Turn old paint cans into attractive, rustic-looking planters — all you need is a can, some burlap, a bit of glue, and some soil. Hang them from a wall or fence for an unexpected, living decoration. Project from garden and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith. Find more cool DIY projects at

I’ve got a really clever project I want to share with you and it takes something that’s really ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary. You might say that we’re going to take a rustic object
and apply it in a very sort of refined way. This may look like an ordinary paint can and you know what? You’re right, it is.

What we’re going to do is we’re going to transform this paint can into something that’s really stylish and the end result well it can be quite lovely. Now to begin with you want to start with an empty paint can. Just make sure that there’s no paint left in the can. If its dry that’s ok, but no wet paint allowed. Then you wanna punch several holes in the bottom to allow for drainage because what we’re creating here is a container plants.

Now for each can what you’ll need is a seven and a half by 24 inch piece of burlap with two 2 inch slits cut out to accommodate for the two places where the handle attaches to the can. As you apply this you just want to make sure and check that the burlap aligns properly on the can and trim any excess. Then just place the can seem side down and apply a thin layer of outdoor use adhesive to the bottom and the top edges of the face of the can. Then simply afix the burlap to the can starting in the middle and pressing it into the adhesive.

After allowing the front to dry, turn the can over and repeat the process on the back. You just want to make sure that you have plenty of adhesive along the entire edge of the burlap. And when
this adhesive is completely dry trim out the area around the handles
and secure it with a little more adhesive. Now finish the top and bottom of your planter out by wrapping it was just some jute or twine.

Alright now with this beautiful container ready, it’s time to plant it up. And what I’m going to start with is a really high quality potting soil. This is soil that’s actually blended for container gardening. And this is very important because you want to make sure that it drains well so I’m going to make sure that we fill this up almost to the top. What I find if the potting soil is really kind of dry and powdery, you want to make sure you add some water to it so it’s nice and moist
like this.

And now it’s time for our plant. And I’m using some of these sage plants. This is a pineapple sage and just take the plastic wrap off. This is a biodegradable pot. I’m just gonna take that top lip off and this is biodegradable so it goes in the container. I’m gonna gently tear into the root ball and pull the bottom off. This is to make sure that the roots will grow out and expand so the plan itself will grow. Alright just a matter of working it into the container like this. Adding just a little more soil around the edge. There we go like that. Now I’ll water this in and I’ll make sure that the soil remains consistently moist through the growing season, fertilizing it about every other week with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. And you get extra points if you go all organic.

Obviously these are two important steps making the container and planting it. But the finish that gives it a certain elegance and refinement is the pattern and the way you apply it to a wall or a fence. It’s a great way to recycle some things and add a little touch of elegance to your garden. Hey you’re going from this
to this. Not bad huh?

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Paint Can Planters

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