Plants and flowers planted in tin cans.

How to Make Containers from Cast-offs

It’s easy to create plant pots for free from old household objects, such as pans, kettles, and colanders. Here, tin cans have been transformed into stylish containers for grasses and summer flowers. If you want larger displays, ask at local restaurants for their empty extra-large sized cans.

When to start: Spring.

At their best: Summer to early autumn.

Time to complete: 30 minutes.

You will need: Old tin cans, gloves, screwdriver with metal drill bit, broken clay pot or plastic pieces, multi-purpose soil.

Selection of plants to use: Brachyscome – lilac, Calibrachoa ‘Million Bells Purple’, Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’, Festuca glauca ‘Golden Toupee’.

Drill drainage holes

Soak off the labels from the cans in hot soapy water. Wearing heavy gloves, drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of each can.

Firm plants in well

Add pieces of clay pot to the bottom of the cans and plant up the grasses and flowers, leaving a 1 in (2 cm) gap between the surface of the soil and the rim. Water well.

Recycling ideas

You will find more ideas for containers made from recycled materials at national flower shows and open gardens in your area, while thriftshops and tag sales offer good sources of planters, such as old handbags and bread bins.

Funky junk

Large plant pots can be expensive but you can get one for nothing at your local recycling center. Old oil drums are perfect for trees or large shrubs, while worn tires can be used singly and filled with turf to make stepping stones or piled on top of each other to create taller containers.