Introduction: Blue Jean Planters

Picture of Blue Jean Planters

There are a number of unusual uses for items I've used in this project - from the blue jeans to the pantyhose to the pool noodle!

This project was inspired by my husband who made the first one out of his jeans and boots after he left the construction industry (which you can see on the far right of the second picture). I thought the planter was so much fun that I’ve been making them occasionally as gifts ever since.

Although the one I’m demonstrating for this tutorial is just a small tyke on the far left, you can make this planter in any size you desire! I got my clothing at my local Value Village; it’s a great resource if you want to start small and don’t have young kids that have outgrown their stuff. However, you could use any sized jeans and upcycle things you already own for free!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you a quick overview of each step so be sure to check it out (and subscribe to my channel while you're at it!)

Step 2: You'll Need...

  • blue jeans
  • a pair of shoes (high top sneakers or short boots are best)
  • oval container (it can be plastic or metal; the shape is more important)
  • 2×3’s or 2×4’s used for wood studs
  • scrap piece of 1/4″ – 5/8″ plywood
  • Wood countersink head screws (at least 1 1/2″ long for this project and longer if you use taller jeans)
  • two plastic veggie bags (recycled from the grocery store)
  • panty hose (a great opportunity to upcycle the ones with runs in them)
  • pool noodle (you can substitute soft foam or batting)
  • quick set cement (I used the kind for setting posts that sets in 10 minutes)
  • paint stick (for mixing)tape (painters and/or packing tape)
  • belt (optional)recycled plastic container (to mix the cement)
  • cotton batting

Step 3: Cut Legs and Drill

Picture of Cut Legs and Drill

Measure the jeans from the hem to just above the crotch area and add some additional height for the shoes (my measurement was 14 1/2″). Cut two 2×3’s to the length you measured.

Drill through the centre of one end using a drill bit that’s big enough to accommodate the width of the wood screw.

Step 4: Cut Platform

Picture of Cut Platform

Draw an oval shape on the piece of board and cut it out with a jigsaw or band saw. Since this project is small and the planter won’t be too heavy, I’ve used 1/4″ plywood but you’ll want a heavier piece for bigger projects that are going to be loaded up with plants.

Place the wood studs into each shoe and set the oval on top to determine the spacing of the legs. Drill two holes into the oval platform (mine were 3 3/4″ apart).

Attach the oval platform to the wood studs. Countersink the screws slightly into the platform so they won’t stick out and interfere with the planter once it’s sitting on top.

Step 5: Pad Legs

Picture of Pad Legs

Next, cut a pool noodle in half. I used it because I had it, but soft foam or batting will also work for this next step too.

Tape one half of the noodle to the flat end of each stud (this will be the front).

As I mentioned, you can substitute soft foam or even cut some pieces of batting from an old duvet to wrap the legs. If you’re using softer material, I usually staple it on and also cover it in a nylon stocking to keep it all in place. In this instance I could have added some more packing tape; I didn’t really need the stocking but I wanted to demonstrate it as an option to keep things from shifting.

Step 6: Prep Shoes and Cement Legs Place

Picture of Prep Shoes and Cement Legs  Place

Now you’re ready to put it all together, but before you do, unlace the top of the shoes to expose the interior and insert two plastic bags; the kind used to hold your veggies at the grocery store. Sometimes I don’t add the plastic if the shoe or boot is made of heavy duty leather, but since I’m working with a relatively porous fabric the plastic will prevent the water in the cement mix from soaking through.

The cement stabilizes and weighs down the planter to keep it from tipping over. Pour some water into a recycled plastic container, add the cement and mix thoroughly with an old paint stick.

To prop up the legs in the shoes before I poured, I temporarily added in a scrap piece of wood and a small screwdriver at the heel; just be sure to remove your items before you pour the cement! Pour the cement into each shoe.

Tamp the mixture down with the paint stick to make sure it’s evenly distributed all around the posts.

Step 7: Finesse and Dress

Picture of Finesse and Dress

Once the shoes are full and before the cement is dry, lift up the tongues, lace the shoes up and tie them up so the cement can finish setting. You can also cut back the plastic bags that extends above the top of the shoes.

Once the cement is fully set, remove the oval piece of wood temporarily.

Add the pants onto the legs, then reattach the wooden oval platform.

As I was screwing the right leg back on, I decided to swing the foot out a little to strike a more casual pose. Pull the pants up and insert the planter so it sits on top of the wood platform. If this pair of jeans didn’t already have a snug waste band, I would typically add a belt at this point to tighten the jeans around the planter so it doesn’t shift. You could glue the planter to the platform if you wanted it to be permanent, but I like the option of being able to remove it if I want to switch out the plant materials in it.

Step 8: Make Sure Baby's Got Back!

Picture of Make Sure Baby's Got Back!

The back end will look a little saggy so I filled it out by stuffing some cotton batting into the area between the planter and the seat of the pants. The last picture shows it from the front before I added the plants.

Step 9: Reveal (Please Vote!)

Picture of Reveal (Please Vote!)

It’s all done after you add the plant materials! Here she is all decked out with her greenery!

The only thing that would improve on this project would be if it could walk itself to the sink to get a drink of water, but that may be a little beyond our skillset.

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share! And don't forget to vote :)

Step 10: Other Styles

Picture of Other Styles

I think the small ones are SO adorable but my favourite has got to be the pair of bride and groom planters I made for our wedding to adorn either side of the aisle at our venue!

Another an example of a full sized planter we’ve done in the past was a birthday gift for our niece.

In the third picture, showing a few different sizes of plant stands gathered together, you can see the original one that my husband made (the one that started it all!) on the right. We’re growing some basil in the middle one!

With the larger planters, it’s fun to add accessories like this bottle opener/key chain and belt (last picture).

Step 11: See More Crafty Ideas

Picture of See More Crafty Ideas

For more sustainable crafty ideas, feel free to visit and subscribe to my blog site - Birdz of a Feather.

Comments

CHRIS11556 (author)2017-08-06

Someone has to make a crouching one. They are so funny. Thanks.

Thanks! I think a crouching one would be great too!

cooknwoman (author)2017-08-03

Love this idea!! Great tutorial!!!

Thanks!

sofiaangel42 (author)2017-07-22

Awesome work

Thanks!

MisterM (author)2017-08-03

Congrats! Loved your instructable.

Thanks!

gaprilday (author)2017-07-20

OH my, these are adorable. And unlike so many "ibles" they take very little high level skill and cheap materials. This would be a great project to do with your kids or a scout troop. I think I'll make one and for Halloween, I'll put a big pumpkin in where the planter usually goes and then either light it or - put a plant inside. They can be so "seasonal" - Thanks for a cute, VERY well explained Ible.

FionaM42 (author)gaprilday2017-07-20

I like how you think! My Scouts would love it, each patrol could make one. Thanks for the idea!

gaprilday (author)FionaM422017-07-21

You might do them as decorations for a ceremony or celebration with the end result that they are donated somewhere. If each patrol only makes one, there could be a question at the end who gets to keep it. Or - from the start, let them know that they will be raffled off somewhere for a fundraiser.

mccoolll (author)gaprilday2017-07-20

Cool idea for Halloween!!

I think so too; I might have to do one myself :)

Thanks - if you do one for Halloween, I'd love to see a picture :)

apusapus01 (author)2017-07-20

That is just to cool, very smart. I love it and will have one made by the end of the week. I imagine you could hit the garage sales for the pants and such.

Thanks - have fun with your project!

pegbird (author)2017-07-20

wonderful!!

Thanks!

Roseygarden (author)2017-07-20

How stinkin' cute!!!

Thanks!

kcisis (author)2017-07-20

My daughter just moved to an apartment with a great balcony (& plenty of space to bring it in come winter). I've got lots of my grandson's toddler clothes and shoes here for a yard sale, so I can easily commandeer a set or two (night have to make one for Grandma, too)!

ThirdEarthDesign (author)2017-07-20

I really like it, great work :-) Might have to make one of these for the garden.

Thanks :) I've never made one for outdoors. You'll likely have to seal it so it doesn't rot if it's exposed to the elements; you'll have to let me know how it goes (post me a picture if you make one!)

Yeah, I'm planning on treating the wooden parts then sealing any fabric with a waterproof sealant spray once assembled.

I will post a picture when done, but I'll probably be while as I'm renovating the indoors before moving onto my garden :-)

Keep up the excellent work!

Randomona (author)2017-07-19

That's cute and creative ;)

Thanks Randomona!

seamster (author)2017-07-19

These are strange and kind of morbid . . and I love them!! Brilliant and funky. Thumbs way up :)

Thanks Sam; great description! We love them too - they always make us laugh :)

fan_made (author)2017-07-18

This is so cuuuuute (and unusual- unique)!! Congratulations for the 'ible and what an idea!!!

Thank you; it's fun to share it here :)

38ren (author)2017-07-18

Adorably bizarre lol, I can imagine seeing this outside of a house at night and getting a bit shocked, but nice project :)

Birdz of a Feather (author)38ren2017-07-18

Would be a great outdoor project for Halloween :)

JAC_1961 (author)2017-07-18

Those are completely awesome!

Thanks JAC!

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Bio: Like Birdz of a Feather, let's flock together to create sustainably. After all, good planets are hard to find! I take my inspiration from ... More »
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