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7 Unique DIY Planter Designs


Have you ever needed a planter but just could not find the right one?  Maybe it was the wrong size, shape or color.  Well, if you have ever been in that situation, I have some unique ideas for you. 

Below are a few ideas for unique planters that you may have not thought of.  Some of these are planters that simply need filling while others require one to create them. 

The first group of planters are those that will need to be used in the horizontally or placed on the ground.

Drainage tile/Chimney Flume

A drainage tile or chimney flume is a natural planter.  While they can be very long, this characteristic makes them more useful since they can be customized.  Since these items are typically made from clay, you will need to cut them with a stone saw.  Once cut, you can seal up the terra cotta with shellac on the inside.   This will conserve soil moisture by closing up the pores of the terra cotta.

Since this style of container does not have a bottom, you will need to place your container directly on the soil.  To aid in securing it to the ground, dig a shallow trench by which your planter will set into.

Patio Stones

Believe it or not those leftover patio stones from your last project can be turned into a simple planter.  To do this, one will need patio stones that are all the same size.  Once you have at least four stones lined up, you can simple just glue them together using construction adhesive.  If you want to create a bottom for your container, predrill a hole in the center of what will be the bottom tile with a ceramic drill bit.  To aid in the bit going through, soak the tile in water until bubbles stop coming up.  Once the hole has been drilled, glue the bottom to the container and secure with the construction adhesive. 

Hypertufa Planter

This is a European type of planter that is easy to make in any size.  To make this type of container you will need rubber gloves, dust mask, perlite, peat moss, Portland cement, a container to mix in, water, spray type cooking spray, plastic nursery pot, small dowel rod, plastic bags, and wire brush or sandpaper.

To begin this process, one will need to mix three part perlite, three parts peat moss, and two parts of Portland cement.  Once mixed in a container, add water a little at a time.  Mix and add additional water until the mixture looks like a thick cake mix. 

Next, spray the container with the cooking spray.  Make sure when doing this step that you cover all the surfaces.  Once that is done, place a thick layer of the perlite mixture into the bottom of the container.  Continue to add this mixture to the inside of the container until the sides are completely covered.  

Once the container has taken shape, push the small dowel rod down through the hypertufa material.  This hole will act as the drainage hole for the pot.  Wrap the container in plastic wrap and set aside for 48 hours. 

After the 48 hour period, remove the plastic and then the hypertufa planter.  If you want a rustic appearance, brush the outer surface with a wire brush and/or sandpaper.   Set aside for another two to three weeks to finish curing. 

Cinder Blocks

Many people may be used to seeing cinder blocks as part of a raised bed but did you know they can also be a planter.  They can also be painted just like concrete planters.  To turn a cinder block(s) into a planter can be done in two different ways.  One way is to use it to create a raised bed as stated before.  The second way is to turn the cinder block on its side so that the square openings are facing up.  At this point, you can fill the hole with soil and plant as usual.  If you need a deeper container, stack two to meet that need or create a planting wall.  This can be done by stacking the cinder blocks one on top of the other so that the opening is facing upward.  Once you reach the height you need you can plant.  If you do not need the full height of the wall filled with soil, place a piece of landscape cloth underneath the block you want to plant and then plant as usual. 

Mother Nature’s Planter

This planter has to do with taking what is viewed as a negative and turning it into a positive.  What I mean by this is taking an old tree stump and turning it into a planter.  Yes, I said a planter.  While you could simple have it ground up to speed up the decomposition process, why go to that extreme when it can be turned into something beautiful.

To turn this “lemon” into lemonade, one will first need to make a hollow space in the log.  This can be done naturally when the log begins to rot.  If you do not have a natural cavity, you will need to create one with a paddle bit.  Once you have your cavity created, the next step is to fill it with a good quality potting soil.  Next, plant as you would like. 

The second group of planters are those that will need to be hung in some form or fashion.

Hanging Tires

Who knew that old tires could be turned into stylish planters and kept out of landfills?  But believe me, these reused items make wonderful planter that can be found hanging on fences and walls. 

You may at this point be going, how do I plant it on the vertical?  Well, that is the easy part and starts with hanging your tire.  When using this technique, one will want to use a strong hanging support.  The reason for this is the fact that a tire does have some weight to it and when you add plants that just increases the weight.  In doing so, make sure your tire is very secured on your chosen surface.

The next step is to add your potting soil to the inside rim of the tire.  If you are confused on the area I am talking about, just think of it as the area that would fill with water if you sprayed the tire with water.  Once the soil has been added, it is time to add your plants.  To aid in the watering, consider adding a hydrogel to the soil.  This will help keep the soil moist and in doing so you will not have to water as often.

If you really want to personalize your planter, paint the tire.   


Yes, bras can be planters.  While I would not suggest you using this planter in the front yard, it is a conversation piece for the backyard. 

The key to making this type of planter is to make sure that the bra is placed on a hanger.  Why, you may ask.  The answer is simple.  This type of planter needs support and the hanger provides that support. 

The process required for this planter is simple and starts off with filling the “cups” of the bra with soil.  Once that is done, plant the “cups with your chosen plant material.  When it comes to the plant material for this planter, I would like to offer a hint.  Do not use seeds or slow growing plants.  The reason for this is the fact that the roots of the plants is what holds the soil inside the “cups.”  If you have to wait for the roots to develop, you are running the chance of losing the soil out of the cups. 

To aid in the water, consider adding a hydrogel to the soil prior to planting.


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