How to Repurpose Old Tools into Succulent Planters

Repurpose old tools from the garden into beautiful decor

It’s no secret that I have a love of all things vintage. It’s also no secret that I have a love of gardening. So unsurprisingly, I adore finding ways to merge these two passions together.

Most people look at rusted spades, hoes, shovels, and rakes and write them off as trash. But I see treasures worth rescuing.

I have a wonderful gardening craft to share with you where I repurpose old tools into succulent planters. These DIY succulent planters come together in a few simple steps, and make beautiful, original decor for your garden or outdoor space.

It is such a wonderful feeling to repurpose an old object into some new and beautiful to enjoy!

You Will Need

  • Old garden tools (shovel, rake, dustpan, strainers, or pitchfork)
  • A few succulent plants
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Drill
  • Dirt for succulents
  • Green moss
supplies needed to repurpose old tools into succulent planters

How to Repurpose Old Tools into Succulent Planters

For this step-by-step tutorial, I use an old shovel as an example. This project can be easily modified to work with all kinds of old garden tools.

Create a wire cage around your tool to serve as a planting basket

1. Cut a piece of chicken wire wide enough to create a basket around your tool. This piece will likely be no more than about 8” wide. I like to cut the chicken wire lengthwise, so you will have the smooth edge at the top of your basket.

cut a piece of chicken wire to make the planting basket

2. Drill 4 small holes in the shovel, approximately 6” from the top. Make two holes on each side about 1” apart.

drill 4 small holes in the shovel

3. Wrap the piece of cut chicken wire around the tool and trim off any excess you may have.

4. On the front side, where the handle meets the head, you will need to cut the wire up one or two holes to wrap around the handle and behind the tool.

3.	Wrap the piece of cut chicken wire around the tool and trim off any excess

5. Now, connect the wires on the back by twisting them together.

6. Wrap the bottom of the wire on the front under the edge and around the back. Twist the wire together to secure it.

7. Next, you will need secure the chicken wire to the back of shovel. To do this, thread a piece of wire through the two holes on the front of the shovel, one end into each hole, behind the chicken wire. Twist the two ends together at the back side of the shovel to secure.

secure the chicken wire to the back of shovel

8. Repeat #7 on the other side of the shovel, as shown above.

Prepare for Planting

9. Soak the moss in water for a couple of minutes to hydrate it. It is much easier to work with when it’s moist.

10. Line the inside of the planting basket with moss. You may need to poke some extra moss through the openings of the chicken wire mesh to cover the entire cage and wrap around the edges.

line the inside of the planting basket with moss

11. Add a few scoops of succulent soil into the moss basket and moisten soil.

Plant your succulents

12. Now, the fun part! Plant your succulents into the soil.

Here are a few tips for arranging succulents to maximize space and create a one-of-a-kind piece.

  • Think about color and form as you select your plants.
  • Give your design dimension by creating height on one side of the arrangement and have something hanging down on the other.
  • Start with a large focal point plant, and place smaller succulents around and above it.
  • Remove excess soil from the root ball to fit more succulents in your planter.
  • Insert succulent cuttings into smaller spaces.
repurpose old tools into succulent planters
repurpose old tools into succulent planters
repurpose old tools into succulent planters

Caring for Succulent Plants

Now that you’ve learned how to repurpose old tools into succulent planters, you may be wondering how to care for them.

I water my succulent planters about every three days. As the plants grow, you may need to groom and trim pieces to keep the look and shape you desire. If you lose a succulent, it’s easy to poke a new succulent cutting in place.

caring for succulent planters

Displaying Garden Tool Planters

When deciding where and how to display your upcycled succulent planters, you will want to choose an area that is bright, but avoid full sun.

Long-handled styles like shovels, rakes and pitchforks can be propped up against a tree or a building.

Smaller tools can be hung from a fence, gate, or garden shed (or She Shed!).

I love to arrange planted tools in pretty groups to add extra interest!

This easy DIY project to repurpose old tools into succulent planters has combined my loves of succulent gardening and vintage tools to create beautiful and original artwork.

I love how this simple upcycle elevates vintage tools into planted garden displays to serve a whole new purpose.

What are some of your favorite ways to repurpose old tools in your garden?


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  1. Wendy,
    I love your succulent shovel idea. I’m sharing on my Sunday Dirt Road adventures this week. Such a clever and original idea.

  2. So glad you shared this with us on Farmhouse Friday! I’m featuring it tomorrow! Thank you and hope you link up again soon. pinned

    1. Thank you Cindy, so sweet of you to share. I will link up again soon.

  3. Wendy, what a wonderful idea!! The succulents paired with the garden tools make such pretty arrangements! Simply gorgeous and so creative! Thank you for sharing. I’m definitely pinning this idea!

    1. Hi Kim, I am so glad you enjoyed my post. These are really fun to make and they look great in the garden.
      Have a wonderful weekend.

    2. Regina Jenkins says:

      Love these. I dream of walking around your garden and taking it all in, then moving into your she shed. You are one creative lady.

      1. Thank you so much Regina, I would live in the garden if I could, LOL

  4. I am always amazed by your creativity! Such fun projects, Wendy!

    1. Thank you Missy, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog post. I have not had a chance to ready your latest one yet, I will get there, I promise. We were out of town for several days, always hard to catch up. XO

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