How to make a flower pot out of a recycled rubber boot
Here are the steps you’ll need to make your own recycled rubber boot planter. Have fun!
Supplies you’ll need
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.
Clear acrylic sealer that is suitable for outdoor use
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. | Source
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 few 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. | Source
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.
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!
The brown showed through, and the paint was streaked, even after 3 coats.
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.
It’s important to note that this step should be done outside in a well-ventilated area. Put newspaper or another protective covering 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.
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. | Source
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! | Source
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. | Source
After your design has completely dried use a clear paint sealer that is suitable for outdoor use and sprays 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. | Source
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 some rocks and sand to the bottom of the boot for stability and drainage. | Source
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.
Fill the boot with good potting soil. Leave about 4 – 5 inches on the top without dirt so you can add your plants. | Source
Plant the flowers
To get the most from your boot flower pot use some beautiful plants. Here are just a couple of ideas:
Use one type of plant in one color: When in full bloom, a solid mass of one color of the flower looks striking.
Plant 3 different types of plants: For visual interest, plant one plant for height, one for color and one that is trailing.
Forget the flowers: Flowers are beautiful, but so is interesting foliage. Find three non-flowering plants that have different looks.
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.
Seeds: Plant your boot with seeds. This is especially fun for kids. They can see how the plants grow.