Collecting colorful metal planters
Decorative tin boxes are hot, hot collector’s items for use as planter boxes for indoors or out. Here’s the scoop on these boxes and how you can find them and plant in them. There’s nothing sweeter than violets in a french blue tin, or a mixed planting in a plaid metal picnic basket. Even ordinary tin cans can be charming.
Ordinary tin cans, kitchen sifters, pictorial watering cans and decorative funnels are all some of the ‘tin’ Flea Marketers search out for planting. “If it holds dirt???’
Care of Tin Planters
Tin containers need just a few drainage holes drilled or poked into the bottoms. Bring them in side in Winter if you want to keep the picture or design longer. Rust is welcome, but you can also spray polyurethane for even more protection.
Tinplate metal boxes are primarily steel with a very thin tin coating. Many “tin boxes” have hinged or removable lids. Biscuit tins are often decorative pictorial containers used to package and sell biscuits and these colorful tins have always been more than just containers!
Jolaine Smith says, “We bought eighty of these antique fire buckets and I had to come up with a gimmick to sell them. Therefore we put hooks in two and hung them in threes, now this is the only one I have left!”
One of the more popular lithographic designs is a red plaid picnic basket tin…perfect for planting matching or contrasting flowers. Biscuit, cookie and tea boxes are good for small plants like herbs.
Lift your planted tin or steel planter high enough to be seen in the garden like Olga did here by placing it on a metal table. Stools, small ladders or chairs can raise your planter to ‘eye’ level worthy of garden art.
Many people collect these types of tin boxes and pictorial metal items. For example, a woman in Belgium has collected nearly 60,000 tin boxes over the years. The hobby of ‘altered’ tin boxes is popular now. Flea markets and yard sales and eBay are places to look for tin boxes, large and small, and if large enough to hold dirt, we plant in them!
Tool boxes, lunch boxes and pitchers can also make cute little planters to bring character and cuteness to your garden. Also look for mailboxes, tea and cookie tins and kitchen and utility canisters.
Carole Bryan says, “I love putting “tings” in tomato cans of all shapes and sizes. Plants, candles and especially love growing basil in them!”
Tin planters like this are plentiful on Amazon,…this one with a gorgeous hummingbird pattern is 7 1/2 inches tall