotten many responses to spray the piece first for better and longer protection. Thank you Holly.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jul 28, 2020

    if you persevere your wood portion with spray paint meant fro outside and repeat that annually you will be able for sure keep it outside

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 01, 2020


    Add drawers and fill with soil, or line with strong Plastic., or use Plant trays.

    • Sew What Sew What on Jan 04, 2022

      Make it also a mini greenhouse in colder months just use the light weight or medium weight bubble wrap to keep the plants protected. I wish I had something like that!😇

  • You can seal up the wood with an exterior polyurethane and spray the metal with spray paint or clear sealer. It will need maintenance here and there, it won’t last forever, but it is possible to put it outdoors.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 28, 2021

    Spar varnish should protect the cage. I would put it in a shady place if possible.

  • Sew What Sew What on Jan 04, 2022

    I would make a base of paving stones or wood to raise it off the bare ground, paint the wood and the metal with bright colors and then seal the wood with at ;east 3 coats of a polyurethane coating, clear coat the metal with 3-4 layers, then get an acrylic type material about 1/4" thick cut to the size o make solid but clear shelves for plants. Wherever I would decide to put it in the yard I would be sure to plant, on the outside , a Clematis to finish it off with a "Country Garden" Look! If you decide that is too much work I know someone right here who would LOVE the project!

  • Sew What Sew What on Jan 04, 2022

    I would definitely do such a project as a matter of fact I would turn it into a small greenhouse to start my vegetable garden plants from seed instead of paying so much for already grown ones in the spring. Having one of those would be saving me a TON of garden costs!