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Vintage Tool Box Planters

These vintage tool box planters with flowers and herbs are a fun trash to treasure project. Learn how to create your own, plus get inspired by all kinds of plant and flower ideas shared at this year’s Outdoor Extravaganza!

Hello friends! Can you believe it’s time for this year’s OUTDOOR EXTRAVAGANZA? If you haven’t started any outdoor projects, now’s the time! I promise you’ll be inspired to whip your backyard (or any part of your outdoor space) into shape.

I’ve invited some creative blogger friends to join in the fun. Over the next few Wednesdays, we’ll be sharing Plants & Flowers projects, Outdoor Decorating & Entertaining ideas, as well as Build-it & Paint projects.

Satori Design for Living Outdoor Extravaganza 2015

Then, on May 28th, we invite you to come back for one big OUTDOOR EXTRAVAGANZA link party, where you can share your own outdoor projects!

To kick things off, we’re sharing our PLANTS & FLOWERS projects today…

Vintage Tool Box Herb Planter Made From Old Wood Tool Box

Vintage Tool Box Planter How-To

For a while now, I’ve had two vintage tool boxes sitting in our garage. I found the first one in front of a garbage and the other was rescued from the back of my cousin’s truck, which was en route to the dump.

Wooden Tool Box BEFORE - Vintage Tool Box Planter
Wooden Tool Box BEFORE - Spring Planter with Pansies

Transforming the Tool Boxes

When I brought these old wooden caddies home, I wasn’t sure what to use them for. I mean, that orange paint job was hideous. But, they both were solidly built and deserved a second chance.

So, I did what I usually do with old wood, and pulled out my sand paper, white paint and some rags and brushes. Of course, I gave them a good cleaning first.

The orange caddy got a few coats of indoor/outdoor paint, whereas the wooden one got a watered-down wash that I wiped off with a rag. I covered it just enough to tame down the stain colour.

Aging Terracotta Pots

Then, I aged some terracotta pots with the same watered-down indoor/outdoor white paint. I brushed it on and used a rag to remove a little here and there.

Some areas required two coats. Don’t worry if you mess up. Dampen the rag to remove the excess and apply a little more. Be sure to finish at least the rim part of the inside too.

How to Age Terracotta Pots Using Paint

Assembling the Tool Box Planters

Next, I placed each pot in a section of the larger tool box along with some spanish moss.

Vintage Tool Box Planter with Terracotta Pots and Pansies

To keep the plants from drying out too quickly, I transferred them to peat pots first and then placed them in each terracotta pot. They’ll still likely need a daily watering, but the fiber will help hold in the moisture.

Vintage Tool Box Planter with Aged Terracotta Pots and Pansies

Don’t you love these frizzle sizzle pansies? Adorable, I say.

Vintage Tool Box Planter with Aged Terracotta Pots and Frizzle Sizzle Pansies

For the orange caddy, I stencilled HERBS across the front using self-adhesive stencils and charcoal paint I had left over from my printed tea towel project. Then, I lightly sanded the letters to give them a slightly-weathered look.

I like how it serves as a garden tool caddy…

Garden Tool Caddy Made from a Vintage Tool Box

Or, it can simply be a cute little herb planter.

Trash to Treasure Makeover - Vintage Tool Box Herb Planter

I think these vintage tool boxes are better served here than in a landfill. Agree? Have any other wood tool box ideas?

Tool Box with HERBS Stencilled on Front

Of course, you could also build your to use as planters if you can’t find any vintage ones. I also have some other creative and unique planter ideas you may want to check out, including a planter made from a drawer.

More Plants & Flowers Projects

Collage of 6 Beautiful Gardening Projects for the Outdoor Extravaganza

Texas Centerpiece by The Blissful Bee
Whimsical Herb Garden by Craftberry Bush
Front Yard Garden Tour by The Happy Housie
Vintage Tool Box Planters by Satori Design for Living
DIY Patio Planter by Fynes Designs
How to Make a Fairy Garden by Echoes of Laughter

Be sure to come back next Wednesday to check out our Outdoor Decorating & Entertaining projects. As well, mark your calendars for our big OUTDOOR EXTRAVAGANZA link party on May 28th!

One other thing before you head off… If you’re looking for more useful and pretty ideas in your life, make sure you’re on the email list! You can subscribe here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. What a fabulous idea, they look like they are from the pottery barn. LOVE them!

  2. It’s a toss up – I like it as BOTH the planter and as the tool caddy! Nicely done Shauna and looking forward to your Outdoor Extravaganza link party for some more fabulous ideas!

  3. So pretty!! Love these in both forms – the tool caddy and the planter. Nicely done!

  4. What amazing finds and I love you how you made them over! They are very Restoration Hardware looking! Such a gorgeous project! I shared this on my Facebook page! Have a great week! Angie xo

    1. I saw another tool box like it at Value Village yesterday, so keep your eyes open. Such an easy project and so versatile. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love what you’ve done and your photographs are stunning!! I can’t believe those tool boxes were destined for the landfill – that would have been tragic!

    1. You and I rescuing items one-by-one at a time lol! Still learning how to take outdoor photographs, so I’m glad you think they turned out good. Enjoy your long weekend!

    1. I’m sure you’ll have some great projects to share at the OE link party. Your outdoor spaces are always so gorgeous and inspiring!

  6. Those wooden boxes turned out so cute. I plant herbs in the summer… maybe I need a cute planter! Thanks for sharing all the outdoor creativity.

  7. These are so pretty Shauna! The old toolbox is perfect! I’ll have to be in the lookout for something like this at garage sales this summer! Have a great weekend!

  8. This is such a great idea and has a wonderful vintage feel. I always wanted planters like these and now I know my next home project.

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