Unique Planter Box Ideas

Planter boxes can add a lot of style to a patio or porch. Not only can they house flowering plants and herbs, but also the box itself can mirror your home décor. The use of unique containers can create stunning garden displays, inside or out, that will have your neighbors envious of your green thumb.

Lego Box

Gather up discarded Lego blocks from yard sales or your own basement and put them together into a rectangular box shape. Leave a few holes in the bottom by omitting some blocks to act as drainage holes. Make the box at least four inches tall so that it can hold dirt and plants. Display in a kid's room or outdoor play area.

Tool Box

Use a vintage metal toolbox to act as a planter box for a porch or patio. Line the metal toolbox with plastic and rocks for drainage. Top off with potting soil and plants and place in a sheltered area where you can monitor the moisture to prevent plants from drowning from too much rain. Plant only in the bottom part of the toolbox and leave the top open for interest. You can also use a wood toolbox as a planter box. Drill drainage holes in the bottom and then fill with plants. Place in a planting bed or on an outdoor table for a primitive look.


Used aquariums in nearly any size can be purchased at yard sales or thrift shops and make interesting planter boxes for patios or interior sun rooms. Place a two-inch layer of rocks in the bottom for drainage then fill with potting soil and plants. Plants can be planted low in the aquarium for a terrarium look, or can pour out over the top. Particularly nice for cactus, the sand can be attractive when viewed through the glass.

Old Suitcases

Small or medium sized vintage suitcases can make kitschy planter boxes on a patio or porch. Open the suitcase and line with plastic. Place a layer of rocks for drainage and then add plants and soil. Display with the lid open behind the planter to act as a backdrop for the flowering plants.

Wire Baskets

Wire trash baskets make attractive planter boxes for a porch or patio. Even though the basket has holes all the way around, a layer of peat moss along the interior of the basket will hold the soil in place and give the flowers a good start. Fill with tall flowering plants like delphiniums to create an eye-catching display.

Paint Cans

Clean, unlabeled paint cans are available for a small price from any home improvement center and make unique planter boxes when lined up under a window or around the perimeter of a patio. Line the bottom of the cans with rocks for drainage then fill with soil to house the plants. Place in a sheltered area so that you can monitor the amount of water the plants get to avoid overwatering.

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Keywords: unique planter boxes, shabby chic, Lego planter

About this Author

Diane Steinbach has been writing for a variety of professional, educational and entertainment publications for over 15 years. Her work consists of three books on art therapy including : "Art as Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas" (Steinbach, 2005.) She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art therapy and behavioral science from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.