Whimsical Raised Planters Upcycled From Curbside Drawers

by Megan
4 Materials
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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!
I used stencils that were just different enough on the two different colors. I like variety.
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.
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!)
I installed the leg hardware on the bottoms and screwed it in!
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!
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)
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • Valerie jones Valerie jones on Oct 21, 2016
    I'm trying to learn to stencil. How do you get such sharp edges on your shapes?

  • Nomsa Dube from S.A Nomsa Dube from S.A on Nov 02, 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.

  • Cartwrightd Cartwrightd on Mar 14, 2018

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

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2 of 38 comments
  • Barbara White Nicholas Barbara White Nicholas on Dec 08, 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 Jessie on May 04, 2017
    Love, will borrow this idea, thank you very much !