Transform a Plastic Trash Can Into a Shiplap-Inspired Planter

Looking for an oversized front porch planter that won't break the bank? Learn how to upcycle an inexpensive plastic trash can into a farmhouse-chic flower pot for less than $10.

May 14, 2021
Transform a plastic trash can into a chic farmhouse-chic planter for less than $10!

DIY Shiplap-Inspired Planter

Transform a plastic trash can into a chic farmhouse-chic planter for less than $10!

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Materials Needed

  • square or rectangular plastic trash can
  • brown spray paint
  • high-temperature hot glue
  • construction adhesive
  • salvaged lath boards

Prep Trash Can

If your trash can is white or another light color, hit it with a quick coat of brown spray paint. No need to cover it perfectly, just spray enough to hide the white (Image 1). Drill a hole in each corner and the center of the bottom of the trash can to allow water to drain when planted (Image 2).

Cut Wood Strips

Measure the width of the top of your trash can, then cut two wood lath boards to that length (one for the front and one for the back). If your trash can is a different width at the top than the bottom, continue the measuring and cutting process down the length of the can until you have enough pieces to cover it fully. If your can is the same width all the way down, simply cut enough pieces to cover the front and back. Don't measure the sides of the can just yet — we'll get to that later.

Pro Tip: Reclaimed lath boards, used as wall material in older homes, can usually be found at salvage shops or scrap wood stores. Because lath is so soft, a hand saw is sufficient for cutting.

Glue Strips to Trash Can

Starting at the top of the trash can, squeeze a few lines of construction adhesive in rows down the front. Add a dot of high-temperature hot glue to each end of the first lath board (this will help hold it in place while the construction adhesive dries), then press firmly into the adhesive (Image 1). Continue gluing boards, butting them up tightly against each other so that very little of the trash can shows through, until the front is fully covered with wood. Repeat this process on the back. If you get to the bottom and there's a small strip of trash can left to cover (Image 2), simply break one of the wood boards in half, then glue.

Cut & Glue Side Strips

For the sides, forgo the measuring tape and simply hold the lath board against the planter, measure with a marker, then cut to length (Image 1). Continue this process down the length of the can. Tip: we measured from the outside edges of the front and back boards so that the side boards would sit on top and show from the front. If you don't want the rough edges of the side boards to show, measure in between the front and back boards. Attach side boards just as you did the front and back, using a hot glue gun to hold wood in place temporarily (Image 2), and construction adhesive for a long-lasting bond (Image 3). Repeat process on the other side.

Plant & Style

To save on potting soil and make the planter easier to move, fill the bottom half with plastic bottles (Image 1) before adding moisture-control soil and vibrant blooms. Place your new shiplap-inspired planter next to the front door for a farmhouse-chic look you can enjoy all year long (Image 2). Don't love the color of natural wood? Add a coat of white paint for an authentic shiplap look.

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