Make a Recycled Window Shutter Plant Rack

Turn old shutters into a vertical garden with this easy DIY.  

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Turn Coffee Cans and Old Shutters Into a Vertical Garden

Even in the smallest spaces, hanging plants make it easy to reach for the sun. This afternoon project uses old coffee cans and recycled shutters to make the most of a bit of sunshine.

You Will Need

Recycled shutter panel or louvered door (any size) / 2-inch x 2-inch lumber / outdoor paint / saw / six 2-1/2-inch deck screws / empty coffee cans (any size) / S screws (one for each can) / spray paint / damp cloth / sander / drill with Phillips head screwdriver and 1/4-inch bit / paintbrush

Sand Shutters

Using a belt, orbital or hand sander, sand shutters to remove any peeling paint or splintering wood.

Wash Shutters

Use a damp cloth to wipe down shutters. Remove any nails, screws or mounting hardware.

Paint Shutters

Paint shutters using outdoor paint. 

Measure and Cut Spacers

Measure the width of the shutters and cut two lengths of 2-inch x 2-inch lumber 1 inch shorter than the measured length. Brace lengths will vary depending on the size of the shutters used. Spacers are used to hang the panel away from the wall at an even pitch.

Attach Spacers

Place a length of 2-inch x 2-inch lumber at the top edge of the shutter panel and another at the bottom, centered from the edges. Afffix each spacer with two 2-1/2-inch screws.

Gather Coffee Cans

Metal or plastic coffee cans of any size may be used as hanging planters. 

Drill Drainage and Mounting Holes

Remove any paper labels and drill a hole using 1/4-inch bit at the opening of the can along the seam. Turn the can to the opposite side and drill three holes about 2 inches from the bottom of the can spaced about an inch apart. The single hole at the top will be used to hang the planter. The three holes at the bottom of the can will allow for drainage.

Paint Coffee Cans

In a well-ventilated area, spread cardboard or newspaper and spray paint coffee cans with an even coat of paint. Allow to dry completely before using.

Place Support Screws

Select a wall with good exposure to sunlight to hang your shutter panel. Mark two points parallel to the ground where you’d like the top edge of the panel to rest. Distance between these screws should be a few inches narrower than the length of the braces. Sink a 2-1/2-inch screw at each marked point 1 to 1-1/2 inches deep. 

Hang Shutter

Hang shutter panel on the placed screws with the open edge of louvers facing upward. The panel will not be affixed to the wall, but will instead hang like a picture frame.

Attachment Hardware

S-hooks will be used to hang coffee can planters from the louvers. Easy to hang, adjust and remove, plants can be added or removed from the panel effortlessly.

Hanging Plants

Use an appropriate potting mix to use these simple planters. Coffee cans may be rearranged as needed to make the best use of available sunlight or easily taken down when transplanting. This easy-to-make plant rack is a pretty and economical solution when gardening space is at a premium.