How to Make Flower Planters or Pots From Old Shoes

Boot Planter
Boot Planter (Image: Mary R. Vogt /

Old shoes and boots make whimsical planters for flowers. This project takes something otherwise useless and transforms it into a quirky garden feature. Use sturdy leather shoes or boots for longer-lasting planters. You need to make drainage holes in the soles for healthy plants, so if the shoes have holes in them, all the better. Bear in mind the limited size of shoes and boots when choosing what kinds of flowers to plant in them; small or slow-growing plants are appropriate.

Things You'll Need

  • Old shoes or boots
  • Drill
  • Workbench
  • Potting soil
  • Seedling
  • Trowel

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Remove the insoles from the shoes if possible and discard them.

Clamp the shoes to a workbench with the bottom of the sole facing you. Use a large-sized bit to drill holes all over the soles, spaced about one inch apart. This is important because the roots of the plant may rot if water cannot drain easily from the planter.

Remove the shoes from the clamp. Untie the shoelaces from the top few sets of holes and tie the laces in a double knot. Opening the shoe a little increases the planting area, while the laces hold the shape together.

Fill the shoe with potting soil, tapping it down into the foot and toe section. Fill the shoe lightly up to the ankle without packing the soil down.

Use the trowel to press a hole in the ankle part of the shoe. You can angle it toward the foot section to make the hole deeper if necessary.

Gently tap around the outside of the plastic pot containing the seedling, hold the plant at the base of its stem and carefully tug it out of the pot.

Press the root ball of the seedling down into the hole you made in the potting soil. Sprinkle and pack some extra potting soil around the seedling to hold it in place. Water the seedling thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Line the ankle part of the shoe with moss, allowing some to trail over the sides before adding the potting soil for a different look.


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