How to Make a Flower Pot out of a Recycled Rubber Boot - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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How to Make a Flower Pot out of a Recycled Rubber Boot

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

Turn your old rubber garden boot into a cute recycled flower pot with this DIY tutorial.

Turn your old rubber garden boot into a cute recycled flower pot with this DIY tutorial.

As a crafter and a gardener, I'm always trying to think of fun ways to jazz up my outdoor space. So when one of my daughter's mud boots got a hole in the bottom, I started to brainstorm and came up with the idea of recycling it into a planter.

I have seen cute rain boots planted with flowers before, but they are always the ones that were purchased with a color and design already on them. The boots I have are dull and brown and don't really look all that great. To start the boot transformation, I headed down to my local craft store and bought some supplies. I waited for a sunny day, and then went to work.

The end result is this rubber boot flower pot and I couldn't be happier with it. I have the perfect place already picked out in my garden for it.

If you are saying to yourself that you can't paint, don't worry. I am not a painter at all. I just did some simple flowers with different types of brushes, added lots of polka dots, and a couple of stripes. I can only imagine what someone with good painting skills could do with this project!

Here are the steps you'll need to make your own recycled rubber boot planter. Have fun!

Supplies you'll need

Supplies needed to transform your boot into a planter.

Supplies needed to transform your boot into a planter.

  • Spray Paint - Primer (if needed) and color of your choice. You'll want to use a product that works on plastic and is suitable for outdoor use.
  • Outdoor acrylic paints in a variety of colors. Make sure they work on plastic and are suitable for outdoor use.
  • Paint brushes
  • Clear acrylic sealer that is suitable for outdoor use
  • Paper towels
  • Protective covering for the work surface

Step 1 - Clean up the boots

Clean the boots with water and a scrub brush. Depending on how dirty they are, you may need to use a little dish soap. These boots are pretty sturdy so they took a hard scrubbing to remove all of the mud with no problem at all.

Rinse off any soap residue and set aside to dry completely.

Remember to clean out the inside too. These boots were sitting in the garage for a long time so there were a couple of spiders crawling around. I just took a damp paper towel and wiped around the inside.

Step 2 - Make the drainage holes

Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom of your boot flower planter for water drainage.

Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom of your boot flower planter for water drainage.

Because the bottom of this boot had split, I did not need to make a drainage hole, but chances are good that you will need to.

You can use a screwdriver to make a fews holes or, if it's easier, a power drill works too.

I suggest making three holes in the foot area of the boot, with at least one close to the toe area. This will allow the water to drain out.

Some boots have liners in them. These need to be removed.

Step 3 - Apply the base coats of paint

Look how much better the base coat looks using spray paint.

Look how much better the base coat looks using spray paint.

Once the boot is clean and dry, it's time to apply a base coat of paint to cover up the brown. Of course, if you like the color then this step can be skipped.

  1. The first time it tried this, I used the outdoor acrylic craft paint and a brush. The results are in the first and second photos and it was a big failure!
  2. The brown showed through, and the paint was streaked, even after 3 coats.
  3. My husband suggested spray paint and it was one of those "Why didn't I think of that?!" moments. So, after a trip to the local hardware store and a can of outdoor spray paint that worked for plastics, the base coat was finally applied.
  4. It's important to note that this step should be done outside in a well-ventilated area. Put newspaper or another protective covering over the surface where you'll be spray painting. Spray paint travels a long way, so put down lots of paper. Spray the boot until it is evenly colored and none of the original color shows through.
  5. I can't believe the difference a can of spray paint made. It looks so much better.

Set aside to dry overnight.

Step 4 - Add a painted design

Once the base coat is dry, it's time to add the design of your choice. Before you do that though, you have one more thing to do.

Fill the boot with old newspaper

For some stability while painting, fill the boot with old paper before adding your design.

For some stability while painting, fill the boot with old paper before adding your design.

Paint your design

Paint whatever design you'd like.  I'm not a painter, but had loads of fun painting flowers and polka dots on my boot!

Paint whatever design you'd like. I'm not a painter, but had loads of fun painting flowers and polka dots on my boot!

This is the fun part! Using the brushes and outdoor patio paints, draw whatever you'd like. You may want to lightly sketch something out on the boot, but, depending on how dark you draw your lines, it may show through.

Set aside to dry overnight.

Step 5 - Seal the design

Use an acrylic sealer to seal the paint.  This ensures a longer life of the design.

Use an acrylic sealer to seal the paint. This ensures a longer life of the design.

After your design has completely dried use a clear paint sealer that is suitable for outdoor use and spray it over the entire painted area.

I applied a generous amount since this planter will be outside. I also suggest re-applying sealer once a year to keep your design protected for years to come.

This step should be done outside, in a well-ventilated area. Use plenty of newspaper to protect the surface you will be working on.

Here's my daughter's recycled boot planter filled with bright orange marigolds.

Here's my daughter's recycled boot planter filled with bright orange marigolds.

Step 6 - Plant flowers in your new rubber boot planter

After a couple of days, or once the boot is completely dried, it's time to fill the boot with some pretty plants, but don't just fill it with dirt. You need to prepare the boot first.

Add stability

Add some rocks and sand to the bottom of the boot for stability and drainage.

Add some rocks and sand to the bottom of the boot for stability and drainage.

Put a handful or two of small rocks in the bottom of the boot. You may want to add some sand as well. Not only does this help with drainage and keep the roots of your plants out of standing water, it helps weigh down the boot. This is important because once planted, the boot gets top heavy and can tip over.

Add dirt

Fill the boot with good potting soil.  Leave about 4 - 5 inches on the top without dirt so you can add your plants.

Fill the boot with good potting soil. Leave about 4 - 5 inches on the top without dirt so you can add your plants.

Plant the flowers

Flowers ready for a recycled rubber boot planter.

Flowers ready for a recycled rubber boot planter.

Planting suggestions

To get the most from your boot flower pot use some beautiful plants. Here are just a couple of ideas:

  1. Use one type of plant in one color: When in full bloom, a solid mass of one color of flower looks striking.
  2. Plant 3 different types of plants: For visual interest, plant one plant for height, one for color and one that is trailing.
  3. Forget the flowers: Flowers are beautiful, but so is interesting foliage. Find three non-flowering plants that have different looks.
  4. Edible plants: If the boot is big enough, try an edible plant that doesn't get too big. Herbs would also be a fun and useful choice.
  5. Seeds: Plant your boot with seeds. This is especially fun with kids. They can see how the plants grow.

Here are some plants that you may consider using:

These are just a few ideas. The planting possibilities are endless.

PlantColor(s)Height/Type

Geraniums

Flowering - Shades of reds, pinks, purples and white

Medium

Marigolds

Flowering - All shades of yellows and reds

Short, medium or tall

Impatiens

Flowering - Shades of reds, pinks, purples and white

Medium

Petunias

Flowering - All shades

Short and medium, also trailing varieties

Ivy

Non-flowering - green and variegated

Trailing

Nasturtiums

Flowering - All shades of reds and yellow

Trailing

Herbs

Flowering and non-flowering

Short, medium and tall

Dracena (Spike Plant)

Non-flowering

Tall

Find the perfect spot in your garden

Learn how to recycle an old rubber mud boot into a flower pot that will add beauty and whimsy to your garden.

Learn how to recycle an old rubber mud boot into a flower pot that will add beauty and whimsy to your garden.

I'd love to hear from you!

How to Make a Flower Pot out of a Recycled Rubber Boot

How to Make a Flower Pot out of a Recycled Rubber Boot

© 2015 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 17, 2019:

Thanks and love that they already have the designs on them. That should hardly take any time to make them!

pamela lemasters on May 15, 2019:

I knew I was hanging on to these rain boots for a reason ( a old yard sale find from years ago ) YOU ARE ONE SMART LADY !!! they already have a cute design on them so no need to paint but will all the other tips thank you

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 02, 2019:

I'm so glad. I love these boots and it's finally getting warm enough to bring them out again. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 01, 2019:

I am a huge fan of recycled upcycled craft projects. Your rubber boot planters are cute and give me I have a few new ideas to try out in our garden this year.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 14, 2017:

Hi FashionBulb - I wouldn't mind you featuring a part of the post with a link to it. Thanks so much for asking and thanks for enjoying the article. It's a fun a quirky project for everybody.

Elena McGrew on June 14, 2017:

Thanks for sharing this neat idea! I look forward to giving it a try! I am working on a blog post for 10 easy DIY plant pots ideas and I was wondering if you would be OK with me featuring this post? It is definitely a very creative way to make a pot without spending tons of time and money on fancy clay pots.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 16, 2015:

I'm so happy to hear that Audrey. I love it when people tell me they've done one of my projects. The boots you found sound charming. Glad you are having fun with this one!!!! We can't have too many flowers can we, and they all need planters too?!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on August 15, 2015:

I went nuts over this hub a couple of months ago. Since reading this, I've tried some of your suggestions. While I'm a novice at this, I love trying your different ideas. Found an old pair of leather worn booties with an old-fashion heel and cute laces. Made the cutest planters from these garage-sale finds. I'm having a ball and have you to thank!!!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 14, 2015:

Thanks Rebecca! If you don't have any, I'm sure a local thrift store would have some old boots for sale. Thanks for kind comments.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 04, 2015:

A lovely idea.....makes me want to start looking for an old boot! Thanks. You are so creative.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 17, 2015:

Thank you aviannoice! I have been busy enjoying this summer weather so I have not been really good about replying to comments. I'm surprised at how many folks in my neighborhood have commented on this project. Glad you enjoyed it!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 13, 2015:

Very impressive! This is a great way to dress up a little garden, or even the front step. Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this...school took up a lot of time. I am catching up.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 13, 2015:

Thanks so much Akriti Mattu. I'm glad you enjoyed the project and I appreciate the vote.

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on June 06, 2015:

Woww that is so innovative.

Voted up :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 27, 2015:

Hi cam8510 - I have my comments set to preapprove before they show up. That's why you didn't see yet. I love the idea about a thrift shop. I bet someone could find boots there at a really reasonable price. Thanks so much for putting the article on your facebook page! I appreciate it. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 27, 2015:

Thank you oliversmum. I appreciate it and it is an easy project. It does take a bit of time letting the paint dry but it's worth it. They are really looking cute in our garden. Enjoy your day.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on May 26, 2015:

Very good idea. I didn't read all the comments, but a second hand store might have rubber boots quite often. I'll keep this in mind for gifts.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 26, 2015:

Thanks so much Audrey! I think you could use old sneakers. Mayber there is some kind of a sealer you could use before you start to waterproof the fabric. If you do, I'd love to see a picture! Have fun making your planter and thanks for all of the support. Sorry it took so long to reply. I was out of town for a bit.

oliversmum from australia on May 23, 2015:

Glimmer Twin Fan. Hi. What a fabulous idea. Thanks for all the information and photographs. It looks and sounds like it is easy to do. Thumbs up. :) :)

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 22, 2015:

Oh my gosh I love this!!! I'm so excited to start this project. I'm also wondering if old sneakers could be used somehow. This is the best tutorial. I'm hanging on to it for future use and to refer to. Voted up and across and sharing everywhere. Thank you. Audrey

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 22, 2015:

Thanks randomcreative - I appreciate it. These is probably one of my favorite projects and now that it is warmer the plants are really starting to grow in the boots.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 21, 2015:

Both boots are super cute! What a fun idea. As always, thanks for the detailed photos and instructions.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 17, 2015:

Hi RTalloni - Thanks so much for stopping by. It's fun to see the reaction from people when they see these boots!

RTalloni on May 16, 2015:

Your DIY on this project is really cute. I especially love the idea of using children's boots.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 16, 2015:

Thanks Suzanne! Yeah, I still tease my husband about coming up with that idea and that I didn't think of it first. It makes such a difference for the base coat. Thanks for the vote and for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 16, 2015:

Hi Paula - Nice to see you again! I throw stuff out all the time and then think about what I could have done with it. But these boots were calling my name for a long time! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Have a great weekend!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on May 16, 2015:

A very creative tutorial - I like your tip for spray painting primer and colour, rather than brush strokes! A cute idea for the garden and one that I think many people will use! Voted beautiful.

Suzie from Carson City on May 15, 2015:

Glimmer...How cute!! Now why couldn't I have read this before tossing a pr of old boots in the trash?. Wish I was creative. I'm sure I miss out on reusing a lot of things. That goes against my frugal, recycling nature!...

Thanks for this. Next time I'll know better!...UP+++ Paula

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 11, 2015:

It's so nice to see you back Suzie! I hope you have been well. I'm guessing there are many rain boots available in Ireland! Thanks for reading and coming back!!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on May 09, 2015:

Hi Glimmer, I'm back and have missed you! What a fab tutorial this is! I had written about using boots but this is brill that you showed just how easy it may be done and so much fun! It really does brighten up and add interest to all types of areas. Thanks so much for this, so professional as always and great tips, suggestions about the spray primer / paint. Up +++++ all the way!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 08, 2015:

pstraubie - Thanks for trying to share. I appreciate it. I think that with the new layout some folks can't see the buttons anymore. Try zooming out your screen. You are right, I doubt these would ever decay as with most of the stuff we use these days. My daughter had fun doing this with me. Thank you so much for angels. They are always appreciated.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 08, 2015:

Hi sgbrown - Glad you liked the project and hope you grab an old pair of boots to try it out. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 06, 2015:

Glimmer Twin Fan...you are just the most clever person I know. These are simply adorable and serve to repurpose something that would take eons, if ever, to decay.

Angels are on the way to you.

Voted up++++ pinned to Awesome Hubpages and shared Sorry found No link to pinterest and no way to share :/

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on May 06, 2015:

This is such a cute idea! I would love to put a pair of these on my back porch!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 04, 2015:

Thank you Nell - I bet something like this would look great on your terrace! Of course I always picture everyone in England with lush overflowing pots of blooming plants on every outdoor surface. I remember visiting London and some of the gardens and thinking how glorious they were. I think there should be a boot like this in everyone of them! Have a great evening.

Nell Rose from England on May 02, 2015:

Hi, you always come up with such amazing craft ideas! I have a balcony with lots of pots etc, so this will look amazing on there! thanks for the awesome idea! you are so clever! lol!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 29, 2015:

Hi Margaret - Thank you so much! I think this fits in anywhere and if someone knew (or was) a good artist they could do wonders with the art work and probably sell it for a lot of money! Thanks for the pin and I'm glad you stopped by!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 28, 2015:

Thanks indanila. I hope you and your daughter have fun making this boot! I'm sure it will turn out beautifully!!!! Have a great day!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on April 28, 2015:

Glimmer, this is a FABULOUS project and a beautifully done tutorial! So many upcycling craft projects have that "loving hands at home" look, but these would fit right in on the shelves of an upscale gift boutique. And wouldn't a hand-painted boot planted filled with soil and a healthy plant make a wonderful gift? Pinning this one right now! :)

Inda Blackwell from Hampton Roads on April 28, 2015:

This so cool! I showed this to my little daughter and she insisted on this being our weekend project. Wish me luck! I love how whimsical this is!!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 25, 2015:

Thank you so much Diana - I hope you give the project a try. I have a friend who's a really good artist and I was thinking I should have given her one of the boots to see what she could do with it. I'm glad you enjoyed the article and the photos. Have a nice weekend!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 25, 2015:

poetryman - I have nice gotten comments from neighbors. The boots add such nice color and fun to the garden. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 24, 2015:

Thanks for all the votes tillsontitan! That's really nice and I hope you give the project a try. It really was a fun one and I think the world needs more flowers and less trash! Have a wonderful weekend!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 24, 2015:

Hi Dolores - I agree that a pair of boots on the entryway would be adorable and also I definitely think that they would be nice in brown, especially with some gorgeous blooming plants! Thanks for the support and for reading. Have a great weekend!

Diana Abrahamson on April 24, 2015:

Love your garden boot idea. The process looks such fun. Love to garden too.. so painting some boots makes sense. Lovely pics !

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 24, 2015:

I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment peachpurple. Thank you.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 23, 2015:

Thank you so much for reading and sharing AliciaC. I'm glad you like our flower boots. They were fun to make!

poetryman6969 on April 23, 2015:

Too crafty for me but definitely a conversation starter. The neighbors would always wonder what you are going to do next.

Mary Craig from New York on April 23, 2015:

What a great idea! I've seen the little "boot like" planters they make but this is so much better. Not only do you have a boot planter but you've recycled an old boot and added your personal touch.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on April 23, 2015:

What a lovely idea! I love to reuse and I love to garden so this is perfect. I think that even an old brown boot would look cute too. A pair of them on the front steps might add a whimsical and welcoming touch to an entry. Your images are perfect but the top one seems to be missing. (voted up and shared)

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 23, 2015:

clever idea, maybe I will use an oil container to replace the boots

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 22, 2015:

The boot flower pots look beautiful, Glimmer! This is a great project that looks like a lot of fun. I'll share your hub.

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on April 22, 2015:

That's good to know; our youngest will need reminding to take care with the paint. We need to paint more and this is inspiring me. I'm sure we have some old boots around that we could repurpose. :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Thanks Robin! Kids definitely love this one. My daughter's boot is front and center in the garden right now and she's quite proud of it. One word of advice, this kind of paint doesn't wash off so it's a good idea to wear old clothes and do the project outside with lots of newspaper.

I appreciate you reading my hub and the nice comments!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Thanks for your kind comments Larry. I appreciate it. I have been trying to come up with more and more repurposing ideas and this was a fun one to do. Have a nice day.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Nice to see you again breakfastpop. Glad you like the project and that it makes you feel like spring is here. Where I live that are actually saying we might get a little snow overnight. Ugh, it needs to warm up now. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on April 22, 2015:

This is awesome! Our kids would love it and it would be a great project for a school classroom! As always, you are so creative, Glimmer. :)

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on April 22, 2015:

I love repurposing ideas like this. And they turned out just beautiful.

breakfastpop on April 22, 2015:

I love this project! Now I feel like Spring is really here!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Hi FlourishAnyway - I'm glad you liked this project and appreciate your kind comments. I've been trying to concentrate on more recycling projects and this was a fun one. Thanks for stopping by.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Wow missolive - Thanks so much for the pins! I appreciate it. This was a fun project to do and I really wanted to get it done before the summer. Have a great day!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Thanks so much Bill. I appreciate it. These boots have been sitting in my garage for a long time just screaming for something to do. Hope you are well and planning another fun vacation!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 22, 2015:

Gorgeous! You are so creative, and I love that it's recycled and that kids can do this!

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on April 21, 2015:

Adorable! Pinned this one twice! Its on one of my container garden boards and my DIY board. Great job.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 21, 2015:

Hi Glimmer. How creative. What a great idea for an old pair of boots. Great hub, great photos, great layout, just so professional looking. Love it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2015:

Oh that is good to know Kristen. Thanks again for letting me know. Sometimes I read and read my hubs and still find errors.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 21, 2015:

Glimmer, never mind. I guess this time the photos came through and loaded on the screen. Weird! I did enjoy this crafty idea!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2015:

Hi sallybea - Wouldn't that be cute! Some baby boots with a big boot. What fun! Thanks for letting me know about the photo too. I appreciate it. Have a great day and thanks for reading.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on April 21, 2015:

Glimmer Twin Fan

Really cute project, good job! Now I want to see them grow baby boots, a whole row of them:) I can see all the photos, sometimes this seems to happen but if you click on the blank image they sometimes come back again.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2015:

Oh my Bill! I can't believe. Now I want to see a picture. You should have written a hub about it! Thanks for reading. Can you do me a favor? An earlier commenter noted that there was a blank space for a photo for step 5. I checked, but I see a photo for it, the toe of the boot. Just wondering if others can't see it as well. Thanks for the help.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2015:

Oh my God, it finally happened!!!!!! A craft project I've actually done!!! Did you ever thing you would live long enough to see this day arrive? :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2015:

Hi purl3agony - You are right, there are so many cute boots out there now. These were a really cheap pair my daughter had for playing in the mud and woods and she outgrew them and tore a hole in the bottom. I think the boot would be really cute on a doorstep. Thanks for stopping by.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2015:

Thanks Kristen - Glad you like the project. Just curious what photo is missing. I see all the photos I put in. Thanks for helping me out.

Donna Herron from USA on April 21, 2015:

Such a great idea! And now rain boots come in such pretty colors and cute designs that you might be able to find a pair that doesn't need painting :) I'd love to try this project for our front stoop. It's in the shade, but I think some bright impatiens in some yellow boots will look so cheerful and welcoming! Thanks for sharing another great project with us!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 21, 2015:

This was a clever and awesome idea, Glimmer. You're missing photos for step five since it's a blank space. But I love your craftiness. Voted up for useful!