Oil Can Planter

Whimsical Garden Art DIY and Craft Tutorial

There are junk piles, and then there are treasure hoards; this rusty oil can is from the latter, scrounged from the bush where it's lain for decades, just getting more patina and rust.


Back in the day, these oil cans were made from some pretty good steel; this is a good thing, because even with that the rust has almost eaten through in a couple of spots.

No matter; with a bit of ingenuity and a grinding wheel, this tin can will soon be a planter fit for succulents.

Cutting a rectangular hole in the oil can

I decided to cut this one like a sardine can, and roll up the piece so it could either be hooked onto a nail to be a piece of wall art filled with plants, or to sit on a table to display it. 

My orders were followed exactly by the help, unlike other projects where I assumed my instructions were clear.

Either way, it will take a while for the succulents, here some tiny Sedum and a few Sempervivum, to root in enough so they don't fall out if it's hung up, so I'll enjoy it as a table decoration for a bit.

Carefully rolling the flap...

Ignore the mouse nest - I guess I took his home, without realizing it.

Until the opening is ready for planting

Just to show what it might look like, here it is planted and standing up - I'll leave it horizontal for a while to let the plants get established.

And planted with succulents!

Here's the same planter in May, 2016.  I don't care at all what happens to them over the winter, and this one was left to survive or not.  I had to replant a few bare spots, but it looks amazingly good, yes?

Oil Can Planter, May 2016

So the moral of the story is; even if it looks like a piece of junk, don't discard it right away - let the ideas flow.  You never know what your mind will come up with.

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