How to plant a recycled toolbox for the garden
Almost anything can be repurposed for a unique container. One of the most charming Flea Market gardening-style containers is an old toolbox, either metal or wood. Here are two How To planting projects using a metal and wooden toolboxes and a gallery of our best examples.
Planting a wooden toolbox
Toolboxes are always on my mental shopping list. You can simply drill a few holes in the bottoms for drainage and there’s no need to worry about the metal ones breaking down too fast out in the elements. Wooden toolboxes can be lined with plastic or rubber liners to make the wood last as long as possible.
The first toolbox I found was a farriers wooden toolbox with a heavy metal handle. The junk shop proprietor sold me the box and all the files,…35 of them for $10! I drilled some drainage holes and lined the box with a heavy black plastic trash bag, secured with metal staples. Now I was ready to plant!
I plaanted some ‘Blueberry Thrill’ violas and alyssum and placed the box on a low shelf under the front bay window. The shelf itself acts as a display space along with my birdhouse collection, and now the toolbox will act as a window box,…with a file fence! I love it!
Planting a metal tool box
At a recent yard sale, I found this huge galvanized toolbox and thought it was perfect for a large planter, which otherwise would be pretty expensive. I was looking for a planter that would fit at the corner of the garage. I wanted it to liven up the area and provide a little color for Tractor Man as he putters around out on the driveway doing whatever he does. The price of $40 was just right!
Soon, Tractor Man’ll have a nice garden here to enjoy as he works. I drilled 10 or 12 holes in the bottom for drainage and tossed in 6 sealed empty Folger’s cans. (I use these to collect kitchen scraps and I threw those in, too! A tractor scoop of dirt and a big bag of soil went it next.
I planted a French lavender a Poker plant and two Black-eyed Susans. Two little daises went in front.
A few weeks later:
Will Tractor man like his new garden? He does! He says this is now his favorite flower and this makes a fantastic bright spot as we pull into the drive. Yea!
Garden Toolbox Idea file
Kirk found another old, $1 toolbox, garage sale find from last weekend. I planted it up with Gazania plants.”
Nancy Pedersen tells us,”Here is an old wooden tool box that I had been storing in the attic. I decided to stuff it full of Echeveria, Crassula, and a sedum variety. I can’t wait until it fills in! The gray ones are Echeveria variety and the red is Crassula, and the limey green is a sedum variety. The succulents were relocated from an old home that got torn down and they had probably been planted in the 60’s. There are so many prettier varieties available today – I just had these on hand.”
I’m thinking maybe Jeanne Sammons saw Nancy’s toolbox! She says, “My hubby and I made these together. I usually come up with an idea and he makes it happen…these turned out really cute I thought for Hens and Chicks!
No worries about the metal heating up and damaging your plants. We have proved with real gardeners that the metal just doesn’t heat up very much when it’s as thin as it is. The same goes for thicker walled galvanized containers!
Joyce Collins found this tool box and the vintage garden tools, too. She normally resells her junkola, but says she will probably have to keep this one. This would be a simple wooden box to make, too!
Bettye Watkins makes old reclaimed wood and art items. She says, “I made this and thought it would make a great utensil caddy for the garden or container for 3 small pots with plants. I wouldn’t want to place dirt in it for a permanent plant without lining it with plastic. The wood might not hold up long otherwise.”
Carol Hall says,”This box with the hens and chicks was my husband’s. The tools were all found in my garage and some were left from the previous owners. The galvanized bucket was a yard sale find. Notice the redneck birdbath. I got that idea on an outing.”