Here is a super simple little planter to create to add some fun to your backyard this year. We have a beautiful garden center and cafe in our area that I love to visit. I always leave with about 50 new plants and a ton of inspiration.
Several months ago they had these colander planters up as decoration for the cafe and it was so simple and charming and unexpected. I knew I wanted to make one this year as well.
You can use any old colander you might have on hand, recycle one you might find at Goodwill or you can always purchase new as well- they are very inexpensive.
I have actually had an old colander on my potting bench for months now- I was going to put it in the recycle bin but decided to save it for Spring to see if I could turn it into a planter. When I saw how cute these were at the little cafe, I finally decided to get going on this project.
Here is what you need:
- Outdoor Spray Paint (optional)
- Assorted plants
- Potting soil
- Coffee filter or landscape fabric (optional)
I started with this old colander that was getting rusty from sitting on my potting bench:
The aqua color is pretty and I could have honestly left it just like this and used it to plant herbs or a strawberry plant or pretty flowers or whatever. I did want something bright and vibrant for our outdoor table that would be super low maintenance so I decided to spray paint it.
If you do spray paint your colander it is probably best to add flowers or plants and not fruits and veggies.
The next step was to pick up a can of outdoor spray paint – I chose Rustoleum and applied two light coats. We have a lot of blue in our yard so I thought this yellow would look great against the turquoise of the pool water and the patio umbrella and such. The paint dried really quickly. In retrospect, I wish I had used painter’s tape to tape off the handles so they stayed silver as just an extra detail.
Once you have your painted colander you can go ahead and start planting with your soil or if you are concerned about the soil coming out of the holes, just add a coffee filter or a piece of landscape fabric to the inside of the pot.
I went ahead and put in soil without any protection just to see and a bit came out of the sides but really not too bad. If you want to hang your planter overhead or place it on a table like I did, you probably want that extra protection.
Landscape fabric is a great choice because the dark color will blend in with the soil and make it more seamless looking. I didn’t happen to have any so I used just one coffee filter at the bottom. That should keep the table pretty safe from a lot of soil sprinkling out. Again, add more filters depending on your needs. I just used one because I didn’t want the white of the filter to show through.
Next I added potting soil and I actually chose some succulents for my container. California is still in a bit of a drought and I wanted something low maintenance for the table. Vibrant flowers would look amazing or herbs or a little strawberry plant would look awesome.
One other idea is to turn this into a fairy garden. It would look awesome! I almost made this a birthday gift by using the painted colander and filling it with fairy garden supplies and adding a bow. I might do that in the future 😉
I laid out the plants (I used 3 succulents and one mini plant left over from another project) and as you can see with succulents more is better. It looked a little sad. So I stopped off at the garden store and grabbed a few more and now it looks much better:
I believe this is 5 plants total. One medium succulent and four mini succulents.
And I think that looks great as is but since this is on a table where we will be dining, I wanted to be sure there wouldn’t be dirt swirling around. Especially since this will probably only need to be watered about once a week – so the soil will be pretty dry.
I had a handful of rocks from the craft store and just sprinkled those on top. I believe the entire bag was maybe $3 or so with a coupon. I think the rocks really make it look more finished and I will actually probably pick up another bag on my next trip just to cover the soil a bit more.
And now I think it looks great! Not terribly expensive– maybe $15 or so for the plants plus the rocks I already had and a can of spray paint.
This would be a fun display in a kitchen or maybe even a gift idea for Mother’s Day.
And if you want to make this a hanging planter to put on a front porch or in the back yard, that is pretty simple.
I used some twine, cut the length I wanted by measuring the top of the place I was hanging the planter from to where I wanted it to hang, folded the string over and tied it in several knots on the handle of the colander. I added hot glue to each knot to make it super secure. You don’t want this falling on someone’s head 😉
And the finished product hanging from our pergola.
If you decide to give this project a whirl, I’d love to hear how it works out for you!
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