Using baskets as planters is a great, unique way to bring charm and texture into your garden. You can recycle your favourite baskets that you no longer need in the house or find some great baskets to use at thrift stores and flea markets!
I have a bit of a basket “thing” and use them all over the house to help keep our home organized, and even to add some texture and decorative interest to my rooms. I realized early this spring that I was really missing out by keeping all of my baskets inside and I definitely needed to consider all of the great ways that I could use them in the garden as well. And that’s where this idea to use baskets as planters was born! 🙂
Here are my tips if you think you’d like to try adding some basket-y texture to your deck, porch, or garden as well!
Using Baskets as Planters: Choose the Right Basket
All natural material baskets will break down eventually, but a thick, sturdy basket will last longer. Look for things like old baskety trash cans, picnic baskets, Easter baskets, or any other style of basket with a bit of depth to it. I found this sturdy rectangular basket at the thrift store for $1.99 and I thought it would be perfect for this.
Using Baskets as Planters: Paint and Protect
If you find your basket at a thrift store, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to update the style of it a little bit before you put it on display. I updated my basket using basically the same technique I use to update most of my thrift store basket finds. I finished it up with 2 coats of a protectant clear-coat spray paint to protect the finish when I put my basket planter outside. Painting and clear-coating your basket will also help it to last a little longer!
You’ll first need to fill your basket with some kind of potting mix to plant in. If your basket has a bit of a tighter weave, you can actually put the potting mix directly in the basket, but you may choose to put a bit of a plastic liner in the bottom first. This will help your basket last a little longer and it will keep the soil in place.
For my basket liner, I just used a piece of black plastic garbage bag. I cut out a piece that would mostly cover the interior of my basket without coming up over the edges, then I cut a few small holes in the middle of the piece of plastic for drainage.
I always like to put a few wood chips or packing peanuts in the bottom of my planters to make them lighter and to help with drainage so I did that.
Then I filled it up about 2/3 full with my potting mix.
Finally it was time to add in my plants!
After I was satisfied with how everything looked, I filled in around the plants with a few more handfuls of potting mix and I watered it well.
I think it looks really cute!
This planter was pretty small so I was only able to add in a few things. I used:
- Dragon’s Wing Begonia
- Wizard Mix Coleus
- Purple Sweet Potato Vine
These are all shade-loving plants, so this planter will be great to tuck into a shady corner next to our door once our new steps are built off the mudroom.
I love the texture that this basket adds to my deck for now and I’m really enjoying all of the unusual planters I’ve been creating this year like my galvanized bucket planter and my vintage pyrex bowl planter.
Even though these basket planters don’t last forever, they’ll definitely last a few years if you bring them inside in the winter. I think I’ll definitely be trying this idea out with a few bigger baskets before this growing season is up!
Do you ever use baskets as planters?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.