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How To Repurpose Metal Containers for a Small Space Garden

How To Repurpose Metal Containers for a Small Space Garden

While many of us swoon over visions of quintessential farmhouse living- with acres of sprawling, country land for outdoor play and gardening- not all of us are fortunate enough to actually make that vision a reality.

Whether it be convenience factor or sheer practicality, many of us have chosen to live that suburban (or even urban) life least for the time being.

And while being a”burb” dweller doesn’t entirely rule-out the option for a  traditional garden, there are many reasons why container gardening might be more ideal for your unique needs.

Perhaps you aren’t ready to commit to the labor and time required for a larger scale garden.

Or maybe your yard simply isn’t large enough.

how to repurpose metal decor as planters

With an acre of yard to spare, I assumed I could surely find an ideal space to try my hand at gardening. But after evaluating my yard’s sunlight conditions, I quickly discovered that my front porch was one of the only areas which would provide enough sunlight for the type of crops I wanted to plant.


I began to brainstorm aesthetically-pleasing ways to incorporate a mini container garden onto the front elevation of my house (which mainly consists of stairs).

I wanted something with a modern farmhouse feel, but something shallow enough to fit on  my stairs while also tall enough to adequately house the crops.

I had actually browsed online for metal stock tanks, but found them to be surprisingly pricey . My instincts told me I could find something cheaper at either Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

Then, while on a Hobby Lobby run, my instincts were proven correct when I noticed their metal containers and decor were half off…

how to repurpose metal decor for container garden

While none of the metal containers were labeled for gardening purposes, I knew they would work perfectly for my needs.

To ensure the success of my container garden, however, I was sure to invest in quality soil and I knew the soil probably needed to be well drained. So, I drilled holes in the bottom of the metal “planters”.

*For your online shopping convenience, I have included affiliate links in this post. That means if you click on one of those links and buy something, I may receive a small commission, but you won’t pay a dime more. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases*

How to Drill Drainage Holes in Metal Containers to Use as a Planter:

While you could probably use a nail and hammer to poke holes in the bottom of your containers, I was afraid I might warp the metal with the force of the hammer.

Then my husband told me about this awesome thing known as a metal drill bit (I felt like a dumb-dumb for not knowing this simple tool existed).

Using a drill with a metal drill bit, I was able to add drainage holes to my metal containers in just a few minutes…


how to drill holes in metal planters for drainage

how to repurpose metal buckets for container garden

While I mainly stuck to herbs and peppers (for the sake of space), my little one specifically requested cucumbers…

galvanized metal containers for planters diy

While the metal tub was too large to fit on my stairs, I simply placed the cucumbers at the foot of my stairs on my concrete sidewalk…

diy metal container garden

That’s actually the beauty of a small container garden. Given their smaller size provides mobility, you can easily move your plants around as needed.

Here I actually have some rosemary out back by my pool. It has thrived in this galvanized metal planter for over a year now..

modern farmhouse outdoor decorating

And my peppers and herbs are doing great out on my front stairs…

how to repurpose metal decor as planters

So there you have it. No need for a yard or hours of intensive labor.

Container gardening on my porch has been a super approachable way to dabble with horticulture.

diy galvanized metal container garden

Wishing all of you a wonderful upcoming holiday weekend!

Hopefully the next time I show up here on the blog, I will be prepared to show you my new hardwood flooring install tutorial (I actually installed hardwood over existing hardwood and it looks/feels amazing!!).

Now get out there and design some good vibes ! Please show your support for my small business by sharing…

my diy metal container garden on my front porch stairs


cheap metal container garden for small spaces



My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

I think container gardening would be so much easier than the traditional in ground garden, so even if you do have the space and conditions for a big garden, sometimes a container is just easier. BTW I cant wait to see your new floors:)

Designing Vibes

Friday 3rd of July 2020

That is such a great point, Maria. No weeds! Hardly any maintenance! And I cannot wait to share these floors with you. Happy 4th!!

Christy Simoncini

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

It looks beautiful.

Designing Vibes

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Thank you so much, Christy!

Julie S

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Funny, I live on two hillside acres but the terrace my house sits on is mostly concrete. No plantings are possible by our most-used door, and bonus, it faces north. I'm going to need quite a few large planters to make it look landscaped, and man those feed troughs are expensive, you're not kidding! Well any large planters are really. I feel like I'd prefer ceramic that won't corrode... anyway, looks like you got a couple good sized pots from the Lobby!

Designing Vibes

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Yeah...gotta love the Lobby! haha! I hope you have an awesome holiday weekend, Julie.