Trash to Treasure – Garbage Can Flower Planter DIY

This may be my easiest and cheapest DIY yet…warning – you may find yourself scouring the side of the road for old garbage cans after reading this!

Garbage Can Flower Planter DIY -

Our neighbors were moving out last fall when I nabbed these beauties, yes I’m referring to dirty old trash cans as beauties.  Charlie and Fran were the cutest old couple and had lived in the house next door for 35 years.   My kids loved them and called them Opa and Oma  (which if you are dutch, like me, you know means Grandpa and Grandma).

Garbage can flower planter

They were originally from the Netherlands and I loved their accents…which I was always trying to imitate, but the Mr. says I sound like a Russian version of George Bush… I have no idea what that even means, but let’s just say I haven’t mastered it.  We miss having them next door, but when they moved I scored a couple of fun things that they had been hiding in their garage.  I’m pretty sure Charlie thought I was nuts for asking for their 3 ancient trashcans, but he was used to me constantly spray painting things in the garage, so he just shook his head and handed them over. :)

How to make a garbage can flower planter - www.thelilypadcottage.comAll I did was add Rust-oleum hammered copper spray paint to the handles and the rim of the can to fancy them up a bit.

Garbage Can Flower PlanterOh and the even easier part?  Rather than filling the things full of dirt and having them weigh a zillion pounds, I flipped over a 5 gallon bucket in the bottom and just set a pre-planted hanging basket on top.  Now, when summer is done they will be easy to stack up and store for the winter.

Garbage Can Flower Planter - www.thelilypadcottage.comI became a little obsessed with the hammered copper spray paint and gave some of my other planters a little copper love too.

So there you go, $5 and 15 minutes is all you need.  Ok, well you need some free garbage cans too, preferably garbage free…

Sharing at Savvy Southern Style

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A Stroll Thru Life

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Funky Junk Interiors


  1. says

    Thanks for the idea. We inherited a half dozen of them with our barn and I have always wondered what they could be good for. Besides trash. I will definitely be using a couple for this. :)

  2. Yvonne @ StoneGable says

    HOw cute and creative is this!!!! LOVE the junky look with a little shiny metal sass! I hope you will share this at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS… link goes live Wednesday at 8:00. Everyone will just love this!

  3. Pondside says

    They look very good! Thanks for letting us know about the copper paint. I like the look – I have several bits and pieces of metal equipment in the chicken coop and they’re just crying for a re-purposing.

  4. says

    Kelly, that IS just the best repurposed project ever! How totally cute! I have a smaller metal trash can that my hubby used for the corn clinkers our corn stove dropped every night. It’s a bit weathered from the ashes and its spot outside – I’m totally going to do something fun with it now that we no longer use the corn stove!

  5. Becky says

    I think it looks great. I like the spray painted details too. Really cute. I have a close friend who did a similar look with an old metal janitor’s mop bucket, the ones with a ringer to ring out the mop. It’s on wheels so she can move it around easily too. Sounds a little silly but it is so cute each year with flowers spilling over the sides.

  6. olive says

    It is outstanding. I love the copper accent too. I have an old trash on my deck being used as a table. Maybe I should plant it up.

  7. Gail says

    What a cute idea! I have one in my garage that was my grandmother’s. What a beautiful way to display it!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Angela - My Personal Accent says


    What a great way to re-purpose an old school trash can! Great post and site! I just found your site while looking around and am enjoying it… Are you open to additional blogs sharing your post? Let me know if you are interested. Bless you!

  9. vicki says

    I have the lids to garbage cans, any great idea for those? They don’t make good frisbees, lol!

  10. Sue says

    So very cute! Now I have something to hunt for at garage sales this year! Love your website and your style!


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