Cowboy boot planters are inexpensive to make and add a touch of rustic charm to any yard or garden. Using boots as planters is also a useful and attractive way to recycle beloved boots that are too worn to wear. Making boot planters is a quick and simple craft to do with children. They also make an unexpectedly homey gift for any fans of all things Western. Even better, this technique can also be used on rain boots or any other type of footwear large enough to hold a plant.
Things You'll Need
Clear plastic sheeting
Ice pick or Phillips screwdriver
Vermiculite or perlite
Flowers or plants
Acrylic spray (optional)
Drill four to six drainage holes up through the sole of your cowboy boots. The size of the drill bit doesn't matter, just be careful not to go too far and perforate the upper part of the boot. Don't drill through the heels. It's difficult and unnecessary.
Line the inside of each boot with clear plastic sheeting if you want to keep the potting soil from coming into direct contact with the boot. Stick an ice pick or Phillips screwdriver into the boots and poke through the plastic sheeting over the drainage holes. Over time, the wet dirt can cause mold and mildew on the leather. If you don't intend to keep the boot planters forever, you don't have to do this.
Fill the bottom of the cowboy boots with gravel. You only need about ¼ inch or so, just to help the soil at the bottom from becoming too compacted as it settles. This also keeps the roots from sitting in soaked dirt, which some plants won't tolerate.
Mix potting soil and vermiculite or perlite together, in a roughly 2-to-1 ratio. You don't need the ratio to be exact. The vermiculite and perlite help aerate the soil and vermiculite adds a little bit of extra nutrition. Use the mixture to fill the cowboy boot up about halfway.
Gently remove your flower or plant from its container and loosen the roots with your fingers. Be careful not to tug on or tear them. Arrange the flowers or plants in the boots and then fill in all around them with enough potting mix to cover the roots and support the stalks. Don't pack the soil too tightly.
Water your plants lightly, and place them according to their needs as far as sunlight, temperature and shade. Tend to them as you would plants in any other kind of container or pot.
Give your cowboy boots a coat or two of spray acrylic to waterproof them, if you want to keep them from weathering too much.
Never leave a child unattended with an electric drill.