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This week I made two chair planters. It’s a classic upcycling project that I’ve always wanted to try but have never done.
I had two broken chairs so I decided to do it a bit differently for each and see how they turned out.
Method 1: DIY Chair Planter as ‘frame’ – best for lower chairs
Method 2: DIY Chair Planter with base fabric – best for tall chairs
DIY Chair Planter Method 1: As a Frame
The first was a white wicker chair that broke about a year ago.
One of the back legs just snapped so it’s been a bit lopsided since then. I did try repairing it at one point but it didn’t hold.
I put it out in the garden with the intention of doing something with it and didn’t get around to it until now. In the meantime the seat area had rotted with the rain.
The method I used for this chair was the easiest of the two and probably the most foolproof way to do this!
- Broken chair
- Soil & Plant
- Shovel and/or Trowel
Step 1: Remove the seat base
This bit was fun.
The seat base was thin to start off with (it used to have a thick seat cushion that rested on it) and since it’s been exposed to the elements it was already breaking away in places.
So all I did was take a hammer to the rest to completely remove it.
Step 2: DiG the legs into the ground
In order to keep my chair steady, and to balance it up with it’s one broken leg, I dug all four legs into the ground.
I originally wanted to dig them in so deep that the base was resting on the ground but then I found a spot of garden with a small tree stump and I thought it was a good opportunity to cover it a bit so I put it on that instead.
Step 3: Fill the seat area with soil & plant
Lastly you just need to fill the seat area up with soil and plant your plant. Effectively what you are doing here is ‘framing’ your plant in the chair as the soil it is planted in will still go all the way to the ground.
Easy peasy DIY Chair Planter! I can’t wait for the plant I put in this one to grow up a bit and fill the chair a bit more.
I wouldn’t try this with a super tall chair as you would need a lot of soil for that! Method 2 would work better for a taller chair.
- Broken Chair
- Soil & Plant
- Take the seat out of your chair - I used a hammer
- Dig all four legs of your chair into the ground as low as they will go
- Fill the seat area with soil & plant your plant
DIY Chair Planter Method 2: With Fabric Base
The second broken chair I had was an old dining chair with a screw on seat. This one has been glued and glued together multiple times to try to repair it but it just doesn’t seem to be able to hold the weight of any of our guests anymore so it was time to give it a new purpose!
- Paint (I used Johnson’s Water Based Primer Undercoat)
- Two Fussy Blokes Mini Roller Semi-Smooth
- Base Fabric to fit your chair (see below)
- Staple Gun
- Soil & Plants
Step 1: Unscrew the seat base
First I unscrewed the base and set it aside (I’ll probably think of something else to do with it eventually).
Step 2: Paint the chair frame (optional)
The dining chair I used is a nice wood, but I could see with the deep grain in it that it would probably end up rotting if I put it outside without painting it first.
I like to use what I have so I rooted around in my stash of paint and found some purple primer that a painter used for our front door. There was still tons left in the tin.
I had previously reused the darker top coat purple (the actual colour of my front door) on a pallet project a couple years ago but I didn’t bother using the primer for that so I still have it.
I did 3 coats (without waiting for them to dry in between – because I am impatient like that – don’t do as I do!). Hopefully that will protect it for a while or at least until I decide I want to paint it a different colour! (Do feel free to use a primer and a proper top coat like a professional!)
Step 3: Cut planter base fabric to size
As well as my broken chairs I also had an outdoor table cover that had gotten ripped to shreds by the wind (our garden is a bit of a wind tunnel!). I decided to use part of it as the base for my planter.
You can buy material specifically for projects like this in your garden but this is an upcycling blog so of course I used what I had and I think you should too. You could also try it with an old shower curtain maybe? Anything a bit water resistant that can survive outdoors would work fine.
I cut two pieces that were a bit bigger than my chair base to start off with, just to make it easier to staple it in place.
As I said my table cover was a bit worse for wear so it already had some thin places in the material and little holes. So even doubled up I feel like there is adequate drainage for my soil. If the material you are using isn’t porous then consider poking some holes in it with a big needle or a hammer and nail.
Step 4: Staple your base in place
I used an electric staple gun to staple all the way around the frame of my chair, including at the back along the bottom rung of the back of the chair.
I pulled my fabric fairly taught as I was planning to use it for succulents that don’t need a lot of depth. If you are looking to plant something that needs more soil then make sure your fabric has adequate give to accommodate your soil.
I then trimmed off the excess material with some scissors.
Step 5: Plant your CHair Planter
Lastly I planted up my little succulent garden in my chair planter. I used some rocks around the edges to frame it and my husband even found an old metal toy car in the garden that I added to my arrangement. (My garden is a huge work in progress and we keep digging up old bits and pieces from the previous owners!)
I’m really happy with how both of my chair planters turned out – I’d love to see yours too!
- Broken Chair
- Water Resistant Fabric
- Outdoor Furniture Paint
- Electric Staple Gun
- Two Fussy Blokes Rollers
- Remove chair seat
- Paint chair frame
- Cut water resistant fabric for the base
- Staple fabric in place
- Plant succulent garden
- Frame with rocks and other found objects
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