Some of the most interesting planters and those that recycle items used for other purposes. These unique boot and shoe planters make great use of old shoes and boots. Some have seen their better day and some look like new but all showcase indoor plants in new and unusual ways.
Do you have some old shoes or boots laying around that are still presentable looking but have lost there wearable appeal for you? Make them do double duty by turning them into creative planters.
Shoe Planters Make Unique Garden Containers
These creative ideas to recycle footwear turn one man’s trash into a garden lover’s treasure. Many of the planters use succulents, but annuals and perennials can also be used as long as the size is right.
Tips for making shoe planters
Making old shoes or boots into planters is easy to do and costs very little but you should keep a few things in mind.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when making a shoe planter is to have adequate drainage. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a soggy mass of soil and shoe that is anything but creative looking.
To give drainage to the planter, use a screwdriver and hammer to make some holes in the bottom of the shoes or boots. A layer of gravel or rocks will also add additional drainage and keep the planter stable so the wind doesn’t blow it over.
Types of shoes to use
If it has an opening it will work. Don’t worry if the shoes or boots are old and musty looking. Some of the most attractive planters are old work boots with very fine foliage or flowers growing in them.
In the photo above, the eye is drawn to the succulent and the fact that the shoe is old and warm just add more interest.
The soil that you use needs to be one that goes along with the plant. If you choose cacti or succulents, use a special soil designed for them. The same goes for African violets.
For all purpose plants, just choose well draining potting soil.
Types of plants to use in Shoe Planters
All types of annuals and succulents work well. Their size is good for the containers and you can easily swap them out and change them after the summer ends.
Some good possibilities are:
- Hens and Chicks
- Echeveria Neon Breaker
- Air plants
- Small varieties of cactus
- Fittonia albivenis
- Small Indoor Boston Ferns
- Purple passion Plant
- Living Stones
- Garden Herbs like tarragon or thyme
Creative Shoe and Boot Planters for your Inspiration
The possibilities for using footwear as planters are endless and as close as your closet or tool shed.
Two small echeveria succulents have a new home in a pair or yellow and red wooden shoes attached to a brick wall. The look is colorful and super useful.
This wonderful cowboy boot planter is made of a metal cowboy boot. But you could duplicate the look with an actual cowboy boot by using an Exacto knife to cut the star openings on the side and then filling those openings and the top with succulent cuttings.
This is one of my all time favorites. It is shared from Carlene of Organized Clutter. Carlene has had the bicycle for three years and it came painted white. She added the basket planter and then made those ADORABLE white tennis shoe planters. Sweet as can be. See the tutorial for this project at Organized Clutter.
My Friend Jacki from Drought Smart Plants had a contest with her readers and one of them entered this lovely idea – a pair of Mother Daughter shoe planters with mom’s old shoes and daughter’s clogs. Such a great idea!
I love the softness of the pansies against the rustic look of this old boot planter. Feeling nostalgic for a trip to the past? This Victorian Boot planter with Lilies and Hydrangeas should take you there in no time at all. Source: Rook No. 17
This old boot has the remnants of moss on it and coordinates perfectly with delicate foliage of the maidenhair fern. There is even a place on the laces area for a baby fern.
This bright orange plastic kid’s shoe with a green pattern is the perfect match for the plump green crassula with orange tips. Even the tiny orange pebbles is a color match!
This great planter idea has a romantic feeling about it. The soft pink tones of the hens and chicks blends with the color of the old boot as though they were meant for each other. The simplicity of this planter comes from the plain boot that is planted with green and yellow striped dracaena. It’s a nice combination that shows that you don’t need flowers for this idea to work..
Great idea if you have a plain shoe design. In this case the African Violet plant is almost inconsequential. It is the orange polka dotted shoe that makes this little garden scene.
The boot was painted first with glue to make it waterproof and then with paint for the color and design. Source: Thrifty Fun
This ladies high heel shoe is filled to the brim with succulents. The roots of them are very shallow and that means you can plant a lot of them in a single planter. See more creative succulent planters here.
Who says the shoe has to be small? Shabby Chic is in with this pair of sturdy word boots. In this case, a pair of boots are planted together with annuals for a look that really softens the look of the bootsI love this idea! A red rubber croc is hanging from a S hook and filled with trailing plants for a unique hanging planter.. Source Full Circle.
For the girly gardener! How cute is this A fashion conscious garden planter made of a clear, see through silicone stiletto shoe Planter. This one is actually intended as a planter and uses solar power – Source Trend Hunter Another Victorian looking shoe planter. This one is planted with greenery for a great casual look that matches the shoe. Source: The Enchanted Cove on Tumblr.What a neat way to use your child’s old high backed tennis shoe. It even seems to fit the look of the cushion near the pool side. The shoe is filled with an assortment of various succulents that look right at home! Tennis Shoe Planter – Source Pinterest.
These Wellington boots have a fabulous teal polka dot pattern and are planted with begonias for a cheery look. I love the placement of them against the stone wall.
This light blue man’s dress shoe is filled with the vinca annual and propped near a teal front door for a dramatic contrast of colors. I wonder what hubby thought when he came home?
Have you used shoes or boots as planters? Why not upload an image to your comment? I’d love to see your creation.
Pin it for Later
Would you like a reminder of this this shoe planters post? Just pin this image to one of your DIY Gardening Boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
Need some more inspiration for Shoe Planters?
Here are a few more ways to turn shoes and boots into creative planters.
Admin note: This post for creative shoe planters first appeared on the blog in April of 2013. I have updated the post to add new ideas for shoe planters, a printable project card, and a video for you to enjoy.
- Old Boots
- Old Shoes
- Garden Soil
- Small annuals, succulents or plant cuttings
- Small rocks and pebbles
- Screw driver and hammer to drill drainage holes
- Give the shoes a good cleaning with some bleach and water and allow to dry. This will make the container more sterile and less likely to allow bacteria to grow.
- Punch some holes in the bottom of the boots or shoes. This will allow the water to drain out the bottom of the planter.
- Add a layer of aquarium gravel or some small rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the shoes. This also gives drainage to the container and gives it some weight so the wind won't blow it over.
- Choose plants with flowers that are will coordinate well with the shoe or boot.
- Smaller shoes, such as child's shoes are ideal for small cacti and succulents.
- Colorful shoes such as children's shoes or plastic crocs or rain boots are colorful and will showcase foliage plants better.
- Water often. Shoe planters dry out quickly.
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